Mia Madre (2015), the latest film by Palme D’Or-winning Italian director Nanni Moretti (The Son’s Room, Dear Diary, We Have a Pope), had its New York City premiere at the New York Film Festival last September, after copping eight major awards on the international festival circuit. But it doesn’t go into general theatrical release until April. So it was a coup for Upstate Films Rhinebeck to get the distributor’s permission to screen Mia Madre this Sunday afternoon, as a free treat for members. Making this outing even more enticing, Bard College professor Joe Luzzi will be leading the post-screening discussion.
An expert on Italian culture both high and low, Luzzi is the author of My Two Italies and In a Dark Wood: What Dante Taught Me about Grief, Healing and the Mysteries of Love. His experiences of personal bereavement chronicled in the latter stand him in good stead to offer perspective on the themes of the film: It’s a tragicomedy that follows the struggles of film director Margherita (Margherita Buy) as she tries to keep things together on the home front – divorced, with a dying mother and a rebellious teenaged daughter – while getting her feature film shot. Complicating matters further is the chaotic presence of a pompous American movie star (John Turturro) who forgets his lines, makes up new ones, argues and rants.
Mia Madre begins at 2:30 p.m. on March 20, with question-and-answer session with Joe Luzzi to follow. Upstate Films members get in free. For more info, visit https://upstatefilms.org/coming-soon/mia-madre. Upstate Films is located at 6415 Montgomery Street (Route 9) in Rhinebeck.