All you need to do is look out the window to realize that Milan is on a break. There’s only deserted streets, empty buses and trams, a slightly bluer sky at last and couriers always on the move to make home deliveries. Spending whole days at home can be an opportunity to cultivate new passions or to rediscover old ones, read a book or watch a long-delayed film. Among the brands that have always focused on the power of cinema as a means of communication is Campari, one of the world’s leading players in the spirit sector, who over the years has promoted collaborations with internationally renowned directors and actors to create innovative campaigns, capable of to write the history of brand communication. The first was the one signed in 1984 with Federico Fellini who shot “Girl on the Train,” the most recent is the one made by Oscar winner, Paolo Sorrentino. The projects are no less Campari Calendar and Campari Red Diaries which boast the participation of Hollywood stars of the caliber of Uma Thurman, Benicio del Toro, Penelope Cruz but also of great Italian directors such as Stefano Sollima and Matteo Garrone.
It is an authentic passion that still unites Campari to millions of Italians. From this, #CampariCinemaClub was born. It’s a weekly event in which four artists, former Brand Ambassador during the 76 to Venice International Film Festival in Venice, where the brand was the main sponsor, share their personal ranking of films that best represent their love for the big screen.
The first to express himself is Alessandro Borghi, an actor highly appreciated in Italy and abroad who has been giving high-level performances to the cinema for years. If you too have followed his career and are curious to find out which films are most formative to him, do not miss the titles he has chosen for #CampariCinemaClub.
Photo Credit © Andrea Mete
TORO UNLEASHED – DI MARTIN SCORSESE
Martin Scorsese’s masterpiece born from a collaboration with Robert De Niro, who with this film won the Oscar for Best Actor and the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Drama. It tells the story of Jack La Motta, an Italian-American boxer who grew up in the Bronx and who trains in the 1940s to become a champion without following the rules of the underworld that controls boxing. His success in the sport area is contrasted by failures in his private life. Jealousy for his wife and paranoia towards his brother (Joe Pesci) leads him to face a deep crisis. After the first suspicions due to the violence shown and to the stylistic choices (the shots are in black and white), today “Toro Unleashed” is considered by many to be one of the greatest American films ever.
Available on: SkyGo, Google Play Movies, Apple iTunes
INTERSTELLAR – DIR. CHRISTOPHER NOLAN
Matthew McConaughey plays Joseph Cooper, a former astronaut forced to become a farmer who in an unspecified dystopian future goes in search of a new home for humanity otherwise destined to become extinct. NASA sees Cooper as a chosen one and after revealing to him the existence of a space-time tunnel made by higher life forms, he organizes an exploratory mission in space. Christopher Nolan is measured in the genre already iconically probed by Kubrik with “2001: A Space Odyssey” arousing considerable interest from critics as well as obtaining numerous nominations for the most prestigious awards. Don’t miss the special effects from Oscar and the soundtrack by Hans Zimmer. The cast also includes Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain and Michael Caine.
Available on: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Timvision, Chili, Apple iTunes, Google Play Movies, Microsoft Store, Rakuten TV
BLUE VALENTINE – DIR. DEREK CIANFRANCE
A troubled story centering around Dean (Ryan Gosling) and Cindy (Michelle Williams), who after a first casual encounter fall madly in love. There are many differences between the two, but they manage to create a happy family, in which, however, as often happens, things are not always going as well as it seems. The director skillfully uses the flashback technique to alternate scenes from an idyllic past with others from a present made of quarrels and suffering. The feeling between the two protagonist actors (both Golden Globe nominated for their interpretation) is strong, so much so that in the filming of the movie there was ample room for improvisation. Love is full of ups and downs, in which the happy ending is never taken for granted. Cianfrance with “Blue Valentine” reminds us.
