THE SALT OF LIFE (2011) & MID-AUGUST LUNCH (2008)
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, June 26-28, 2012:
Two by Gianni Di Gregorio (double feature)
THE SALT OF LIFE
2011, Italy, 90 minutes, 35mm, Zeitgeist Films
Directed by Gianni Di Gregorio
Screenplay by Gianni Di Gregorio, Valerio Attanasio Starring Gianni Di Gregorio, Valeria de Franciscis Bendoni, Alfonso Santagata, Elisabetta Piccolomini, Valeria Cavalli; In Italian with English subtitles
Tue, Wed & Thu: 7:30 pm
PLUS, on the same double feature:
2008, Italy, 75 minutes, 35mm, Zeitgeist Films
Written and directed by Gianni Di Gregorio
Story by Gianni Di Gregorio and Simone Riccardini
Starring Gianni Di Gregorio, Valeria De Franciscis,
Marina Cacciotti, Maria Calì
Tue, Wed & Thu: 9:20 pm
Information on THE SALT OF LIFE:
In his warm and witty follow-up to the 2010 sleeper hit Mid-August Lunch, writer-director-actor Gianni Di Gregorio has created another sparkling comedythis time with a dash of the bittersweet. In The Salt of Life, Gianni plays a middle-aged retiree who has become invisible to all distaff Romans, regardless of age or relation. He contends with an aristocratic, spendthrift mother (again played by Lunch's great nonagenarian Valeria de Franciscis); a wife who is more patronizing friend than romantic partner; a daughter (played by Di Gregorio's daughter Teresa) with a slacker boyfriend whom Gianni unwillingly befriends; and a wild young neighbor who sees him merely as her dog walker. Watching his "codger" friends snare beautiful younger women on the sun-kissed cobblestones of Trastevere, Gianni tries his polite, utterly gracious best to generate some kind of extracurricular love lifewith both hilarious and poignant results.
"The movie's sensuous appreciation of ripeness and abundance extends to food, clothing and foliage; the lushness of a city in bloom virtually bursts from the screen."
- Stephen Holden, THE NEW YORK TIMES
"Rueful, funny and wise, "The Salt of Life" is a comedy not of errors but of the tiniest of missteps. A warm yet melancholy film of quiet yet inescapable charm, it has a feeling for character and personality that couldn't be more delicious."
- Kenneth Turan, LOS ANGELES TIMES
"It's two fine comedies in a row for Di Gregorio, previously touted for Mid-August Lunch... A winning talent!"
- Gerald Peary, THE BOSTON PHOENIX
"Di Gregorio keeps the action and the jokes lissome and fluid, rather than locking them into a rigid formula. As actor, director and writer, he approaches the idea of ever-present longing with the suppleness of a dancer. On the surface, The Salt of Life may seem like a movie made just for old folks. The trick is that it really is about the youth that stays with you, even when your aging body is working hard to convince you otherwise."
- Stephanie Zacharek, MOVIELINE
"Easygoing and naturalistic! Di Gregorio conjures a Rome that's homey and literally warm."
- Mark Jenkins, NPR
"The pixie-dust ending will leave you smiling ...and likely singing an unexpected tune."
- Paul D'Agostino, THE L MAGAZINE
"A tremendous achievement. Di Gregorio navigates his film with such a sense of delicacy that its tone is never coarsened."
- Jay Weissberg, VARIETY
"Full of rich visual detail that will make you smile."
- Val Kermode, EYE FOR FILM
"Gianni Di Gregorio is fantastic and should be getting more attention.... Of all of the movies I've seen this time in Rome, this is the one I most hope will make it to American theaters."
- Cheri Passell, I LOVE ITALIAN MOVIES
"The film is packed with subtly observed details of behaviour and gesture of a kind we associate with Ealing comedy at its zenith, and an elaborate Chekhovian story is being told before we realise it."
- Philip French, THE OBSERVER (UK)
"Eminently worth seeing for its sheer warmth and humanity."
