Masterpieces of Italian cinema, in special screenings in Timisoara

Apr 19, 2024 | Episode 11

Five masterpieces of classical Italian cinema, made by famous directors such as Federico Fellini, Vittorio De Sica, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Michelangelo Antonioni and Roberto Rossellini, will be screened in special screenings at Cinema Timis in Timisoara, between May and July, organized by the Ceau, Cinema! in partnership with the Italian Institute of Culture in Bucharest.  

The films will be screened in restored 4K or 2K versions, presented in recent years at major festivals, and are part of a series of warm-up events before the 11th edition of Ceau, Cinema!, which will take place between July 17 and 21 in Timisoara.

Tickets for all five films can be found on the Ceau, Cinema! and Cinema Timis websites. The screenings will take place on Saturday, at 17.00, every two weeks and will have an introduction.

The poster of the Ceau, Cinema Italiano! is made by the young artist Andreea Dumuta from Timişoara and pays homage to Marcello Mastroianni (1924-1996), in the centenary year of the great actor’s birth.

“We continue the tradition of reactivating our audience, in the run-up to the festival, with a series of special screenings, which we are glad to be able to organize this year at Cinema Timis. We turned our attention to the wonderful Italian heritage cinema and we are honored to have the support and collaboration of the Italian Institute of Culture in Bucharest. There are five landmark films, which the audience in Timisoara will have for the first time the chance to see on the big screen in versions restored according to the latest standards. We promise five unforgettable cinephile experiences”, says the artistic director of Ceau, Cinema!, film critic Ionut Mares.

“Ceau, Cinema Italiano! is a cinematic journey back in time to celebrate the golden era of Italian cinema: five films released between 1950 and 1964, that challenged the narrative and visual conventions of the time, five directors who left an indelible mark on the history of world cinema, legendary actors such as Marcello Mastroianni, Anna Magnani and Monica Vitti, with their unforgettable performances. The program selected by Ionut Mares is a tribute to the creativity, passion, and artistry that characterized Italian cinema during this magical period. Prepare to be captivated by the allure of neorealism and drama, and the innovation of the auteur movement as we shine a spotlight on the cinematic treasures that continue to inspire and captivate audiences around the world. Buona visione!”, says Laura Napolitano, director of the Italian Institute of Culture in Bucharest.

The series of screenings will open on May 11 with “8½” (1963), one of Federico Fellini’s memorable achievements, which delighted generations in a row. Marcello Mastroianni plays a director who, in a moment of crisis, retreats into a world of memories and fantasies. The film also stars Anouk Aimée and Claudia Cardinale. “8½” won two Academy Awards, including best foreign language film.

The second screening will be on May 25, with “Umberto D.” (1952), a masterpiece of Italian neorealism, directed by Vittorio De Sica. The film tells the drama of an old man and his dog, who struggle for survival in the difficult life of postwar Rome. “Umberto D.” represented Italy at the Cannes Film Festival and the famous screenwriter Cesare Zavattini received an Academy Award nomination.

“Mamma Roma” (1962), Pier Paolo Pasolini’s second film, follows a former prostitute who wants to start a new life with her teenage son, but she is followed by the shadows of the past. The famous Anna Magnani was named Best Actress at the Venice Festival for her role. “Mamma Roma” will be seen on June 8.

Sixty years after its premiere and winning the Golden Lion in Venice, we also celebrate “Red Desert” (1964), one of Michelangelo Antonioni’s great films, with a screening on June 22. In an industrial area, a woman in crisis (Monica Vitti) tries to cope with life by starting an affair with a co-worker at her husband’s factory.

The last screening in the series will be on July 6, with “The Flowers of St. Francis” (1950), one of Roberto Rossellini’s lesser-known films, but also considered a great achievement of postwar Italian cinema. Also included in the selection of the Venice Festival, the film is not a biography of the saint, but comprises eleven episodes in which the spirit of the Franciscan reform is revealed.

Ceau, Cinema! is a festival dedicated to European cinema, organized by the Pelicula Culturala Association.

Co-organizer of the retrospective: Italian Institute of Culture in Bucharest.

The project is part of the national cultural program “Timisoara – European Capital of Culture in 2023” and is funded by the Legacy Timisoara 2023 program, carried out by the Project Center of Timisoara Municipality, with amounts allocated from the state budget, through the budget of the Ministry of Culture.

Partner: Cinema Timiş.

Sponsors: Groupama Asigurari, Vitas Romania.