"A cask of wine will work more miracles than a church full of saints." (Proverb)
Ah, "cacchio", you have no ideas how many times Italy has saved its arse from disaster...thanks to lots of good 'ol vino. Give it a try and let us know how it works out.
Enjoy the issue, keep writing and Grazie!
Rome - March 27, 2012 - Italy's "Oscars" are infested with nepotism and corruption, according to an article in a leading Italian newspaper yesterday. The famous David di Donatello awards, widely regarded as the country's top film honors, are, according to the newspaper, in urgent need of a drastic overhaul.
The awards are selected by a jury of "the relatives of important industry figures, politicians, building contractors, and the usual suspects" and are unworthy to be called the "Italian Oscars".
The 1,600 members of the Italian Academy which votes each year included politicians linked to Silvio Berlusconi, a garbage collecting manager from Rome's famous Cinema Adriano, the wife of the twin brother of controversial and corrupt senator Marcello Dell'Utri, and several members of the powerful De Laurentiis family, the newspaper alleged.
National film academies are usually composed of eminent professionals from particular film-making disciplines: cinematographers to decide the best cinematography award; film editors to decide the winner of that particular gong, and so on and so forth.
The paper said changes were needed immediately to restore the awards' honor ahead of the 2012 ceremony.
First launched in 1955, the David di Donatellos are named after the twin renaissance sculptures by Donatello, and are handed out in May each year. They usually honor mainly films of Italian origin, but there is also a best foreign language film category.
The current president is Gian Luigi Rondi, the 90-year-old critic who recently stepped down as president of the Rome film festival.
Since the early 1980s, Italian cinema has emulated Italy’s cultural devastation: an inward-looking attitude, hooked on incredibly bad television, and dependent on one human being. If Fellini was the maestro of Italian cinema during its golden years, psycho dwarf Berlusconi arranged its collapse.
With very rare exceptions ("La Vita č Bella"), Italy’s national story from the 1980s until 2008 was defined by the first-rate films it could no longer make.
With his television stations, Berlusconi's succeeded in changing the people themselves. The jackass has taken everything down to the lowest common denominator. Haven't you noticed we've become ignorant nincompoops and dull as mussels?
And then you have the 1,600 members (including a garbage man) of the Italian film academy who are worshipping their owns big heads and awarding "David di Donatellos" to garbage:
"Primo Amore" (First Love) (2004)
Vittorio is looking for a woman who matches his ideal. Through a classified ad he meets Sonia, a sweet, pleasant, intelligent girl. However, she weighs 125 pounds...which according to Vittorio is way too much. A goldsmith by trade, Vittorio is obsessed with the desire to shape Sonia's body and mind as does a fire with gold.
"Only In Italy" Review: Fascinating movie. Hard to believe the movie wasn't written by Orson Welles and it didn't win the Ace-Hole Award. Hollywood is so turned on they want to unfreeze Walt Disney so he can meet with the producer to negotiate distribution.
Good Morning, Aman (2009)
An Italian boxer strikes up a friendship with a Somali immigrant.
"Only In Italy" Review: "Porca vacca", that's some plot. We asked the theater manager to put it on fast-forward and it still went too slow! We saw no effort put into this film. So, on the way out of the theater we gave an additional 8 Euros as a donation towards making a good one.
Tutta colpa di Giuda (2010)
A prison-set musical about a female theater director who sets up a reinterpretation of the Crucifixion.
"Only In Italy" Review: The comedic moments failed to make us laugh and the musical numbers are meaningless. The producer and director remind us of people who take home videos and call it a movie.
Rome - March 27, 2012 - More than one in four Italian parents discipline their children with a spanking, a study by Save the Children said Tuesday.
The same study, which was carried out by the Ipsos research group, said most families prefer verbal reprimands and dialogue to corporal punishment.
Exasperation was the most commonly cited motive for spanking.
Parenting alla Italiana
Discipline is mistakenly thought of as punishment for misbehavior but in actuality it offers both the Italian parent and child the space to learn together. The parent appears to learn how the child learns, the child becomes more and more aware of what is and is not acceptable in his screwy and absurd environment.
Example: It is NOT acceptable to speak to relatives your family doesn't speak to.
However, this research cannot be considered complete for Italy is a diverse country. There are differences between regions, economic groups and neighbors.
