English-Language Film Screenings Return to Florence

A scene from ‘Rifkin’s Festival’

English language films, once again available in Florence, can be enjoyed at the Spazio Alfieri (via dell’Ulivo 8) until the Odeon reopens in September.  This week two films by famous directors, Woody Allen and Pedro Almodovar, can be described as being as diverse in content as the directors.  On the weekend, Cinema La Compagnia on via Cavour has scheduled a special showing of the Oscar winning movie The Father.

Rifkin’s Festival. Tuesday, June 1 (4 and 8:30 pm) and Wednesday, June 2 (4:30 and 8:45 pm).

This 2020 comedy film, an American-Spanish-Italian co-production, written and directed by Woody Allen, stars Wallace Shawn, Gina Gershon, Louis Garrel and Elena Anaya, with an unusual performance by Christoph Waltz as “Death.”  The film, which was set at the San Sebastian Film Festival, also premiered at the San Sebastian Film Festival in September 2020.  With a familiar Allen theme of an older angst-ridden man smitten with a younger beautiful woman, Shawn’s character becomes infatuated with a local doctor he sees to treat his hypochondria.  Meanwhile, the younger beautiful wife ventures on a flirtatious relationship with a handsome French director.  Lovers of old classic films will relish the black and white flashbacks of classics directed by Ingmar Bergman, Francois Truffaut and Federico Fellini.  

The Human Voice. Tuesday, June 1 (7:30 pm); Wednesday, June 2 (6:15 pm); Tuesday, June 8 and Wednesday, June 9 (8:30 pm)

Written and directed by Pedro Almodovar and based on a play of the same name by Jean Cocteau, this is his first film acted in English.  A bereft woman paces through an elegant room next to the empty suitcases of her ex-lover who never arrives; his also abandoned dog waits restlessly for his owner.  At 30 minutes in length, a wealth of emotion and nuanced drama is packed into the riveting performance by Tilda Swinton.  Fans of Artemisia Gentileschi will recognize her Venus and Cupid painting in the background. 

The Father.  Friday, June 4 (5 pm), Saturday, June 5 (3 and 9 pm), Sunday June 6 (3, 5 and 9 pm) at Cinema La Compagnia, via Cavour 50/r.  Starring Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Coleman, this is a movie for which Hopkins won Best Actor, also receiving the recognition for the Best Original Screenplay at the 2021 Academy Awards.  (rita kungel)