Past Meetup

LA GRANDE BELLEZZA - Cinémathèque / GUSTO! Ristorante

Cinémathèque - Cleveland Institute of Art

11610 Euclid Avenue Free secure parking off E. 117th Street · Cleveland, OH

How to find us

Meet us outside the auditorium no later than 15 minutes before show time or ask for the Movie Group table at the restaurant.

Location image of event venue


La grande bellezza (2013)

The Great Beauty


Sunday, February 9th at 1:15 p.m.

Italy – Paolo Sorrentino

In Italian with subtitles

Journalist Jep Gambardella (the dazzling Toni Servillo, Il divo and Gomorrah) has charmed and seduced his way through the lavish nightlife of Rome for decades. Since the legendary success of his one and only novel, he has been a permanent fixture in the city's literary and social circles, but when his sixty-fifth birthday coincides with a shock from the past, Jep finds himself unexpectedly taking stock of his life, turning his cutting wit on himself and his contemporaries, and looking past theextravagant nightclubs, parties, and cafés to find Rome in all its glory: a timeless landscape of absurd, exquisite beauty. (c) Janus

Unrated, 2 hr. 22 min.

Drama (, Comedy (

Directed By: Paolo Sorrentino (

Written By: Paolo Sorrentino (

Best Foreign Language Film Oscar nominee (and recent Golden Globe winner):

Sunday, February 9, at 1:15 pm



Italy, 2013, Paolo Sorrentino

In Italian with subtitles

The acclaimed new movie from the director of last year's Cinematheque hit This Must Be the Place (with Sean Penn as a retired rock star) won 2013 European Film Awards for Best Film, Director, and Actor! The Great Beauty finds filmmaker Paolo Sorrentino back in his native Italy, and working again with his chameleonic Il Divo star, Toni Servillo.

Here Servillo loses himself in the role of Jep Gambardella, a one-time literary lion turned jaded journalist in Rome, who squanders his life partying with the super rich and being seen with celebrities. But now this world-weary cynic and sensualist senses the emptiness of his existence, so scours his life for something authentic.

This flamboyantLa Dolce Vita update is intoxicatingly rendered with an ever-roaming (Rome-ing?) camera and wall-to-wall music. It’s a vibrantly colored x-ray that reveals Berlusconi's Italy to be stylish and seductive, but also superficial and soulless. "A fantastic journey around contemporary Rome and a riot of lush imagery juggling past and present, sacred and profane, gorgeous and grotesque." -NPR.

Cleveland premiere. Subtitles. 35mm color & scope print! 142 min. Special admission $10; Cinematheque members $8; age 25 & under $7; no passes, twofers, or radio winners. Film also screening on Friday, February 7, at 9:05 p.m. & Saturday, February 8, at 6:45 p.m.

WHO: Cine Arts Cleveland! and the Italian Language groups

WHAT: La grande bellezza (2013)

WHEN: Sunday, February 9 at 1:15 p.m.

WHERE: Cleveland Cinémathèque – CLE Institute of Art, 11141 East Boulevard – just east of the Cleveland Museum of Art.

DINNER: 4:30 p.m. at GUSTO! Ristorante | Little Italy, 12022 Mayfield Road | across from Holy Rosary Church

WHERE TO MEET: Meet at the entrance door 15 minutes ahead of time or look for the group inside the theater. DO NOT ARRIVE LATE! This will be well attended so it is advisable to arrive early or purchase tickets on-line to avoid missing the start. We will sit in the upper level, center. This film will be the HOT TICKET this weekend, so a large attendance is expected. The flick is 142 minutes (2 and ½ hours), so expect to be out around 4 p.m. You may also meet us afterward outside the entrance door. If you RSVP, we will wait for you. If you do not have a photo posted, you will have to find us.

