A Season of Classic Italian Cinema comes to Altrincham
Manchester Film Weekender is bringing a season of classic Italian cinema to Altrincham Little Theatre this Autumn. The season of eight films will be shown on Sunday afternoons and two Saturdays, starting on Sunday the 10th September. What better venue for such an event than the Little Theatre with its original 1930s cinema seats!
The programme of films on offer spans nearly 80 years of Italian cinema. The first film to be shown will be Luchino Visconti’s directorial debut, Ossessione, which was filmed in Fascist Italy during WW2. The film was described as scandalous and immoral in conservative Italy. It was immediately banned upon release with all copies destroyed. In fact, Visconti had managed to save one print and when the film was re-released after the war most critics called it the front runner of the neo-realist movement in Italian cinema.
Other highlights will include Pasolini’s, Il Vangelo Secondo Matteo from 1964. The film was made by Pasolini with a cast of non-professional actors. He even cast his own mother as Mary for the scene of the crucifixion. Perhaps surprisingly as Pasolini was an atheist, the film was widely admired by Christians and was chosen by the Vatican as one of its select few recommended films.
Of course, no season of classic Italian cinema could exclude the evocative Cinema Paradiso from 1988. It’s not all about nostalgia though as some of the films deal with very current themes including the modern morality tale Il Capitale Umano (Human Capital) from 2013.
The films will be shown in Italian with English subtitles and notes will be provided. Each film will be introduced by film expert Maggie Hoffgen. Maggie has worked on a variety of projects for Cornerhouse and HOME, including study days, introductions to films and directors, and evening courses on subjects including film studies, film noir, sound on film, genre, David Lynch and many more. She also teaches on the BFI Film Academy. After the showing there will be an opportunity to discuss the film with Maggie over coffee and biscuits.
The Manchester Film Weekender is the brainchild of John Grieve. John has been active in organising film events in the North West for many years. Formerly secretary of the Manchester & Salford Film Society, he was also a member of the committee of the British Federation of Film Societies North West. He was involved in the film weekends that the BFFSNW organised but after the Society’s demise he set up Manchester Film Weekender himself.
Film buffs should also watch out for Manchester Film Weekender’s Festival of Films from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan to be shown in Manchester’s Chancellor Hotel in February 2018 with introductions by Andy Willis of Salford University. This festival includes Spring in A Small Town from 1948, considered by many to be one of the best in Chinese film history. In 2019 there will be a festival of Spanish language cinema from both Spain and Latin America and the speaker will be Carmen Herrero from Manchester Metropolitan University.
For more details and to book tickets visit the website here