Geneva Anderson digs into art

New Italian Cinema prequel: acclaimed Italian Filmmaker, Daniele Luchetti in conversation at Italian Cultural Institute Saturday, November 12, 2011

Italian Filmmaker Daniele Luchetti, subject of a retrospective at New Italian Cinema, November 13- 20, 2011, will speak at the Italian Cultural Institute in San Francisco on Saturday, November 12, 2011, after a screening of his award-winning film "My Brother is an Only Child." Photo: Courtesy of San Francisco Film Society

The Italian Cultural Institute of San Francisco will host a special event with acclaimed Italian filmmaker Daniele Luchetti on Saturday, November 12, 2011 at the Italian Cultural Institute, located at 814 Montgomery Street in San Francisco.  Luchetti’s film My Brother Is an Only Child (Mio fratello è figlio unico, 2007, 108 min., in Italian with English subtitles) will screen at 3:00 pm, then at 5:00 pm, Luchetti will be interviewed by Rod Armstrong, programmer for the San Francisco Film Society, to discuss the film as well as the broader scope of Luchetti’s work. This special event with Luchetti is a rare opportunity to hear about the filmmaker’s experience in a more intimate setting, just prior to the the 2011 edition of the New Italian Cinema festival, which celebrates Luchetti with a three film tribute.

New Italian Cinema opens Sunday, November 13, 2011, in San Francisco at Landmark’s Embarcadero Cinema with Luchetti’s latest film Our Life (La nostra vita, 2010, 98 min) and runs through November 20, 2011.  The other two films in the Luchetti tribute are It’s Happening Tomorrow (Domani accadrà,1988, 87 min), a philosophical Western set in Tuscany’s Maremma region and Ginger and Cinnamon (Dillo con parole mie, Italy 2003, 103 min), a romantic comedy of flirtation, sex and errors set on the Greek island of Ios. 

Now in its 15th year in San Francisco, New Italian Cinema runs every October and is an excellently curated taste of the best new Italian filmmaking.  In addition to the Luchetti opening night film and tribute, this year’s porgramming will feature eight additional new feature films by up and coming filmmakers who are all vying for the City of Florence Award, as well as the closing night film, Habemus Papam (2011), by acclaimed director Nanni Moretti who was an influential mentor for Luchetti.  The films in this year’s program investigate topics including corporate malfeasance, office politics, rural life and war, as experienced by Italians from every walk of life.   All filmmakers are expected to be in attendance at the Embarcadero for lively Q&A’s with their audiences.  The festival concludes with a fabulous closing night party at Fior d’Italia in North Beach, one of America’s oldest Italian restaurants, established in 1886. 

New Italian Cinema is presented by the San Francisco Film Society, New Italian Cinema Events of Florence, Italy and the Italian Cultural Institute of San Francisco.  Tickets, a full scheule, and further information on New Italian Cinema are available at 

About Daniele Luchetti:  Daniele Luchetti was born in 1960 in Rome. He first worked as an actor and later as an assistant director to Nanni Moretti.  The first film of his own that he directed, Domani accadrà, received a David di Donatello as best debuting film. He went on to make Il portaborse (1991), featuring Silvio Orlando who is pressed into becoming a lackey speechwriter for a ruthless politician, played by Nanni Moretti. The film was seen as a forecast of the “Mani pulite” corruption scandal that struck Italy the following year, and won four David di Donatello awards. Luchetti is the recipient of dozens of other awards and nominations, including a Nastro d’Argento for best screenplay for My Brother Is an Only Child, and a David di Donatello for best film for Our Life, which was also the only Italian film in competition at the 2010 Cannes Film FestivalLuchetti’s skill as a filmmaker lies in his ability to draw in the viewer and forge a direct relationshiop with his audience through the narrative and characters of his films.


My Brother is an Only Child: (Mio fratello è figlio unico), 2007, 108 min: Winner of four David di Donatello Awards (Italian equivalent of an Academy Award)—Best Actor (Elio Germano), Best Supporting Actress (Angela Finocchiaro), Best Screenplay, Best Editing—My Brother is an Only Child, is a hit in its native Italy and screened at the Cannes and Toronto film festivals.  The film reunites director Luchetti with longtime collaborators Sandro Petraglia and Stefano Rulli, screenwriters of the highly-acclaimed epic The Best of Youth (La meglio gioventù) 2003.

Set in a small Italian town in the 1960’s and 70’s, the film tells the story of two brothers who want to change the world — but in completely different ways.  Manrico (Riccardo Scarmaccio), the oldest, is a handsome, charismatic firebrand who becomes the prime mover in the local Communist party.  Accio, (Elio Germano), the younger, more rebellious brother, finds his own contrarian voice by joining the reactionary Fascists. What starts as a typical tale of sibling rivalry becomes the story of the polarizing and paralyzing politics of those turbulent times and, the rift between the brothers is further intensified when Accio realizes that he loves his brother’s girlfriend, Francesca (Diane Fleri) who, like everyone else, is blind to Manrico’s increasingly dangerous ideas.  Addressing the dreams and disillusionments of the 60’s and 70’s, My Brother is an Only Child is set in the exact era of the groundbreaking early classics of Bernardo Bertolucci and Marco Bellochio.  Not only does Luchetti pay explicit homage to those films — “Before the Revolution,” “Fist in the Pocket,” and “China is Near” — he comes very close to matching their beauty, intelligence, and youthful exuberance. (THINKfilm) 

A scene from Daniele Luchetti's "Our Life," the opening night fim at New Italian Cinema. A construction worker, married with two kids and desperately needing money to support his family, faces a devastating blow in this powerful character portrait that earned Elio Germano the Best Actor prize at Cannes. Photo: courtesy San Francisco Film Society.

About the Italian Cultural Institute:  The Italian Cultural Institute (Istituto Italiano di Cultura, or IIC) of San Francisco promotes Italian language, culture and the best of Italy by disseminating information about Italy, offering scholarships, and presenting cultural events including art exhibitions, film screenings, concerts, lectures, book presentations, poetry readings, round table discussions and other events. Its goal is to foster mutual understanding and cultural cooperation between Italy and the United States. The Italian Cultural Institute of San Francisco presents a rotating exhibition schedule, video and book libraries containing Italian books, cds, dvds, journals and newspapers; and information and documentation on cultural matters in Italy.

A scene from “Ginger and Cinnamon,” playing as part of the tribute to Daniele Luchetti at New Italian Cinema. Stefania (Stefania Montorsi) (left) heads off to the Greek Island of Ios with her 14-year-old niece, Martina (Martina Merlino), in a farcical romance. Photo: courtesy of San Francisco Film Society.

The IIC moved in September 2010 to its current location at 814 Montgomery Street, in the historic Jackson Square District of San Francisco. For further information on the IIC and its events,

Details:  Saturday, November 12, 2011, screening of My Brother is an Only Child at 3:00 pm and conversation at 5:00 pm at Istituto Italiano di Cultura, 814 Montgomery St., San Francisco, (415) 788-7142.            Tickets:  $10/general, $5/members of the IIC.  Please RSVP to 415-788-7142 ext 18

New Italian Cinema:  Tickets, a full scheule, and further information on New Italian Cinema at

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