Il Divo

Directed by Paolo Sorrentino. With Toni Servillo, Anna Bonaiuto, Giulio Bosetti
Italy 2008, 35mm, color, 110 min. Italian with English subtitles

Paolo Sorrentino joins Matteo Garrone as one of the most high profile New Neaopolitan directors, but his highly stylized expressionism stands in stark contrast to his countryman's modern neorealism. While addressing real social and political concerns, Sorrentino transforms the mundane into the fantastic. Il Divo, his fifth feature, chronicles the later years of Giulio Andreotti, the seven-time Prime Minister infamously steeped in corruption, accused of controlling a vast neo-fascist conspiracy involving the Mafia and the Vatican, and of ordering the assassinations of judges, journalists, and anyone else in the way, earning him the nicknames "Beelzebub" and "The Black Pope." Sorrentino brings energy and excess to both the gangsterism and the legislative deliberations, infusing every frame with a psychedelic visual imagination rarely brought to bear on the political thriller genre.

See you at the movie,

John

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  • John

    This film could be a case study in any Film School. Just the image of his tearing the page 'just before the killer is revealed' serves as one of many metaphors for his entire life. Every facet of cinema is used to portray an historic figure as an enigma wrapped in enigma wrapped in tearing the page before we know anything for certain. Thanks for the discussion and thanks for all the insight in the comments. We may need to view this again!

    October 5, 2013

  • Bob

    This was cinema as grand opera! It wasn't meant, I don't think, as an in-depth analysis or biography as much as a spectacle: the music, stunning images, colors were all as important as the plot. Following every name and nuance wasn't important. If there was a theme, it may be that those in power know as little about what's going on as the rest of us. I found Holder's review in the Times helpful: http://movies.nytimes.com/2009/04/24/movies/24divo.html ("Out of Fellini and Into ‘The Godfather,’ a Politician’s Life"). The group conversation afterwards was terrific (even if my meal wasn't).

    September 30, 2013

  • Janet

    Will look for Frost/Nixon. Thanks to all for the new info.

    September 29, 2013

  • Ira

    Alberto- This is really great addition to the discussion. Fascinating. Thanks.

    September 29, 2013

  • Alberto

    Interesting to hear Andreotti's feedback on the movie (From wikipedia): "...Giulio Andreotti has seen the film premiered at a private screening, and these were his words: "it is very bad, it is a mischief, I guess. It tried to turn the reality of making me talk to people who I have never met, " .
    Sorrentino said about it: "Andreotti reacted angrily and this is a good result because usually he is unmoved by any event. The reaction comforts me and tells me the power of cinema compared to other critical tools of reality ".
    The life senator has, however, decided not to sue the film maker or ask for cuts of the film, and then he said: "In politics to be ignored is worse than being criticized, so ..." .
    http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Il_Divo_(film)

    September 29, 2013

  • Patti C.

    Feature films or docs? Frost/Nixon amazed me since I didn't expect much, but it got to the core of how and why Nixon worked as he did...

    September 29, 2013

  • Shirley

    I really enjoyed the movie, but it didn't assuage my hunger for a really good political movie that delivered insight into political figures and movements. Is it possible? I agree with Robert that the Godfather series came close, but it didn't address real politicians. I guess I'm going to have to read the LBJ series to see if there's insight to be gotten into the inner life of a powerful person. Perhaps people with great power don't have an inner life?

    September 29, 2013

  • robert

    a complicated person represented in a disappointingly less complicated way.
    in contrast, a novel and a film like "the godfather" presented a certain kind of ethical justification and more complicated way in which certain kinds of crime support what we might think of as "human values." probably worth watching but the dazzling illumination of the screen, in ,my opinion, distracted from the human biography which elicited some interest..

    September 28, 2013

    • Shirley

      Robert, in many ways I agree with you. I liked the movie very much because of its style. But it was not an interesting portrayal of a political figure nor was it a real inquiry into Italian politics in the post post-war period, both of which I would have found more interesting. This morning I've been asking myself why we can't get deep pictures of political figures in either movies or books. Why can't artists get under the skin of politicians. All we see is very opaque mimicry. But I did like the movie and found it more interesting and stimulating than the usual Hollywood biopic.

      September 29, 2013

  • Janet

    The discussion afterwards was very helpful.

    September 28, 2013

  • Janet

    Interesting review in Salon.com: http://www.salon.com/2009/10/29/il_divo/

    September 28, 2013

  • elisabeth e.

    I was there. I HATED the main character and the pacing of the film. I feel that a "dialogue" film should not have subtitles as the characters express themselves in the nuances of the language and this aspect was not available to me since i do not speak Italian. I left half way through after yet another character hit the dirt. Sorry to have missed the dinner but I could not sit through another second of this film.

    September 28, 2013

  • Tawkeer

    I'm here - let me know if you folks are inside already

    September 28, 2013

  • Linda D.

    Amtrak train very delayed, can't make it, looking forward to next time! Keep me posted!

    September 28, 2013

  • Patti C.

    God, I hate to do this, since it's the last film I'll be able to make for a couple of months, but I feel like hell. Have fun everyone....

    September 28, 2013

  • Jeanne

    Sorry, i already have seen this film!
    ~Jeanne

    September 28, 2013

  • John

    I managed to post 3 films at 2 theaters for this event! Ciao!

    September 28, 2013

    • Linda T.

      Sorry, not sure what this means. The 1 movie posted above is what you're going to see, right? Il Divo?

      September 28, 2013

    • Bob

      Yes, that's right, it's Il Divo tonight at HFA. John had tried to set up two other films, but their schedules changed.

      September 28, 2013

  • Patti C.

    I love that film, too... are we going anyway???

    September 27, 2013

  • Bob

    On the HFA website, it looks like the screening of Mi piace lavorare has been cancelled, replaced by the film, Il Divo.

    September 27, 2013

  • Anne

    This sounds terrific -- I'm still in.

    September 25, 2013

  • Patti C.

    sounds good to me

    September 24, 2013

  • Katherine

    Sorry I have to cancel. Will catch up with you all again soon I hope.

    September 23, 2013

  • Sheldon A.

    Saw this film this morning with Boston Cinema Club. It is outstanding.
    Provides real insight into Saudi society and the changes they are trying to deal with. The film is full of subtlety in addressing the complex cultural issues facing the saudis

    September 22, 2013

  • John

    Reservations are now open. I put off opening reservations so that people would have time to look at their calendars, check their preferences, and be able to commit one way or another as to whether they can go.

    When reservations open at the time of posting, we often fill up within 24 hours, and half drop off on the day of the event, or don't change their RSVP. This results in many who wanted to go getting shut out, and a restaurant reservation for 14 with only 7 showing up.

    September 13, 2013

  • David

    PS -- the reservations are closed. Is that intentional?

    September 10, 2013

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