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.
Pier Paolo Pasolini's gritty first film about a pimp is an interesting look at the underbelly of life in 1960s Rome, plus it's filmed in Pigneto, an area that at the time was on the fringes of Rome and never seen on film and is now becoming gentrified. Everyone paints Italy as a magical place, which made this film all the more shocking when it was released.
Bianco, Rosso e Verdone
Classic comedy from Carlo Verdone, where he plays the three main characters, all which personify different types of your everyday man in Italy. Verdone is seen as the heir to Alberto Sordi and this film is especially loved, as it plays on exaggerated stereotypes in order to show the hardships and misfortunes of life in Italy.
A great coming of age tale that hits close to home about the reality of modern day Italy. While very much a comedy, it also shows the painful truth of how hard it can be for young people to get ahead and find their path in life. This is one of the movies I watched when preparing to move to Italy and it's never gotten old as I've continued to watch.
Le Fate Ignoranti
Using the Roman neighborhood of Testaccio as its backdrop, Ferzan Özpetek’s film weaves an interesting tale of a family of friends on the fringes of Roman life who form a bond with an upper-class woman after her husband dies and she discovers his secret life. Another film that represents a side to Italy not often seen by foreigners, but one that is very real to people who live here. Another film I watched before moving to Italy and it opened my eyes to what modern life is here, with modern day problems, the same as found anywhere in the world.
This film was eventually remade in the US (starring Zack Braff), but I prefer the original for the way it shows how difficult relationships can be between men and women in Italy. Different story lines all show different sides to how twenty something year old men deal with their fears of commitment.