Italian film gives me a great deal of pleasure. I have been looking forward to the Italian Film Festival this year, as the program seems particularly strong. Also, now that the Palace group has bought and renovated the Westgarth cinema on High St in Northcote, the festival is much closer to me than the Como and Balwyn cinemas.
On Sunday night I saw Marcello: Una Vita Dolce – a documentary about the actor Marcello Mastroianni. It was an extremely lightweight doco, and brushed over many aspects of his life, such as never mentioning his wife’s name, or that his younger daughter Chiara’s mother was his lover, Catherine Deneuve, who was described only as a co-star in several of his films. Still, it was rather enjoyable.
Palace have done a fantastic job with the Westgarth, and there was a modest buzz in the foyer prior to the screening. Once again, I was the only obvious skippie in the audience. The film was only half full, and was in one of the smaller upstairs cinemas, so I suspect that expanding the festival to the Westgarth is something of an experiment for Palace. Unfortunately they have also selected to adopt allocated seating for the festival.