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Cinema Paradiso 

Wednesday, Nov 12 2008
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It wasn’t all that long ago that The New York Times was running stories lamenting the precipitous decline of Italian cinema. The industry was in a certified crisis, as Hollywood flicks siphoned off moviegoers and the decades-long streak of star directors with international reputations came to an abrupt end. Those dark days are past, with an array of talented young filmmakers connecting with audiences at home and making gentle waves abroad. The annual festival of New Italian Cinema showcases first- or second-time directors whose films play like thoughtfully composed postcards from a society in flux. Carmine Amoroso’s more-romantic-than-gritty Cover Boy: The Last Revolution (Nov. 19 and 23) views Rome through the eyes of two immigrants, a newbie innocent from Romania and a jaded Swiss drudge worker. Toni d’Angelo’s bittersweet A Night (Nov. 19 and 22) reunites a group of long-separated Naples friends on the cusp of 40, all seemingly successful but with gaping holes where their dreams used to be — disillusionment never looked so attractive. While we await the next Fellini or Antonioni, these new filmmakers will serve nicely.
Nov. 16-23, 2008

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Michael Fox

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