Once Again Social Media Manager for Filmmaker Festival

The year that is now drawing to a close has undoubtedly been one of the most difficult for the film industry. However, in the face of closed cinemas, cancelled festivals, postponed new film releases and sets on pause, it is with great pleasure that Roberto Braga and I returned to collaborate with Filmmaker, the documentary…

My Fourth Workshop at the Mediterranean Film Institute, in its First “Hybrid” Edition

August has just begun and the first session of the 2020 edition of the Script 2 Film Workshops, the Mediterranean Film Institute’s (MFI) development program for films, documentaries and TV series, has just ended. Given the difficulties caused by Covid-19 in organizing international travels for participants from all over Europe and abroad, and in making them work…

How I Learned About Turkish Painter Mihri Rasim During My Lockdown

As I mentioned in my previous post, the isolation imposed for the COVID-19 pandemic is deeply affecting the film and entertainment industry. At the beginning of the lockdown in Italy, many agencies and consultants in the marketing and communication sector wondered what they could do to help their community go through this difficult time and make…

Stardust by QMI Launches Series Con in Milan

It’s a good day to be a fan of TV series in Milan, as Stardust by QMI is kicking off the first edition of Series Con this weekend. Packed with talks, guests and talents, special screenings and awards, it’s a two-day event (11-12 May) devoted to television and serialised entertainment hosted at Tenoha Milano. While Skam Italia will…

My Latest Teaching Activities, From Fashion Marketing to Digital Narratives

Spring has arrived (finally!) and it brought back (old) new collaborations. After completing a few exciting digital PR projects for the Milan-based entertainment marketing agency QMI Interactive over the past five months, I have resumed some of my favourite teaching duties.  In March I again joined the team of the Buyer 2.0: Professional Manager in Fashion Activities…

What I Loved Most from My Week in Los Angeles

2018 is almost done and I am writing from Belgium right now, where I am spending what remains of the year with my wife’s family. Around this time one usually goes for the best nine Instagram posts but I chose to sum up my recent trip to L.A. with a personal list of what I…

Meet Spamflix, the New VOD Platform for “Weird” Films

The premise of this post goes back in time over ten years ago, when I was studying for my MA in Cinema, Television and Multimedia Production at the University of Bologna. One of my pals over there was Markus Duffner, who was into Monty Python and unconventional audiovisual narratives. Fast forward a decade, he has…

Nuovi incontri tra cinema e televisione a Milano con Film Tv Lab

Gli amanti di film e serie televisive in Italia sanno che il martedì hanno un appuntamento fisso con il proprio edicolante di fiducia (o la cassetta della posta, o lo schermo del proprio pc/tablet/smartphone). È il giorno in cui il nuovo numero di Film Tv, settimanale di cinema, televisione, musica e spettacolo, raggiunge i suoi…

Back to the MFI Script 2 Film Workshops

Imagine you’re surrounded by one of the bluest seas, fed delicious seafood while watching breath-taking sunsets, and discuss story arcs and characters’ motivations over a few glasses of ouzo, Greece’s traditional anise-flavoured drink. It may sound like paradise, but it’s actually hard work too if you’re a scriptwriter, filmmaker or producer attending a full immersion…

“Our future is a skeleton.” A conversation with Jan Fabre ahead of the “Glass and Bone Sculptures 1977-2017” exhibition in Venice

It took Jan Fabre over 40 years to conceive what I was about to see in April at the Abbey of San Gregorio in Venice. The Belgian artist’s fascination for the themes of metamorphosis, life and death is well documented, and on this specific occasion, a collateral event of the 57th International Art Exhibition –…

TAKING A WALK INTO ARNALDO POMODORO’S MIND

You don’t have the chance to walk into an artist’s mind very often. Yet, this is exactly the feeling when you cross Arnaldo Pomodoro labyrinth’s door. Inspired by the Mesopotamian Epic of Gilgamesh, conceived in 1995 as an exhibition and now a permanent installation hosted in the headquarters of Fendi in Milan, it took over…