We have multiple meeting places: 1. Entrance door to the movie in the theater hallway 10 minutes before the movie starts, 2. By the Marquee (or auditorium entrance) after the movie, or 3. Reserved table at a restaurant under the name “Cine Arts” or "Movie Group".

SPECIAL PARKING NOTE – Cinémathèque has a free parking lot in the rear of the building – enter off East Boulevard and motor around to the loading dock entrance. There is a large sign.

DINNER: 4:30 p.m. GUSTO! Ristorante | Little Italy 12022 Mayfield Road | across from Holy Rosary Church |[masked]

PARKING for DINNER – They do offer valet parking but we are arriving before normal opening time. I would suggest the pay lot on Mayfield just east of the railroad underpass or street parking. Do not park in restricted area or in the church lot.

We will have reserved tables so you must indicate "dinner on your RSVP to have a seat! AND answer questions re CELL NUMBER and EMAIL. Both are REQUIRED! Please let us know your dinner plans on your RSVP so that we can reserve a seat for you at the "Movie Group" table. We have requested separate checks but due to the size of our group, you can expect a standard gratuity to be added. If circumstances force you to cancel, please try to notify the organizer/host as early as possible. It’s best to pay your check in cash to streamline the process. If you don't see us when you walk in, ask to be seated with Bill Johnson or the Movie Group.

GUSTO! Ristorante | Little Italy 12022 Mayfield Road | across from Holy Rosary Church |[masked]

Web Site (click here) (

Message from Gusto Ristorante Italiano

For authentic tastes of the Piedmont, this friendly, intimate dining room in the heart of Little Italy is the next best thing to an actual trip to the land of olive oil and garlic. As Little Italy's premiere Italian Restaurant, the Salerno family serves only the finest and freshest Italian food in Cleveland. Located on Mayfield Road in Little Italy, Gusto! offers you a unique dining experience combining the best of old world atmosphere and hospitality as well as traditional and new Italian cuisine. When you are serenaded at your table by Ricardo Salerno and his accordion, you'll swear you're in Italy!


Journalist Jep Gambardella has charmed and seduced his way through the lavish nightlife of Rome for decades. Since the legendary success of his one and only novel, he has been a permanent fixture in the city's literary and social circles, but when his sixty-fifth birthday coincides with a shock from the past, Jep finds himself unexpectedly taking stock of his life, turning his cutting wit on himself and his contemporaries, and looking past the extravagant nightclubs, parties, and cafés to find Rome in all its glory: a timeless landscape of absurd, exquisite beauty. Written byJon Mulvaney

Here is a long clip on YouTube which is probably an illegal pirated copy (click here) (

Wikipedia – (click here)

The web site is extraordinary (click here)

Critics love it –

Rotten Tomatoes – 93-percent Fresh! (click here) (

Dazzling decadence permeates one of the year’s best films, 'The Great Beauty' (A)


Movie Critic


Published: 12 December[masked]:21 PM

13 December 2013

The title of The Great Beauty isn’t meant to describe the movie itself, but it still does. This is a film of visual rapture, a dose of aesthetic bliss that reminds us what kind of spell the medium can cast in the right hands.

Those hands belong to Paolo Sorrentino, an Italian maestro who has earned comparison to the Italian maestro Federico Fellini. It’s easy to see why. Like La Dolce Vita, The Great Beauty concerns an underachieving lifestyle journalist (the wonderful Toni Servillo) stewing in the long-simmering malaise of a spiritually decaying Rome. Like 8½, Sorrentino’s film floats ecstatically on a sea of free-associative and surreal thoughts and images. If you seek the next Life Is Beautiful or Il Postino, look elsewhere.

The camera zooms and hovers, retreats and mercilessly observes as Servillo’s Jep Gambardella drinks with his hyperarticulate friends and observes one ridiculous but bracing art concept after another. Jep moved to Rome 40 years ago, wrote one well-received novella and then lived out a hollow dream of lording over Rome’s night life. With his prominent nose, thin lips and sad, mischievous eyes, Servillo looks a little like a clown surprised to find his face slowly melting.

