The Italian Almanac

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Giuseppe Tornatore

Italian Movies - October 19

Italian Oscar-winning director Giuseppe Tornatore made a successful return to the cinema world Wednesday, when his latest movie won rounds of applause at the Rome Film Fest. The noirish La Sconosciuta (The Stranger) is Tornatore's first film since the 2000 release of Malena, a drama set in World War II starring Monica Bellucci.

La Sconosciuta is the story of an ex Ukrainian prostitute living in Italy who attempts to face up to a tragedy she experienced in her past life. At a press conference following the screening, the Sicilian filmmaker insisted the mellow ending was not at odds with the violence and harshness of the rest of the movie.

Tornatore won the 1990 Best Foreign Film Oscar for his movie Cinema Paradiso. This was the story of a successful film director's return to his native village for the funeral of an old friend. It was a hit with the public and the critics alike. He also shot The Star Maker (1995), which won a Best Foreign Film Academy Award nomination, and The Legend of 1900 (1998), starring Tim Roth.