ONLINE CLASS: Italian Cinema – Talkback, Cinema Paradiso

DATES: 02/28/2021 - 03/28/2021
PRICE: $80.00

Andy Holtzman is a former film historian who founded the first independent cinema theater at the New York Shakespeare Festival’s Public Theater. He will be joined each workshop by a different co-moderator, selected to balance the historical and cultural discussion around our films.  Several of our co-moderators will be Zooming-in live from Italy to offer an authentic examination of Italian cinematic impact within their country and across the globe.

Andy Holtzman is a former film historian who founded the first independent cinema theater at the New York Shakespeare Festival’s Public Theater. He will be joined each workshop by a different co-moderator, selected to balance the historical and cultural discussion around our films.  Several of our co-moderators will be Zooming-in live from Italy to offer an authentic examination of Italian cinematic impact within their country and across the globe.

Welcome back to our Italian Cinema Talkback series!
First film is Cinema Paradiso!

Movies…Italian-Style! – a Cinema Round Table Discussion

Our first series on Italian Cinema last fall was quite popular, so we’re bringing it back this winter with more films, specially-selected co-moderators and new film genres.  We hope you will join us and our moderator, Andy Holtzman, for a deep dive into the world of Italian Cinema.

Post-World War II Italy saw the rise of influential directors who burst onto the world film arena. Actors such as Sophia Loren, Marcello Mastroianni and Anna Magnani among countless others achieved international stardom.  Timeless directors like Fellini, De Sica and Rossellini became household names.  Italian composers have achieved enormous influence and the glamorous Venice Film Festival, the oldest in the world, captures the industry’s global  attention every September when they award their coveted Silver and Golden Lions.

As before, this new series will explore a select treasure-trove of films across a broad historical swath of Italian cinema from the Golden Era of Italian cinema (Neo-Realism – Rossellini, Visconti, De Sica) into the surrealism of Fellini, to Post-Modernist Italian classics.  You will stream these films on your own and then we’ll discuss them together with our guest co-moderators.

Our selection for this new series is:

  • Cinema Paradiso, the post-modern Oscar winner set in Sicily
  • Two Women (La Ciociara) for which Sophia Loren won her Academy Award
  • Swept Away from the one and only Lina Wertmüller
  • I Vitelloni, Federico Fellini’s second, career-launching film
  • and finally, a classic spaghetti western*, The Good, The Bad and the Ugly with American actor, Clint Eastwood

How it Will Work

  • you watch the film in advance at your own convenience on one of your streaming services.  We strongly suggest you watch the films in Italian with subtitles
  • we will send the options for where/how you can see the film (usually Netflix or Youtube)
  • on the day of the class, follow our zoom invitation to access the discussion
  • listen in as Andy and that week’s co-moderator make their presentation about the film, historically, culturally and artistically
  • participate in a Q&A discussion of the film. 

*Spaghetti Western: also known as Italian Western or Macaroni Western, is a broad sub-genre of Western films primarily produced and directed by Italians, that emerged in the mid-1960s in the wake of Sergio Leone’s film-making style and international box-office success.  There were literally dozens produced each year in the 60’s-70’s. Some titles include:  Two Mafiamen in the Far West, For a Fist in the Eye, A Pistol for Ringo or 7 Vengeful Women.

Class Dates: Sundays, February 28, March 7, 14, 21 & 28.

Time:  1:00pm Eastern Time (That is 12:00pm Central time, 11:00am Mountain time and 10:00am Pacific time, or 6:00pm in the UK and 7:00pm in Europe)

Class Length:  1 hour presentation + moderator Q&A

Price:  $20 for single class or the series of all 5 sessions for $80.
Partner fee 1/2 price, if sharing the same screen.

Italian Cinema-Talkback, Series 2 Lineup:

February 28  –  Cinema Paradiso, directed by Giuseppe Tornatore, 1990

Anyone who loves movies will fall in love with Giuseppe Tornatore’s Oscar-winning Cinema Paradiso. Set in Sicily, in the final years before television, a now-famous filmmaker returns to the Sicilian village where he grew up, reminiscing about his best friend and mentor as a child — Alfredo ((Phillipe Noiret), the wise, wry projectionist at his small town’s local cinema. He instills in the boy a deep love of films. But when Salvatore grows up and falls in love with a beautiful local girl and takes over as the Paradiso’s projectionist, Alfredo works to convince him to leave his small town and pursue his passion for filmmaking.
Light and romantic, Cinema Paradiso is tinged with just enough realism to make us believe in its magic, and remains one of the cinema’s great love songs to cinema!

