Movies Italian-style at the 2015 Vancouver Italian Film Festival

Those Happy Years

Scene from Those Happy Years, screening at the second annual Italian Film Festival at Vancity Theatre.

Ah, Italian cinema! Sophia Loren, Marcello Mastroianni, Federico Fellini, Vittorio De Sica – all of the greats and more will be represented at this year’s Vancouver Italian Film Festival at Vancity Theatre (1181 Seymour St.) between Jan 9-14.

Now in its second year, the festival celebrates movies from Italy, then and now, from classics like Marriage Italian Style and 8 1/2 to new movies like Those Happy Years and A Five Star Life. Along with screenings, the film festival will feature a photo exhibition devoted to Sophia Loren and other special events. Here are some highlights.

Opening Night Gala (Jan 9, 6 p.m.) – The opening Night Gala includes film, live music from the Cory Weeds Trio, food, gelato from Bella Gelateria, Italian wine, and the first look at a new photo exhibition dedicated to Loren. There are also screenings of Vittorio De Sica’s 1964 movie Marriage Italian Style (Matrimonio all’Italiana) and Maria Sole Tognazzi’s A Five Star Life. In the latter, Margherita Buy plays solitary single woman in her 40s whose job consists of evaluating — and roundly criticizing — European five-star hotels and resorts. The 2013 film has been compared to both Up in the Air and Eat Pray Love.

Margherita Buy in A Five Star Life.

Margherita Buy in A Five Star Life.

Wine + Film Night (Jan 10, 8 p.m.) – Barolo Boys is the story of Barolo wine and how it became a worldwide phenomenon. After the Jan. 10 screening, documentary director Tiziano Gaia will be on hand with wine sponsors Stile Brands & La Spinella, Trialto Wine Group & Fontanafredda, BonVida Wines & Elio Altare for an exploration of the world of Barolo.

Boccaccio ’70 (Jan. 11, 2:45) – Four legendary filmmakers direct some of Europe’s biggest stars in this landmark 1962 anthology film. Directors include Mario Monicelli (Big Deal on Madonna Street), Federico Fellini (8½), Luchino Visconti (The Leopard) and Vittorio De Sica (Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow), and stars include Sophia Loren, Anita Ekberg, and Romy Schneider. The anthology, modelled on Boccaccio’s Decameron, features comic moral tales about the hypocrisies surrounding sex in 1960s Italy.

Sophia Loren in Boccaccio 70.

Sophia Loren in Boccaccio 70.

Those Happy Years (Jan 10, 6 p.m.) – Director Daniele Luchetti looks back at (what could be) his parents’ marriage. In the 2013 film, a philandering avant garde artist (Kim Rossi Stuart) expects a more conventional loyalty from his wife (Micaela Ramazzotti). But he might have to adjust his expectations.

8 1/2 (Jan 14, 8:15 p.m.) – In this oft-referenced 1963 masterpiece from Federico Fellini, Marcello Mastroianni plays a director whose new project is collapsing around him, along with his life.

For complete list of films, screening times and ticket info, visit viff.org.

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