The Great Beauty can be read as an indictment of former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi’s frivolous Italy, or, on a more expansive level, a story of empire’s decline (Jep’s luxury apartment offers a view of the Roman Colosseum’s remains). Sorrentino pulls off a shrewd paradox. His portrait of empty decadence insists that we be seduced by the same sensations that made Jep a slave to his baser instincts.

That’s all well and good, but you could watch The Great Beauty with the sound turned down and come away dazzled. In the middle of asking yourself “How did he get that shot?” you’re stopped short by the next jaw-dropper, and the next. Lucky Jep. If only we could all stumble toward grace with this sort of visual accompaniment.

Is Sorrentino a bit of a showoff? Sure. He’s also a sensualist of the highest order. Go ahead. Soak up theBeauty. It’s one of the best films of the year.

Follow Chris Vognar on Twitter at @chrisvognar.


Directed by Paolo Sorrentino. Not rated (language, drugs, nudity, sexual content). In Italian, Spanish, Japanese and Chinese with English subtitles. 142 mins.

And here is a review from an audience member in Ireland:

A Masterpiece.

Author: Martin Bradley ([masked]) ( from Derry, Ireland
14 September 2013

Italian cinema is, at last, on a roll again. Perhaps not in the same way as when Rossellini, Visconti, Fellini and De Sica were batting masterpiece after masterpiece into the arena but maybe more prodigiously than at any time since the young Olmi and young Bertolucci were setting the screen alight. In recent years we have had Michelangelo Frammartino's "Le Quattro Volte", Gianni De Gregorio's sublimely gentle comedies "Mid-August Lunch" and "The Salt of Life" and, perhaps best of all, the films of Paolo Sorrentino whose "The Consequences of Love", "The Family Friend" and "Il Divo" were highly original and sufficiently off-the-wall to invite comparisons with Fellini. His one venture into English-language cinema, "This Must be the Place", met with a largely hostile reception from critics who accused him of being self-indulgent but I found the film to be gorgeous and quirky and just what I would have expected from so idiosyncratic a talent. And now we have "The Great Beauty", a return to Italy and a return to, what his critics might see as, earlier form.

This film, too, has been compared to Fellini which is entirely appropriate as this is a "La Dolce Vita" for the 21st century. You can even imagine the film's central character, Jeb, as Marcello, older if hardly wiser and for Sorrentino nothing much has changed. But if this is Sorrentino in Fellini mode it's just as close to the beauty and spectacle of "Amarcord" or, more appropriately, "Juliet of the Spirits". Once again the lead is taken by Toni Servillo, who was Sorrentino's Andreotti in "Il Divo" and once again he confirms his position as one of the cinema's finest actors, heading a truly superb ensemble cast.

As in "La Dolce Vita" there is no real 'story' but rather a series of episodes in the life of Jeb in the days following his 65th birthday, (his birthday party is the first of the film's many great sequences). If there is a theme it's Jeb's increasing disillusionment with the lifestyle he has associated himself with over the years, a lifestyle he is very reluctant to give up, no matter how pragmatically he views it. He is a man who has had many women but no real relationship to speak of, (the early love of his life married someone else). He meets the daughter of an old friend, a 42 year old stripper with a drug habit, and they strike up a relationship of sorts though when they go to bed together he is happy when they don't have sex. He gets sustenance from his friends although he can be cutting and abrasive in their presence. It seems as it is they, and not money or power, which keeps him going.

This is a magnificent movie, the kind of film that you know is being composed, frame by gorgeous frame, by a master film-maker. It is a breathtaking melange of sound and images, of great performances and superlative dialogue that draws you in and holds you from its first shot to its last. Some directors open their films with great tracking shots but Sorrentino saves his to the end, up, over and under the bridges of the Tiber as the final credits roll. Don't leave the cinema to the very last second.

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