Italy may not have its own version of Cannes, Sundance, Tribeca or Toronto , but it certainly does have an incredibly rich history of enormous films, so many of which have inspired countless directors, actors actresses and indeed cultural movements around the world for years after their release – ‘The Good, The Bad and The Ugly’ (1966), ‘La Dolce Vita’ (1960), ‘8 1/2’ (1963) and ‘Django’ (1966) are just a handful, the latter of course being the story Tarantino based his own Spaghetti Western ‘Django Unchained’ on.
The best film to come out of Italia this year has undoubtedly been Paolo Sorrentino’s ‘La Grande Bellezza’ (The Great Beauty) which we reviewed recently, and this is the film that has been chosen as the hero number for The House of Peroni – a month long residency on London’s Portland Place, celebrating all things Italian style and creativity. Peroni has taken over one of the beautiful regency houses, and made it, well, even more beautiful. They’ve re-designed the space with a little help from award-winning architect Andrea Morgante, added in a pop up restaurant from Michelin starred chefs the Costardi brothers, and invited mixologist Gerry Calabrese to create some Peroni infused drinks. Lovely.
The ‘edible cinema’ screenings of ‘The Great Beauty’ look pretty much sold out (not surprising), but there are plenty of non-ticketed events happening completely free of charge, starting each night at 7:30pm (3pm at weekends). As well as great Italian films created by established directors, there will also be a series of short films and documentaries about new wave creative Italian artists and fashion designers including Ludovica Amati, Fabio Quaranta and Simone Rainer. The House of Peroni will also be showing specially commissioned fictional shorts by rising new wave directors Brando Di Sica, Luca De Santis and Pietro Cocco.
The House opens tomorrow (Wednesday November 6) and will be bringing London town hours of Italian film goodness until the end of the month. We’re planning to check out ‘The Great Beauty’, ‘The Consequences of Love’ and ‘Me and You’. See you there film lovers.