TorinoFilmLab-supported Films “La Holandesa” and “Dead & Beautiful” Are on Their Way, While “Les Innocents” Is Out in Italy

November brought a bunch of great news for TorinoFilmLab-supported films (which month did not, anyway?). For my ongoing series of posts focused on TFL releases and work in progress projects, especially related to the 2012 Script&Pitch and Audience Design Programmes, I’m glad to share three updates from Chile, France and Italy. Principal photography for La…

Christian Boltanski at the Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum

[Scroll down for the Italian version] Typhoons can be quite persuasive and at some point you have to give up. While the aftermath of a tropical storm was hitting Tokyo just as I was visiting the city last September, partially ruining my plans, I had to think of alternative indoors activities. If you have been…

TorinoFilmLab Reloads Its Programmes and Launches Three Labs

Autumn will be a very busy season for TorinoFilmLab, which is introducing major changes in its training activities for the audiovisual industry. The Torino-based laboratory supporting international talents has just unveiled what prospect participants and Alumni can expect to be fully introduced to between this fall and the beginning of 2017. First of all, as…

What Went on at The FT Weekend Live Festival

On 3 September some of the Financial Times Weekend’s best-known writers and columnists joined guest speakers and leading figures from fashion, the art world, food and wine for the inaugural edition of the FT Weekend Live Festival. No less than seven stages were devoted to discuss ideas and trends across businesses, markets and creative industries,…

My Week at the Script 2 Film Workshops in Nisyros

[Scroll down for the Italian version] It is very easy to get used to beauty. Being awakened by the sound of the sea; seeing freshly caught octopuses hanging in the wind in front of the restaurants on the waterfront; walking in the bottom of a volcano… All these things become normal after a few days.…

My Photo London VIP Preview

[Scroll down for the Italian version] What I really enjoy of VIP previews, especially when it comes to contemporary art, is the chatter. Wandering through the stands with a glass of champagne and listening to comments, confidences and gossips whispered among gallery owners, collectors, those who are there only because it is a glamorous event…

CosmoGRAFIES

[Scroll down for the Italian version] I have always thought that there is a difference between being an artist and making art for a living. Each of us can create art and take the time we need to craft our skills when we’re off from work. But make a living out of art, and by…

“The Brand New Testament”

[Scroll down for the Italian version] Last week I kicked off my complementary membership at Curzon Cinemas with a gleefully blasphemous film, which made me laugh a lot, but understandably won’t appeal to some viewers with little sense of humour when it comes to religion. Between satire and dystopian fantasy disguised as a black comedy,…

How Many Jason Stathams Can You Handle in Just One Spot?

[Scroll down for the Italian version] How would it be living in a world populated only by Jason Stathams? The answer is in one-minute advert released in the past few days by LG to promote the new smartphone G5. The British actor, launched by director Guy Ritchie and known for the leading role played in…

Your Guide to the X-Men Films

[Scroll down for the Italian version] In a sense, this post comes full circle, as almost two years ago on this blog I wrote a comment on the promotional campaign for X-Men: Days of Future Past. I used Bryan Singer’s film as a case study for lectures and masterclasses, and after a while, when Professor…

Nicolas Winding Refn: An Odissey for Hennessy X.O.

[Scroll down for the Italian version] Let’s face it: when well-known film directors work for advertising, there is always a mix of curiosity and scepticism. While the most intransigent fans don’t like when they mix films and commercials, many are intrigued by how the unique visual style of filmmakers like David Lynch and Baz Luhrmann…

The Intimacy of Artrooms Independent Art Fair

[Scroll down for the Italian version] You feel a little bit shy, or rather, indiscrete, when you are standing on the doorway to one of the rooms at the Melia White House Hotel in Regent’s Park set up for ARTROOMS 2016. You would like to enter, but at a glance you realise that the artist is…

Snuff. Real Death and Screen Media

After Al-Qaeda’s propaganda videos, but before ISIS’, I was researching the space occupied by death within cinema and digital media. It was just a matter of time before I delved into the urban legend of the snuff movie. So, for a while, some British colleagues I was working with jokingly nicknamed me “Mr. Snuff”. My…