Available on: Amazon Prime Video, Google Play Movies, Apple iTunes, Chili
THE PROMISE OF THE ASSASSIN – DIR. DAVID CRONENBERG
After “A History of Violence,” David Cronenberg returns to direct Viggo Mortensen who together with Naomi Watts and Vincent Cassel is the protagonist of this dramatic noir set in London. Anna Khitrova is a Russian-born midwife who is shocked by the death of a 14-year-old girl after giving birth to a baby girl. The young woman had with her a diary written in Russian through which Anna tries to reconstruct its history and which leads her on the trail of one of the best known criminal families in the city. Among the members of the clan is Nikolai (Mortensen), intent on reaching the top of the criminal brotherhood. His meeting with Anna will trigger a series of crimes, lies and rewards that place viewers in a constant state of tension.
Available on: Amazon Prime Video, Chili
THE WRESTLER – DIR. DARREN ARONOFSKY
Giving up your passion is extremely difficult. Randy “The Ram” Robinson knows it well, as a professional wrestler of great fame in the late 1980s. The thrill of the show, the adrenaline of the fight and the adoration of the fans are all for him, so much so that he sacrifices his private life for it. This leaves him unable to maintain a true human relationship. A heart attack forces him to leave the ring and it is only then that he tries to recover the bond with his daughter and build a normal life. Things seem to be working for a while, but the allure of wrestling is too strong. Despite attempts to dissuade him, he is not yet ready to leave the ring.
Available on: Timvision, Chili, Rakuten TV
“THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES AT THE HAND OF THE COWARD ROBERT FORD” (DIR. ANDREW DOMINIK)
Based on the homonymous novel by Ron Hansen and produced by Ridley Scott and Brad Pitt who is also the protagonist, the film takes you through the last year of Jesse James’ life, one of the most famous outlaws in America at the head of the gang of the James brothers. Everything is focused on his relationship with the young Robert Ford (Bob, played by Casey Affleck), who has always had a great admiration for him and does everything to be recruited into his group. James, however, is wary and leads Bob to transform his feeling into a contempt that will lead to extreme consequences. The director manages to reconstruct the psychological dynamics between the two protagonists by outlining the profile of two criminals to whom American historiography has returned an anti-heroic but at times mythicized dimension.
Available on: Infinity, Timvision, Chili, Apple iTunes, Google Play Movies, Rakuten TV
MAN ON FIRE – DIR. TONY SCOTT
John Creasy (played by Denzel Washington) is a former CIA agent tormented by his past. In the grip of alcohol addiction and depression, he can only slowly recover when a close friend finds him a job as the bodyguard of Lupita, the daughter of a wealthy family in Mexico City where kidnappings are on the agenda. After the initial distrust, Creasy is charmed by the intelligence and sweetness of the little girl (a very young Dakota Fanning) who awakens long forgotten feelings in him. However, when he cannot avoid his kidnapping, the desire for revenge ignites, bringing him back to the anger of when he was trained to kill.
Available on: Amazon Prime Video, Microsoft Store, Chili, Apple iTunes, Google Play Movies, Rakuten TV
THE DARK KNIGHT – DIR. CHRISTOPHER NOLAN
“The Dark Knight” is the second chapter of the famous Nolan trilogy (preceded by “Batman Begins” and followed by “The Dark Knight – The Return”) based on the story of the superhero Batman, played by Christian Bale. In this film, Bruce Wayne, or Batman, flanked by District Attorney Harvey Dent and Commissioner James Gordon is committed to eliminating the organized crime that afflicts Gotham City. But a new threat is coming: it’s the Joker, a sadistic and ruthless masked clown who will bring anarchy and disorder to the city. To destroy him, Bruce Wayne will have to deal with the dark side that the insane criminal brings out in him. This movie will always be tied to Heath Ledger’s unfortunate passing shortly after filming ended. His legendary Joker performance was honored with a posthumous Oscar.
Available on: Apple iTunes, Google Play Movies, Infinity, Rakuten TV, Timvision, Chili, Microsoft Store
AMORES PERROS – DIR. ALEJANDRO GONZALEZ INARRITU
“Amores Perros” is the debut film by the Mexican director, Inarritu, as well as the first chapter of the so-called “Death Trilogy.” The story is set in Mexico City, as three stories intertwine starting from a road accident that determines the fate of the characters. The common denominator of all the events are the dogs, introduced as a metaphor for man and as the alter ego of the protagonists, afflicted by the anxieties of life. For them, dogs represent an ideal of salvation that not everyone can achieve. The original title remains because it is untranslatable. It can literally mean “Canine loves” but also “Love is a mange.”