Example: A typical family from Bolzano will implement calm, pastoral and diplomatic reasoning when disciplining a child. A family from Palermo believes a day long beating from each member of the immediate family while the mother beats her breast and weeps in front of a makeshift shrine in her bedroom is the only proven method that will help the child understand and accept "their" values of life.
There is the physical discipline...and then there is the mental:
1. Being constantly reprimanded by your grandfather because you have so-called everything in life while, during the war, he had to pick bugs off his brother just to eat.
2. Every Sunday afternoon of your childhood was spent visiting your grandparents and the ungrateful extended family members who should thank Jesus, Joseph and Mary every day they were granted the honor of marrying into the Family.
3. You thought women's nylons were supposed to be worn rolled to the ankles.
4. Every meal had to be eaten with a sizable chunk of bread in your left hand so you didn't complain 4 hours later that you were still hungry.
Catania - March 28, 2012 - A gang of would-be thieves spent a month painstakingly digging a 1,000 yard tunnel with the aim of robbing a group of Italian jewellers only to be caught feet from their target.
The four members of the band were arrested after two of them were spotted popping out of a manhole in Acireale, a coastal town at the edge of Mount Etna in Sicily.
They had used picks and shovels to dig the narrow tunnel, equipping it with lighting powered by a generator.
As they excavated, they supported the winding tunnel with metal struts and wooden planks, in scenes reminiscent of The Great Escape.
The tunnel ran from near the town's Piazza San Sebastiano, where it was accessed via the manhole, to Via Davi', in the picturesque historic center of Acireale, a street well known for its jewellers.
Police said they were "just a few meters" from their target when they were discovered and were poised to break through the floor of a jewellers, probably at night.
Suspicions had been aroused when two members of the gang were seen emerging from a manhole clutching two-way radios which they were using to communicate with each other.
Detectives sent in mountain rescue and caving experts to explore the subterranean passage, which for part of its course ran along a sewer line.
They found chisels, hammers and other tools scattered on the floor of the tunnel, as well as a small generator to power the lights and hard hats equipped with torches. The equipment was taken as evidence and handed over to investigators in the nearby city of Catania.
The men were named as Mario Catalano, 43, Mario Lanzarotti, 48, Rosario Albicocco, 22, and Salvatore Grasso, 38.
Aside from enterprising thieves, tunnels are also favored by mafia gangsters on the run, who use them as a ready means of escape should the police raid their hide-outs.
In 2009 police arrested an alleged mafia boss who was hiding in an underground bunker equipped with an unusual means of escape; a skateboard to propel himself down a 200 yard secret tunnel.
Giuseppe Bastone's hideout was a 10ft by 10ft space underneath a house near Naples that was accessed through a hidden trapdoor underneath a stairway. The tunnel led to a shaft which emerged in a field.
The Great Escape Vs The Sicilian Escapade
Film: Locked up with "every escape artist in Germany", Bartlett immediately plans the greatest escape attempted: tunnels for breaking out 250 prisoners. The intent is to "confuse, confound and harass the enemy" to the point that as many troops and resources as possible will be wasted on finding POWs instead of being used on the front line.
Sicily: Holed up with three other imaginative Sicilians in an Acireale bar, Mario #1 plans the greatest heist: dig a long tunnel (rather than use the available sewer line) to reach several jewelry shops on a busy street. Mario #2, Rosario and Salvatore immediately begin to argue about who will do the most work. The intent is to burglarize...and "confuse, confound and humor" the town residents and law authorities.
Film: Teams are organized to tunnel, make civilian clothing, forge documents, procure contraband materials, and prevent guards from discovering their work.
Sicily: Organization...zero. No thought into procuring sewer maintenance worker clothes, and no objection to casually emerging from a manhole with two-way radios and smiles on their faces.
Film: The last part of the tunnel is completed on the night of the escape, but is 20 feet short of woods which are to provide cover. Danny nearly snaps from claustrophobia and delays those behind him, but is helped by Willie. Seventy-six escape. The End.
Sicily: The last part of the tunnel is completed, but is a few feet short of the jewelry shop. Mario #1, Mario #2, Rosario, and Salvatore begin celebrating the success of the 99.5% complete tunnel. All four are arrested. The Funny End.