We've been watching two films a day, which is nothing to someone who would watch three in a morning as a film critic back in London. The difference is that here at the Turin Film Festival they are all good.
Here on FredFilmRadio Aida Bejic, Jorge Perugorria, and I discuss the responsibilities of choosing a winner.
The 31st Torino Film Festival is in full swing, and I am enjoying terrific films, Italian food, and new friends. Most excitingly, I have finally met Paolo Virzi, the genius Italian film maker who has brought characters I invented in a small room in Western Massachusetts to glorious life on the screen. I was overwhelmed watching Il Capitale Umano on a computer. I cannot wait to get the full effect on the big screen when it opens in January. Here's an article from il sole24ore that goes into a bit more detail about all this. Meanwhile, off to another screening. Ciao!
Torino NewsTORINO, 20 November 2013Varie INCONTRO CON STEPHEN AMIDON sabato 23 novembre 2013 Il Circolo dei Lettori Torinoore 16
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Lo scrittore e giurato del TFF, cresciuto nella provincia del Maryland e laureatosi in Filosofia nel 1981, ha vissuto dodici anni a Londra facendo il giornalista culturale e il critico cinematografico. Rientrato negli Stati Uniti, ha pubblicato quattro romanzi tra il 1992 e il 2000 (Subdivision, Thirst, The Primitive, e The New City, con cui si è imposto all’attenzione della critica). Vive nel Massachusetts con la moglie fotografa e quattro figli, dedicandosi al suo lavoro di scrittore, sceneggiatore televisivo e critico letterario (collabora stabilmente con l’Atlantic Monthly).
Di Amidon, Mondadori ha pubblicato con successo nel 2005 Il capitale umano e nel 2006 La città nuova. Il Capitale umano è il romanzo da cui Paolo Virzì si è ispirato per il suo nuovo omonimo film, in uscita nel 2014, con la sceneggiatura firmata da Francesco Piccolo, Francesco Bruni e Paolo Virzì.
Con saluti di Paolo Virzì
Evento nella settimana di TFF
61 years ago today, one of my all time favorite books won the National Book Award. The Moviegoer by Walker Percy faced stiff competition, including from another book that makes my top ten list: Richard Yates’ Revolutionary Road. More recently, I wrote an appreciation of Walker’s novel for The New Statesman.
As I said at the time:
"Some novels simply do not go away. They lodge in your consciousness, expanding rather than disappearing after the last page is turned. Although there are countless other books waiting to be read, you find yourself returning to this one, hungry and perplexed, and even a bit uneasy about its effect on you. Its mysteries deepen with each reading. Your curiosity about it is never quenched. You cannot dispense with it.
The Moviegoer has proved to be just such a book for me, as it has for countless others."
My words helped get the novel back into print in the UK—although it is shocking that it was out of print in the first place.
As it happens, tomorrow I am off to the Turin Film Festival for ten days of movie-going of my own. I think I know what I will read on the plane.
Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre was published on this day in 1847 to some pretty scathing reviews. It survived the storm, however, to become a perennial favorite, but mostly among women. A few years ago my wife made me read it for the first time and I was sold. Here is what I wrote back then.
In the words of Ms. Eyre, herself: "Prejudices, it is well known, are most difficult to eradicate from the heart whose soil has never been loosened or fertilised by education: they grow there, firm as weeds among stones."
Thanks to my wife and Brontë, you can strike Victorian women novelists from my prejudices. If you don’t have time to read a 300-page novel, Cary Joji Fukunaga did a fine job directing a film adaptation a couple of years back.
Here, complete with intriguing photograph, is a little mention of Paolo Virzi's Human Capital from Greece. I am awestruck by the idea of my characters making it to the country of my maternal grandparents' birth. I wonder what my grandfather Sam Nikitopolous, proprietor of Mary's Barbeque in Detroit, whom I never met, would make of it all.
Happy Birthday to Herbert Marcuse, who would have been 115 today.
I first read his 1964 masterpiece, One-Dimensional Man, when I was in my teens. I found it eerily prescient. In 2000, I wrote about the book's continuing relevance in The New Statesman, and today, almost five decades after its original publication, I believe Marcuse's vision of a world dominated by a "comfortable, smooth, reasonable, democratic unfreedom" to be truer than ever.
For Marcuse, the threat to freedom was not the violent totalitarianism he escaped in his native Germany, but a subtle kind of corporate fascism in which cultural, financial and political forces inexorably mold the individual into a one-dimensional creature who "cannot imagine a qualitatively different universe of discourse and action" than the one he inhabits. As we service our credit card debts, consume news as information and compulsively scan our digital devices for stimulation, can anyone doubt Marcuse’s fears were justified?
Carlo Virzi's soundtrack continues to grow amid the flowers at Studio Nero in Rome.
Photos by Carlo Virzi
Carlo Virzi is recording the Human Capital soundtrack.
Photos by Carlo Virzi