Year: 2011 (page 2 of 11)

Film viewing followed by discussion

See La nostra vita (directed by Daniele Luchetti in 2010) on Monday November 28th at 5:00.  The film will be followed by un aperitivo e chiacchiere in italiano.

The movie is about Claudio (Elio Germano), a construction worker who lives and works in the Roman periferia. A sudden tragic event sends him into a search for easy money and an illegal deal. It’s a story of personal growth as Claudio finds that his strongest support is from his family and friends.  The film is well-acted and it’s definitely worth seeing Luca Zingaretti (well known for his role as the cranky Commissario Montalbano), in a spectacular wig, as a benevolent drug dealer.

Contact us at to reserve a space.  Meeting location will be given at time of reservation.

Fee:  $10

Food: culture and business

In an interview with  Joe Bastianich – in his role as judge on “Masterchef Italy” – discusses various aspects of food.  He says that food preparation and traditions, besides satisfying the necessity of nutrition, are an expression of a country’s culture and history. This is especially true in Italy, as opposed to the United States where “cuisine” is something relatively new.  Food has now also become a popular business but, according to Bastianich, it can only be a successful business if it incorporates culture and interprets it.

Sustainable development in Tuscany

An article in the International Herald Tribune discusses the restoration of a ruined village in the Val d’Orcia into villa rentals.  The novelty is that the houses have been restored using original materials and techniques and furnishings have been provided and produced locally.  The food served in the houses is also produced in the area and the aim is to make the village completely self-sufficient. The developer is also promoting cultural tourism, organizing concerts and artists’ residencies. Locals have noticed a new respect for the area which has been repopulating:  one vintner says the young are showing a new appreciation for their traditions.

Cattelan retrospective at the Guggenheim

A comprehensive (some 130 pieces) retrospective of Maurizio Cattelan’s works is on view at the Guggenheim.  Perhaps known as much as a provocateur as an artist, Cattelan’s pieces have often inspired controversy.  The Guggenheim’s show is eye-catching and initially seems messy.  The pieces are strung from the ceiling in the museum’s atrium in an amazing hodgepodge.  As you make your way up the spiral ramp, you notice single pieces; some things come into focus, others go out.  Some works are obvious, others less so.  In the end it’s not so overwhelming and there is a sense of well-coreographed fun.  The show (and show it is) runs through January 22nd.

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