Co-moderator:  Giuliano Ciabatta joins us again from Ravenna, Italy.  A life-long film buff and professional theater sound engineer, Giuliano will provide significant cultural background to this film.

Cinema Paradiso

March 7 – 2 Women (La Ciociara), directed by Vittorio De Sica, 1960

Delivering an astounding performance as a young widow fleeing Rome with her young daughter in Vittorio De Sica’s stark neo-realistic WWII drama, Sophia Loren became the first actress to (deservedly) win the Oscar for acting in a foreign-language film.

Co-moderator:  Linda Mironti who, in addition to her role as the co-Director of Il Chiostro, singer and chef, is a long-time film aficionado especially of Italian film. Linda’s parents were both born in Morolo, Frosinone in Ciociaria, the area of Lazio where the film Two Women takes place. Linda moved to Rome in the 90’s where she performed and sang on TV, for film soundtracks and in many clubs and venues across Italy.

Sophia Loren and Eleonora Brown in Two Women (La Ciociara)

March 14 – Swept Away…by an Unusual Destiny in the Blue Sea of August  (Travolti Da Un Insolito Destino nell’Azzurro Mare d’Agosto), directed by Lina Wertmüller, 1974

Class warfare hits the high seas in Lina Wertmuller’s comedy/drama about lower class Gennarino (Giancarlo Giannini), working on a yacht with a spoiled, abusive trophy wife, Raffaela (Mariangela Melato). When the pair is stranded at sea, they wash up on a deserted island and Raffaela learns she is no longer the one in control.

Co-moderator:  Marco Pelle, film aficionado, is a professional ballet choreographer born in Vicenza, now living between Milano and New York.  He won the 2016 Primi Dieci USA Award, under the patronage of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as one of the ten most influential Italians in the USA. He’s been one of New York Theatre Ballet’s resident choreographers since 2012.  As an Opera choreographer he has worked extensively in the US and abroad. In 2017, Marco Pelle had his directorial debut with Florida  Grand Opera, directing and choreographing Un Ballo in Maschera. In 2018 he became ballet choreographer of the tv series “Pose”.

Swept Away…

March 21 – I Vitelloni, directed by Federico Fellini, 1954

Federico Fellini’s career-launching 1954 ensemble character study, set in his rural hometown of Rimini, follows five young men adrift and listless as they approach a crucial turning point in their lives.

Co-moderator:  Marco Tommasin was born in a small town very close to Venice, Italy.  Due to his father’s job, he has moved around Europe ever since.  As a child, Marco was a cartoon fan and learned how to draw. Soon after that he discovered cinema which “became my school!” He attended classes at the art school in Milan and got his BA in Communication Science in London. Today he is happy to work in marketing and advertising.  “I really love cultures and learning so I am glad to share with you my passion for Italian cinema and time!”

I Vitelloni

March 28 – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Il Buono, Il Brutto E Il Cattivo), directed by Sergio Leone, 1966

The definitive Spaghetti Western, Sergio Leone’s The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is an unequaled, operatic 1966 widescreen epic starring Clint Eastwood as “the Good”, Lee Van Cleef as “the Bad” and Eli Wallach as “the Ugly”.

Co-moderator: Anna Carugati, Group Editorial Director, World Screen.  Anna is responsible for World Screen‘s overall editorial direction. She conducts the group’s signature interviews with the industry’s top executives, show creators and stars, and can be found moderating panels and keynotes at key industry events throughout the year. Fluent in English, French and Italian, Anna has been a reporter throughout her professional life, having worked at CBS in Chicago and Mediaset in Italy, as well as for trade journals such as The Hollywood Reporter and Electronic Media.

Clint Eastwood in “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”


This class is online.  You can enjoy it from your own home using your laptop, iPad or smartphone.

Once you register, we’ll send you a Zoom link to join the class on the specific day, at the appointed hour.

You don’t need a Zoom account.  Just click the link and you will be admitted.

We will send you the zoom invitation once you register for the class.

Please log in a few minutes early to greet the others and to get situated.