Reading Advisory at the Ames Public Library
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Reading Advisory at the Ames Public Library
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Italian Films at Ames Public Library

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Days and Clouds (DVD FOREIGN DAY)  115 min.  2007. 

Elsa leaves her job and fulfills an old dream of studying art history. Her life changes when she finds out her husband hasn’t worked in two months. They eventually break up and realize they risk losing their most precious possession.

Il Divo (DVD FOREIGN DIV)  110 min.  2008. 

Seven-time Italian prime minister Giulio Andreotti’s long career was dogged by persistent accusations of conspiracy, Mafia connections, and state-sponsored terror.  This compelling film explores the shocking political machinations and shady criminal surrounding this fascinating and controversial figure.

La Dolce Vita (DVD FOREIGN DOL)  178 min.  1960. 

A journalist ventures into the decadent society of

modern Rome and finds that his values are being destroyed, leaving him totally disillusioned.

Don Giovanni (DVD FOREIGN DON)  176 min.  1979. 

Set in Seville in the 1600s, young nobleman Don Giovanni is a well-known philanderer with a long list of conquests. After he attempts to seduce the beautiful Donna Anna, her father's battle to protect her honor ends in tragedy. Anna and her fiancé Don Octavio pledge to seek revenge, while Giovanni continues to charm and trick the local women.

The Double Hour (DVD FOREIGN DOU)  96 min.  2012. 

Guido, a former cop, is a luckless veteran of the speed-dating scene in Turin but, much to his surprise, he meets Slovenian immigrant Sonia, a chambermaid at a high-end hotel. The two hit it off, and a passionate romance develops. After they leave the city for a romantic getaway in the country, things suddenly take a dark turn in this acclaimed, edge-of-your-seat thriller.

8 1/2 (DVD FOREIGN EIG) 138 min. 1963. 

Fellini's autobiographical film about a famous film director who loses his inspiration in the midst of making a film. Much of the story is told in flashback sequences. Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film of 1963.

Fiorile (DVD FOREIGN FIO)  105 min.  1993. 

On a long drive to visit their grandfather, Luigi Benedetti tells his children the mysterious story of their ancestors - a story filled with forbidden love, passion, and romance.

The First Beautiful Thing (DVD FOREIGN FIR)  122 min.  2010. 

Follows a strong and optimistic mother raising her two children against all odds. Throughout grief and pain she teaches her family to remain open and loving and to cherish the little joys in life.

The Garden of the Finzi-Continis (DVD FOREIGN GAR)  94 min.  1970.

Set in Italy in 1938 when Mussolini's anti-Semitic edicts began to isolate the Jews from their communities. Among them were the Finzi-Continis, an aristocratic Jewish family forced for the first time to acknowledge the world beyond its fenced garden. Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film of 1971.

Il Generale Della Rovere (DVD FOREIGN GEN)  132 min.  1959. 

During wartime in Genoa, an opportunist tries to cheat his fellow countrymen, until the Nazis force him to pretend to be a deceased general to get information from fellow inmates.

Girl by the Lake (DVD FOREIGN GIR)  96 min.  2007. 

When a beautiful young girl is found murdered in an idyllic northern Italian village, Inspector Giovanni Sanzio is called in from the capital to investigate. In a small town where nobody is what they seem, anyone could be capable of homicide and everyone may be hiding a dark secret, including Inspector Sanzio.

Giulia Doesn’t Date at Night (DVD FOREIGN GIU)  106 min. 2009. 

Giulia teaches swimming at a pool. One of her pupils is the young daughter of Guido, a successful and married writer grappling with feelings of futility about his profession. When they meet at the pool, Guido gets intrigued by this charming woman who initially keeps a certain distance, because Giulia hides a secret and a mysterious past. Their brief affair based on abdication, fragility, and selfishness will lead Giulia to an extreme decision.

Golden Door (DVD FOREIGN GOL)  118 min.  2007. 

A Sicilian farmer and a worldly British woman fall in love on a perilous trans-Atlantic journey to America. Neither of them is prepared for the realities of Ellis Island, where they’ll stop at nothing to make it through the golden door to America.

Gomorrah (DVD FOREIGN GOM)  137 min.  2008. 

