The annual Italian Film Festival in Scotland is currently in full swing with cinemas in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee taking part, showing a selection of the latest releases mixed in with some classics. Many of the films shown during the festival would be otherwise kept to the Italians, so it’s a brilliant opportunity to see the cream of the crop!

Opening the festival was romantic thriller La Doppia Ora/ The Double Hour, the impressive debut feature from ex-spice girls music video director Giuseppe Capotondi. The ‘double hour’ is one where hour and minute match (20:20 etc.) and it is at this time, our leading man (Filipo Timi) tells us, that you must make a wish. Ex-policeman turned security guard Guido wishes to find a girlfriend, and he searches for her weekly at a local speed dating event. His search is fruitless until pretty hotel cleaner Sonia (Kseniya Rappoport) takes an interest in him. Soon romance blossoms, and dreary lives are filled with stolen kisses, moonlit walks and escapades in the country. However, when their lives are intercepted by a robbery, there is a dramatic turn of events. Guido is shot, or is he? Sonya is haunted by his ghost, or is she? Twists in the narrative make the timeline suddenly  difficult to fathom and the audience are taken on a dizzying and shocking journey – but is any of it real? As Sonya questions reality, so do we, and as disfigured as our picture becomes, the more gripped are we to the safety of the characters in their increasingly dangerous world.

The Double Hour played at the Venice Film Festival in 2009 to high critical acclaim, and it’s leading lady went on to win the Volpi cup for her performance.

Also at the festival is the chilling and thrilling modern classic ‘The Girl By The Lake‘ and hilarious bittersweet comedy ‘The First Beautiful Thing‘.

The Italian Film Festival runs from 1-14th August, check the website for details http://italianfilmfestival.org.uk

 

Flossie Topping