Magazine article Variety

Celebration of Italian Film Offers Hope for Oscar Gold

Magazine article Variety

Celebration of Italian Film Offers Hope for Oscar Gold

Article excerpt

As Oscar season revs up, Italian filmmakers and fans are set to celebrate the nation's movies at the 2014 edition of Cinema Italian Style, the Los Angeles-set showcase of contemporary Italo films. Writer-director Paolo Virzi, whose "Human Capital" is Italy's choice to enter the foreign-language Oscar race, is looking forward to attending the Nov. 13-18 event, at which his picture will screen.

Based on Stephen Amidon's novel, "Human Capital" is the story of a hitand-run accident and its effect on two families - one wealthy, one middle-class.

Virzi says the Italian touch is in finding a way to combine tragic, bitter stories with humor and heart, and to use film to comment on larger social and political issues. "Movies are a very effective way to tell something about contemporary society," he notes.

Virzi explains that while there have been challenges for Italian filmmakers as both the country and the art have evolved along with viewer tastes, today's films will stand the test of time.

"When we speak about Italian cinema, we used to think to the past, but I think in the last decade, there is a new Italy onscreen," Virzi says, noting countryman Paolo Sorrentino's foreign-language Oscar win for 2013's "The Great Beauty. …

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