Marking the release of The American, we asked a group of American expat bloggers who now live in Italy to pick the films that most represent their new home country.
Don't Look Now
Nicolas Roeg's 1973 film captures the haunting, mysterious vibe that Venice can evoke with its labyrinth of calli and canals. I love the way Roeg wove together the reality shifts and "coincidences," which are typical to Venice, and how he caught the watery mirrors and reflections of light. Since we are still guessing if Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie actually had sex, I vote "yes."
Based on the life of Veronica Franco, a 16th century poet and courtesan, I saw this film in 1998 just as I moved to Venice. If we look at the state of the world today, we still find beautiful, sensuous, and intelligent women lacking in positions of authority -- something Veronica challenged 500 years ago. What is taking so long? I'm looking forward to "Dangerous Beauty, The Musical."
The Merchant Of Venice
I saw this film when I was in New York City, and the location shots made me homesick. The great thing about shooting Shakespeare in Venice is that not much has changed since the Bard wrote the original script.
Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade
I mention this film because with all the recent military activity around here, it sometimes feels like the Crusaders have come back to Venice, hoping for another shot at the Holy Grail. Well, we all know what happens if you choose the wrong chalice.
Set in Villa Emo, a Palladian villa in the Veneto, Ripley's Game is based on the novel by Patricia Highsmith and features John Malkovich as an American in Italy who likes to treat life like a game of chess. He thinks he can get away with anything, and does -- art scams, assassinations, greed, revenge -- as his beautiful harpsichordist lover plays in the background. Since I'm surrounded by his architecture, I'm always fascinated by Palladio and how people are influenced by his work.