After speaking with Giovanna De Luca about the upcoming Eighth Annual Nuovo Cinema Italiano Film Festival, I texted my mom lamenting the fact that I have no Italian genes in my very Anglo-Saxon heritage. This love of Italians stays true despite the fact that this year’s fest features a majority of films about the economic troubles occurring in Italy. It’s the way these movies take on the struggling financial scene that is precisely the reason behind my Italian love. Instead of making depressing films, the Italian cinematic community uses comedy to highlight the country’s strife.
“Comedy in Italy is a little more cynical, more of a social criticism,” explains De Luca, the festival’s founder and a professor at College of Charleston. “Many of these films reflect that there’s a struggle. I just realized this when I was putting them all together — there’s a link of economy.
“Take I Can Quit Whenever, where an academic needs extra money and starts dealing a not-quite legal, but not illegal psychotic. It’s like an Italian Breaking Bad. According to De Luca, academics are also struggling economically. “[These films] were made to make some angry, to get mad,” she explains.