A contemporary Neapolitan mob drama that exposes Italy’s criminal underworld by telling five stories of individuals who think they can make their own compact with Camorra, the area’s Mafia.

I Vitelloni (DVD FOREIGN I)  107 min.  1953. 

This film compassionately details a year in the life of five young men in post-adolescent limbo, dreaming of adventure and escape from their small town and struggling to find meaning in their lives.

I Am Love (DVD FOREIGN I)  120 min.  2009. 

The wealthy Recchi family has undergone sweeping changes.  Eduardo Sr. has name a successor to the reins of his company, and surprised everyone by splitting power between his son Tancredi and grandson Edo.  But Edo has always dreamed of opening a restaurant with his friend Antonio.  To make matters worse, the very foundation of the entire family may be totally shattered after Tancredi’s wife Emma falls deeply in love with Antonio and begins a passionate love affair.

I’m Not Scared (DVD FOREIGN IM)  102 min.  2003. 

While playing in a wheat field, nine-year old Michele discovers a boy chained to the ground at the bottom of a hole.  Michele is unsure who to tell about his discovery, eventually telling his close friend,  Michele’s parents warn him to forget what he saw. 

Inspector Nardone (DVD FOREIGN INS)  2011.  624 min. 

Exiled from the Naples police department for being a whistleblower, Chief Inspector Mario Nardone is transferred to postwar Milan, which is fast becoming the breeding ground for a new criminal scene. Nardone is committed to its safety and will do anything to protect its people. He fights crime and corruption wherever he finds it. Based on the real-life figure who was a true legend in Milan during the 1950s and 60s, known for his unflinching moral code and great sense of humanity.

Intervista (DVD FOREIGN INT)  116 min.  1987. 

A Japanese film crew interviews Federico Fellini about his career as he films the memories of his life as a young journalist walking into his beloved studio Cinecitta for the first time.

Italian for Beginners (DVD FOREIGN ITA)  In Italian and Danish, with English captions.  112 min.  2000. 

Several students of an Italian language class find romance in their studies of the language of love.

Juliet of the Spirits (DVD FOREIGN JUL)  137 min.  1965. 

Suspecting her husband of infidelity, a housewife unleashes an inner self of erotic fantasies. This was Federico Fellini’s first feature-length color film. His examination of the sexual psyche unfolds with the use of surrealistic and abrupt cut-aways to illustrate the woman’s sexual fantasies.

Kapo (DVD FOREIGN KAP)  117 min.  1959. 

A young woman tries to save herself from a concentration camp by assuming the identity of another person and becoming a vicious warden instead.

Keys to the House (DVD FOREIGN KEY)  107 min.  2004. 

Gianni is reunited with Paolo, the 15-year old son he has never seen, whom he abandoned at birth. The reunion is the idea of Paoli’s doctor in hopes the connection will benefit the troubled boy. Gianni experiences a Pandora ’s Box in Paolo, full of shocks and wonders, but the key to one’s house is often found in the key to one’s heart.

The Lark Farm (DVD FOREIGN LAR)  120 min.  2007. 

An Armenian family is caught up in the destruction of World War I, and their only hope is in a passionate relationship with the enemy.

The Leopard (DVD FOREIGN LEO)  185 min.  2004. 

During the years of Italy’s “Risorgimento,” the aristocracy lost its grip and the middle classes rose to form a democratic Italy.

Life is Beautiful (DVD FOREIGN LIF)  116 min.  1997. 

A charming, bumbling waiter who's gifted with a colorful imagination and an irresistible sense of humor wins the heart of the woman he loves and creates a beautiful life for his young family. Then that life is threatened by World War II. Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film of 1998.

Little Girl (DVD FOREIGN LIT)  100 min.  2009. 

A captivating tale of people at the margins of society who open their hearts to a stranger. In a run-down park on the outskirts of Rome, a two-year-old girl is discovered and taken in by a family of hard-luck circus performers. A note from a desperate mother reveals little about who she is or why she was left. As the bond grows between the girl and her surrogate family, this naturalistic drama becomes a revealing and soulful portrait of courage and discrimination, and of loss and togetherness.

 

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