Available on: Apple iTunes, Chili
HER – DIR. SPIKE JONZE
Joaquin Phoenix is Theodore Twombly, a lonely and introverted man who in a Los Angeles of the near future processes “personal” letters on behalf of others. At that time, computers played a leading role in the lives of people who manage to keep in touch through advanced technologies. Attracted by a commercial, Theodore buys an artificial intelligence-based computer system designed to meet all user needs. He begins to live virtually with Samantha, the name of the operating system voice, who is sensitive, profound and fun. Soon a friendship is born between the two that inevitably ends up turning into love. As a result, Theodore’s real life is profoundly affected.
Available on: Netflix, Apple iTunes, Google Play Movies, Chili, Rakuten TV
The advice of #CampariCinemaClub continues with Greta Scarano, film and television actress, winner of the Silver Ribbon in 2016 for Stefano Sollima’s “Suburra.” Here is the ranking of her favorite films.
Photo Credit © German Larkin
2001 A SPACE ODISSEY – STANLEY KUBRICK
In 1968, Stanley Kubrick’s genius produced and directed a worldwide masterpiece that marked an essential turning point in the science fiction genre and in the history of cinema itself, thanks to the amazing special effects. Four million years ago a group of monkeys found a mysterious black monolith and learned to handle objects, marking the beginning of human civilization. In 1999, the president of the American National Committee for Astronautics, Dr. Heywood Floyd, takes part in a top secret expedition to the moon. The scene then moves to 2001, aboard a spaceship that is under the supervision of a computer equipped with artificial intelligence that knows the purpose of the mission. There can only be one winner.
Available on: Netflix, Timvision, Infinity, Chili, Apple iTunes, Google Play Movies, Microsoft Store, Rakuten TV
REVOLUTIONARY ROAD – SAM MENDES
Eleven years after Titanic’s planetary success, Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet returned to act together under the direction of Sam Mendes in “Revolutionary Road,” a film inspired by the Richard Yates novel of the same name. The two play Frank and April Wheeler, a middle-class couple in New York in the 1950s, divided between the need to satisfy their aspirations and the obligation to comply with the rules of society at the time. The division is evident. In public they arouse the admiration of the neighbors of Revolutionary Road, while in private they try to resist a love that is now over and the silences that follow. The romantic idea of an escape to Paris seems to rekindle the passion between the two. Sound simple?
Available on: Netflix, Timvision, Infinity, Chili, Apple iTunes, Google Play Movies, Rakuten TV
BEAUTIFUL – LUCHINO VISCONTI
The signature of one of the most important men of culture of the twentieth century as well as one of the fathers of Italian neorealism directs Anna Magnani and Walter Chiari in a film that explores the female world of lashed mothers who pour on their daughters expectations and missed dreams of their youth. The protagonist, Maddalena Cecconi, makes all possible sacrifices so that her daughter, Maria, can be engaged in a film that is about to be shot in Cinecittà. Visconti aims at the audience fascinated by Hollywood cinema and realizes a grotesque comedy about false myths, opposed to the contradictory reality of Rome in the 50s.
Available on: Amazon Prime Video, Chili
PULP FICTION – QUENTIN TARANTINO
After years in the shadows, John Travolta returns to play a leading role and does so with “Pulp Fiction,” the Tarantino film that will also confirm the success of Uma Thurman and Samuel L. Jackson. It was a lucky feat for all three who were nominated for Oscars for their performances. The movie consists of four stories of violence that intersect in a circular structure in which the prologue and the epilogue take place one morning at the Hawthorne Grill, a coffee shop in Los Angeles. The iconic scene in which Uma Thurman dances the twist with John Travolta never gets old.
