Tuesday, 19 June 2018

3 ICFF films that fight for their land

June 14-22, 2018
Toronto -Bell Lightbox- Vaughan-Hamilton and more cities

Fabio Ravazzi
Giuseppe Battiston

I have been going to the Italian Contemporary Film Festival for the past few years and I really enjoy the films and the festival is organized really well too.

I have only seen a few films so far but the first 3 films seem to have 3 common threads between them.

They all seem to have common themes of Family, Integrity and taking care of the Earth.   They all have a lot of love and heart as well.  I really enjoy the Italian style of comedies,  you leave the theatres feeling really great and having a bit of an escape for a couple of hours.

The film Il Vegetale has it's lead character taking over his fathers land and growing vegetables and his relationship with his family.

Tulipani has a man from Holland settling in Italy and growing Tulips and creating a new family with the people he meets on his arrival and fights the protection system that is hurting the local businesses.

The Last Prosecco has a lonely Police Officer investigating the death of a local Wine Producer with the help of his daughter who is his only heir.

I really enjoyed all 3 films and encourage you to try and find them.  I know that Il Vegetale will be coming out in September and has a local Toronto distributor to thank for that so I hope you get a chance to see it in the Fall.

The great thing about ICFF is also the Directors and Actors who come from Italy and the US for the festival as seen above with Fabio Ravazzi and Giuseppe Battiston.  Maybe not famous to Canadians but known by Italians who love Italian Cinema.

Il Vegetale
Directed by Gennaro Nunziante
Year 2018  Duration 90 min  Country Italy Genre Comedy Language English
Fabio Rovazzi is a 24’year’old graduate in Communication Sciences who lives in Milan “with a view of the future”. Fabio is looking for a job, dealing with a cumbersome father and a spoiled little sister, both of whom consider him to be a useless “vegetable”. He is searching for a career that respects his ethical criteria, but he knows that his weak spot is trust, both in himself and in others. An unexpected event will suddenly change everything. Between comical situations and paradoxical finds, our protagonist will have to reinvent his life.


DirectorGennaro Nunziante
The Walt Disney Company Italia
DistributorsMedusa Film
The Walt Disney Company Italia
CastFabio Rovazzi
Luca Zingaretti
Ninni Bruschetta
Paola Calliari


Directed by Mike Van Diem

Year 2017  Country Olanda/Italia/Canada/Lituania  Length 90 min  Genre Comedy/Drama Subtitles English

This story is one of passion in which pain meets irony; a voyage in the south of Italy during the ‘50s and ‘80s where the rediscovery of one’s origins and the reconciliation with the past meets the liberating powers of revenge. Anna arrives from Canada in the heel of Italy with the aim of bringing home the ashes of her mother, originally from those lands. She will discover the shocking truth regarding her family, the identity of her real parents and how, twenty-five years before, they had fought the local mafia... on a field of tulips


DirectorMike van Diem
ProducerFatt Productions
DistributorsA71 Entertainment
CastKsenia Solo
Gijs Naber
Lidia Vitale
Giancarlo Giannini
Anneke Sluiters

The Last Prosecco

Directed by Antonio Padovan
Year 2017 Country Italia Length 101 min Genre Comedy/Mystery Subtitle English
The story unravels on the rolling hills where Prosecco grapes are grown; a winemaker Count, fighting to protect his territory, a stubborn half Italian half Persian police inspector; the manager of a cement plant, killed by three gunshots; and a crazy man who scrapes the rust from the tombs in the cemetery. A story about the inheritance of beauty and the value of quality. In 2010, north-east Italy began to feel a recession which nobody had expected. Only one productive sector resisted: Prosecco. This film forces us to remember that anyone who destroys the land destroys the future for everyone. 


DirectorAntonio Padovan
CastGiuseppe Battiston
Rade Serbedzija
Liz Solari
Silvia D'Amico

Sunday, 3 June 2018

Larger than Life; The Kevin Aucoin Story

Linda Matarasso and Kevin Aucoin
Larger than Life: The Kevin Aucoin Story
Directed by: Tiffany Bartok
Synopsis: Legendary makeup artist Kevyn Aucoin arrived in New York City from the small town of Lafayette, Louisiana after spending his childhood expressing himself through drawing, painting, and makeup application. In search of relief from the confusion and isolation stemming from his sexual identity and constant bullying, Kevyn found an acceptance in the fashion world that was instant and explosive. Due to his groundbreaking contouring techniques, his infectious personality and mission to make everyone feel beautiful, he quickly shot to fame doing makeup for every supermodel and celebrity throughout the 80’s and 90’s. At the height of his fame in 2002, Kevyn died mysteriously. LARGER THAN LIFE explores every corner of Kevyn’s rich, beautiful and complicated life through the story of his untimely passing and the inspiring legacy he left behind.
Last night I went to see the documentary Larger than Life: The Kevin Aucoin Story at the Inside Out Film Festival showing at the Tiff Bell Lightbox in Toronto.  I only found out about the film from watching a morning show segment with the director and immediately wanted to go see the film.  Luckily a friend of mine actually had tickets he couldn't use so I was able to see the film and I was so happy that I didn't miss it because Kevin Aucoin was my makeup Idol when I was learning makeup in the 80's and doing makeup as a freelancer for the next 30 years.  He was a huge influence on me but I could never be as talented as he was and there are very few makeup artist to ever come close to his talent.  His death left a huge hole in the Makeup Industry.  The transformations of male to female and female to male were beyond drag makeup and were more mind bending and pure art form tromp l'oile. 
I was also able to meet Kevin at a small book signing for his book Making Faces.  I can't remember exactly when that was but all I can remember is that it was a very brief chat and I was on the way to New York and I remember telling him that I just squeezed in going to see him before going to the airport.  I believe it was only a couple of years before his untimely death.
After watching the documentary I found out a whole other side that wasn't well known and that affected his health and how he coped with it.  Cher was instrumental in discovering his rare disease of extreme growth that cause him daily pain that turned into an addiction to prescription pills and so many talented people have unfortunately passed the same way.  
The documentary was a beautiful portrait of a mix of family home movies, stories from friends, family and some of the celebrities he formed bonds with.
It's very sad that he passed away so soon, who knows what ground breaking trends and innovations he would have created or in the fight against homophobia and discrimination.
note:  note the hand on my shoulder, there is a lot of talk of his hands in the film and you will find out why if you see it.
The film will be available of Itunes I believe in July 2018.  I recommend seeing it if you want to see a bit of makeup history and if you have an interest in a man who was a defender of gay rights.