Friday, November 15, 2013

Dining With the Stars:
Italian Style on Sunset Blvd.

A night on the town in Rome and Hollywood

Is Paolo Sorrentino the Fellini of our time?

After watching the hypnotic Italian jewel “La Grande Bellezza,” you might not think that the comparison is inappropriate or that it’s disrespectful to either man. Sorrentino’s film premiered at Cannes to five-star reviews. The Guardian described it as “a pure sensual overload of richness and strangeness and sadness.” 

Toni Servillo stars in "La Grande Bellezza," la dolce vita Sorrentino-style

The film begins at a deafening party on a Roman terrace filled with a writhing mass of revelers. At one point, Sorrentino swoops in on a close up of a suddenly distraught woman screaming hysterically into the camera, “I’ve lost my cell phone!” as if that is the worst tragedy imaginable nowadays. 

The director is doing for the depredations of the Berlusconi era what Fellini did for Rome in the 1960s. 

Watch the trailer for "La Grande Bellezza"

Inexplicably, the film is both a wicked paean to the excesses of our times and a meditation on what it means to live with humility, introspection and kindness for others. It all strangely works in the most enjoyable, impressive way possible. Not to be missed. 

A combination of Hollywood and Italian glitterati showed up for a gala screening on Thursday night. 

At the dinner that followed we celebrated with many old and new friends, including Gary Shapiro, Deborah Kolar, Paula Silver, Larry Angrisani, Nancy Willen, the ever youthful Arnold and Isolde Schwartzman, and Ian Bernie, who had just returned from his third year in India as a programmer and U.S. representative for the Mumbai Film Festival. 

We also chatted with Sorrentino and Brenda Vaccaro, a close friend of one of our favorite cousins, Adam Holender. Neither of us could say enough good things about the movie or Adam, who is in Poland serving on the jury of Cameraimage, a festival that emphasizes the work of brilliant cinematographers like Adam. 

Watch Paolo Sorrentino's press conference at the Cannes Film Featival

It was late; we were about to head out to the “Inside Llewyn Davis” shindig at the Hollywood Roosevelt – and the promise of a performance by Mumford and Sons – but elected to go home instead. 

We worked and partied too hard this week. It was time for bed.

No comments :

Post a Comment