Available on: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, SkyGo, Google Play Movies, Apple iTunes, Chili
THE MORE MAN – PAOLO SORRENTINO
The debut feature from Paolo Sorrentino (Nastro d’Argento as best new director) starring Toni Servillo with whom he established a profitable professional partnership. The protagonists are the light music singer, Antonio Pisapia, called Tony, and one of his namesake younger professional football players. In front of the two Pisapia, a future full of success and popularity is expected, but reality does not always wait for expectations and puts them to the test. Despite their opposite personalities (one being cynical, swaggering and self-centered, while the other is shy, closed off and sad) their destinies will touch each other until they cross but with completely different outcomes.
Available on DVD
THE PROPHET – JACQUES AUDIARD
Special Grand Prix of the Jury of the 62nd Cannes Film Festival went to this film directed by Jacques Audiard, which narrates the imprisonment of Malik, a young beur (French citizen of Arab origin), sentenced to six years for a failed robbery attempt. When he enters prison, he has nothing with him, but soon a Corsican mafioso offers him protection in exchange for an initiation murder. Malik learns quickly and manages to move in the complex dynamics of the prison, so much so that his companions will define him as a prophet. He knows how to talk to everyone and in his outings for good conduct he carries on his mission. At the end of his sentence, he will have an empire waiting for him.
Available on: Amazon Prime Video, Timvision. Google Play Movies, Chili, Rakuten TV
REMEMBER ME – GABRIELE MUCCINO
Two years after winning the David di Donatello for best director with “The Last Kiss,” Gabriele Muccino offers “Remember Me” to the big screen. The film tells the story of the Ristuccia family, seemingly happy and united, in reality full of problems and frustrations. Carlo, the father, is an unsuccessful writer, Giulia, his wife, still has hopes of becoming an actress, the younger son, Paolo, fights with the insecurities typical of adolescence, while his sister, Valentina, is willing to do anything to become a TV showgirl. In the family, there is no listening, misunderstandings reign and the unsolved is everywhere. Everyone is terribly alone and maintains a precarious balance. It will not take much to open a dramatic crisis.
Available on: Apple iTunes, Google Play Movies
THE FAVOURITE – YORGOS LANTHIMOS
We are in the eighteenth century, and England is at war against France. Queen Anna (Olivia Colman, who won an Oscar for the role) sits on the throne with a capricious temperament that makes her easy to flattery. Her lover, Lady Sarah (Rachel Weisz), is an astute noblewoman with an iron character who carries on the war in place of the sovereign. But when Abigail Masham (Emma Stone) arrives at the court, the balance breaks and the newcomer becomes Anna’s favorite. Thanks to the privileges obtained, Abigail fulfills all her ambitions, not allowing anyone to get in her way. The Greek director Lanthimos characterizes three female characters and stages them in the eighteenth century, without forgetting, however, that their peculiarities do not differ much from women of the present.
Available on: SkyGo, Apple iTunes, Google Play Movies, Microsoft Store, Rakuten TV, Timvision, Chili
DECLARATION OF WAR – VALÉRIE DONZELLI
An autobiographical story by Valérie Donzelli, who together with ex, Jérémie Elkaïm, lived it, wrote, directed and interpreted it. Romeo and Juliette fall in love at first sight during a party. Soon they go to live together and have a child, Adam, who is diagnosed with brain cancer at 18 months. They begin a long ordeal of treatment and sacrifices to assist their son but have no intention of letting the disease win. At that point, the war is declared.
Available on: Google Play Movies
THOROUGHBREDS – CORY FINLEY
Cory Finley made his debut as a director with a thriller starring two childhood friends who find themselves in the midst of adolescence. Amanda is a girl unable to feel emotions, while Lily is refined and privileged, but terribly alone. Their bond grows stronger when they begin to share the contempt that Lily feels for her overwhelming stepfather, and while their friendship is consolidated, one brings out the other’s self-destructive tendencies. With the help of a local scammer, they try to take their lives into their own hands to reach a turning point. Critics have called this film surprising, and monstrously ironic.
Available on: Amazon Prime Video, Google Play Movies, Apple iTunes, Microsoft Store, Rakuten TV, Timvision, Chili