- Derek Malcolm, THIS IS LONDON
"Shrewdly observed and sensitively handled this is a warm-hearted, civilised treat for anyone seeking refuge from the summer blockbusters."
- Allan Hunter, THE DAILY EXPRESS (UK)
"Swingers for sexagenarians, Salt is perfect for older audiences who like a little spice in their cinematic offerings."
- James Croot, FLICKS.CO.NZ
"4 STARS. Lustrous, effortless, entrancing, it infects your mood as happily as a hazy Roman afternoon."
- Nigel Andrews, THE FINANCIAL TIMES (UK)
"This thoroughly delightful Italian comedy by screenwriter-turned-auteur Gianni Di Gregorio is a kind of romantic realist-fantasia with Fellini in its DNA, and a little of Woody Allen."
- Peter Bradshaw, THE GUARDIAN (UK)
Information on MID-AUGUST LUNCH:
The charismatic Gianni Di Gregorio (co-scenarist of the smash hit Gomorrah), stars in his directorial debutan utterly charming tale of good food, feisty ladies and unlikely friendships during a very Roman holiday. Broke, and armed with only a glass of wine and a wry sense of humor, middle-aged Gianni resides with his 93-year-old mother in their ancient apartment. The condo debts are mounting, but if Gianni looks after the building manager's mother during the Pranzo di Ferragosto (Italy's biggest summer holiday, and the Feast of the Assumption), all will be forgiven. Then the manager also shows up with an auntie, and then a doctor friend appears with his mother in tow... Can Gianni keep four such lively mamas well fed and happy in these cramped quarters?
Winner of numerous prizes at international festivals, including Best First Film at Venice and the Satyajit Ray Award at London, plus the Golden Snail at the Academy of Food and Film in Bologna, Mid-August Lunch is both warmly vibrant family drama and delicately balanced comedy of manners.
"CRITICS PICK! A delectably light comedy. Four of the feistiest biddies. Like watching John Cassavetes trapped in a mega-episode of The Golden Girls. Yet as a director, (Gianni Di Gregorio) has a keen ability to find sympathy in all of his characters. Throw in the film's unmistakable ear for the cajoling rhythms of geriatric Italian conversation you'll almost want to ignore the subtitles and just listen to the music of these elderly women's voices. A mouthwatering cinematic feast."
- Kevin B. Lee, TIME OUT NEW YORK
"Luminous!The movie glows!A slender Chekhovian vignette about the joys and regrets of old age and the pleasures of sociability. The movie's scenes of food preparation are mouthwatering. One of the film's deepest satisfactions is the characters' complete lack of ruminative psychologizing."
- Stephen Holden, THE NEW YORK TIMES
"Will make you hungry for a home-cooked Italian dinner, washed down by bountiful wine."
- V.A. Musetto, THE NEW YORK POST
"4 STARS. Directed, written by, and starring Gianni Di Gregorio as the unmarried, haggardly handsome Gianni (think Robert Mitchum with even less sleep), the movie is a perfect blend of calm execution and uninflected farce."
- Wesley Morris, THE BOSTON GLOBE
"A Grade. Mid-August Lunch offers sublime authenticity. You can almost taste the scrumptious Italian dishes that are prepared and feel the love these initially cantankerous women develop for each other. "
- Stephen Schaefer, THE BOSTON HERALD
This is a double feature:
your ticket admits you to BOTH films!
The box office opens approx. 15 minutes before the first film and then re-opens shortly before the second film for those who wish to only see the second film.
If you wish to only see the second film and purchased ticket(s) through Brown Paper Tickets, you will be able to claim your ticket(s) to the second film about 10 minutes before the second film starts.
New Beverly Cinema
7165 Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
1 block west of La Brea
Plentiful street parking on Formosa Ave. after 6 PM
Served by MTA lines 14 and 212
New Beverly Cinema (View)
7165 W. Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036