L'UOMO NERO (The Cezanne Affair): Gabriele Rossetti returns to southern Italy to say a last farewell to his father, a former stationmaster in a small town not far from Bari. Returning home reawakens in him memories of his childhood; of his mother and fun-seeking uncle; his friends; and his father's thwarted artistic ambitions. It is only now that, years later, through chance and circumstances, Gabriele begins to understand his father and to see what sort of person he really was.
For 70 years, the Park Theatre brought Hollywood to generations of Cranstonians. Starting in July, the Park will bring them Rome, Venice, Naples and, indeed, virtually all of Italy.
The first annual Italian Film Festival, featuring six Italian made and critically acclaimed films, will be held at the Park Theatre on July 22, 23 and 24. There will be two showings daily, at 3 and 6 p.m.
Frank M. D’Alessandro, M.D. a leading spokesperson for the Rhode Island Italian community, serves as chairman of the film festival.
“Programs like 'The Sopranos' and films based on the Mafia present a distorted version of what Italy has contributed to the world and what Italian Americans have brought to this country.
“We hear too much about Capone, Gotti and Luciano and not enough about Verdi, Michelangelo and Marconi. I think the films offered at this festival will help promote the correct image of Italy and Italians, particularly Italian Americans,” he said.
D’Alessandro is the go-to-guy for an event celebrating Italian cinema. He spent five years in Italy himself, from 1955 to 1960, with a lot of the time spent evenings on the Via Venteto in Rome.
“That was where all the Italian artists, writers and filmmakers used to go for conversation,” said D’Alessandro. “Fellini used to go there to find out what he would be shooting the next day. He never used a script, you know. He had it all in his head.”
D’Alessandro came back to the United States to finish his residency and start a medical practice but he never left his passion for Italian movies in Italy.
“They were always in the avant garde of European cinema and they continue to make great movies now,” said D’Alessandro. “When the movie, 'Cinema Paradiso' opened here, I told people to go and see it and, if they didn’t think it was one of the best movies they’ve ever seen, I would give them the price of the tickets back. After all these years, no one has ever asked me for their money back.”
D’Alessandro hasn’t committed to giving your money back for going to the Park Theatre to see more recent Italian cinema but he is staking his reputation as a movie lover on the series.
“We are determined to present the best and most recent work of the enormously talented and vibrant Italian film industry,” D’Alessandro said.
The First Annual Italian Film Festival to be held at the Park Theatre, 848 Park Ave., Cranston, is July 22, 23 and 24. There will be two showings daily, at 3 and 6 p.m. All of the films are in Italian with English subtitles. Order tickets from the box office at 467-7175, or visit www.ParkTheatreRI.com.