The Italian Almanac

Gabriele Salvatores

Italian Movies - January 19

A series of screenings provided an illustrious showcase for contemporary Italian cinema at New York's Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) on Wednesday. Organizers say the selection of 14 films, projected in Italian with English subtitles, could give the US public a window into the culture and society of Italy today. The event, which runs until January 30, marks the 10th anniversary of the foundation of Italian cinema production and distribution company Medusa.

"This initiative at MoMA is an excellent opportunity," said Oscar-winning director Gabriele Salvatores, before flying out with other filmmakers and actors to the event. "It is significant that Italian films will be shown in a prestigious context like MoMA. It's important for us to demonstrate what we can do more abroad, although we have to be able to offer stories that can be understood everywhere."

Salvatores won the 1992 Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award for Mediterraneo. He admitted that Italian cinema today is some way from the post-war highs it hit with filmmakers like Federico Fellini, Roberto Rossellini, Vittorio De Sica and Luchino Visconti. He said that success can be regained if the nation's cinema gets back to basics. "There is talent, good actors and directors, young ones too, and our technicians are also highly professional. But the stories must stay at the centre of it all".