Now in its seventh year, Open Roads has become the leading American showcase for the best in contemporary Italian cinema, spotlighting this year a new generation defined neither by its political position nor a single aesthetic approach; instead, in a sense, Italian filmmakers have been connected by a new spirit of independence, of breaking away from old models and genres. Some of this "independence" has been, in fact, forced, as the collapse of the old industrial structures of the Italian cinema has required filmmakers to really make it on their own. But this spirit is also indicative of the myriad backgrounds, experiences and influences this new generation brings to film. This year’s series opens with Desert Roses, a wonderful and wonderfully wry comedy by one of the true giants of Italian cinema, Mario Monicelli. Having just celebrated his 92nd birthday, Mr. Monicelli will join us to discuss his seven decades in film.
The filmmakers featured in this year’s edition continue that spirit of discovery and exploration that has in many ways inspired the series. Davide Ferrario re-traces the route taken by Primo Levi from Auschwitz back home to Turin in Primo Levi’s Journey, discovering a drastically changed Europe along the way. Saverio Costanzo follows his international hit Private (New Directors/New Films 2005) with a fascinating journey into a contemporary seminary in In Memory of Me. We’re also delighted to present the premiere of Caravaggio, a sumptuous, riveting evocation of the life and work of the great Renaissance painter, starring Alessio Boni and photographed by master cinematographer Vittorio Storaro. And once again, some of the finest recent Italian short films will be screened. So join us and re-discover the pleasures of an old friend in the seventh annual Open Roads.