The Man Who Bears the Cross

There is a peculiar contradiction at the heart of Belgian artist Jan Fabre‘s latest project, ‘The Man Who Bears the Cross’. As a reflection on the relationship between heaven and earth, it is first of all an intimate dialogue within the self and an unspeakable dimension. But being an installation hosted in the Cathedral of…

Don’t Be Sorry and Get to See Ai Weiwei at Royal Academy

He is considered one of the most daring artists in China and one of the key contemporary voices that fight for freedom of expression and human rights worldwide. He recently made the headlines when Lego refused to sell him a bulk order of bricks to complete his next installation, because the project is of a…

A Regular of Cult Cinema

I suppose that, after three times attending the same event, one can be considered a ‘regular’, if not a ‘veteran’. Then this is the case for me at Cine-Excess, the conference and festival on global cult film traditions: I attended and presented a talk last year, and in 2011 this was my very first truly…

Back to the Connecting Cottbus Film Market

I really like film markets. They give you the feeling of a parallel world. They are so full of events and yet totally unknown to the majority of the people who just attend the regular activities of a film festival such as screenings, talks and meet and greets with actors and directors. The market is…

My Top 5 from Frieze Art Fair

Now that the craze for Frieze is over, I would like to share with you my top 5 from the international art fair that ended last weekend. I went there for a relaxed stroll among contemporary trends, my third time in a row. I have to admit that I didn’t see anything particularly groundbreaking, so…

One Morning Among Storytellers at Scuola Holden

There is a very peculiar school in Turin, Italy, named after J. D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye’s protagonist Holden Caulfield. Created in 1994 by a group of friends in their thirties, including writer Alessandro Baricco, Scuola Holden is now one of the places to be if you want to learn the art of…

At the Heart of Yakuza with Photographer Anton Kusters

Being granted exclusive access to usually inaccessible subcultures is probably the dream of many artists. Belgian photographer and co-founder of BURN Magazine Anton Kusters made it real when he spent some time in Tokyo with members of Yakuza, the notorious Japanese crime syndication. A recent video from The Economist chronicles this unique photographic project. Watching…

About to Board: What’s Coming Next

I am writing this post from Gatwick airport, while waiting to board my plane. It’s not time for holidays yet, but I am relocating to Italy for the next 3 weeks for a mix of work and relaxation, which will include a well-deserved break made up of art, food and (hopefully) nice weather, ending with…

The Circuit of Excess: Film Industry, Taboos and Online Conversations

I have just come back from a pretty intense full immersion session in taboos, censorship and cinema hosted at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. Yes, in the Czech Republic, right where Fifty Shades of Grey‘s sex symbol Jamie Dornan was presenting his latest film, Anthropoid. At this time of the year this city has a…

“Marco Lusini: The Colours of the Human Soul” Opens Tomorrow at Fiumano Fine Art Gallery

What immediately strikes you while going through Italian artist Marco Lusini’s biography (1936-1989), are the many art forms he experimented with before finding his ideal medium, painting. Photography, lithography, illustration, black ink drawing, not to mention sculpture and poetry, were all fertile ground in which the Siena-born “astronaut of inner space”, as Riccardo Belloni defined…

Five Reasons for Catching Up With the ‘Vikings’ TV Series

I’ve kept the promise in my post from last October and have given Vikings a chance. After watching three seasons I’m definitely happy with History’s TV series, and particularly with the passion actor Travis Fimmel puts into the role of Ragnar Lothbrok. Indeed his dedication to the character could sell the historical drama on its own. So…

Forensics: The Anatomy of Crime

It’s cool, free, and the closest experience to a proper crime scene investigation that you can (legally) get. A few years ago, when I was researching the impact of death in the media for my Ph.D. project, Forensics: The Anatomy of Crime would have been a gold mine, given the fact that it provides really…

From “Mad Max” to Nikki Sixx and Back

By now I’m sure all of you have heard of Coma/The Doof Warrior and his flame-throwing guitar. In Mad Max: Fury Road this insanely awesome character with a creepy background story is portrayed by Australian musician iOTA. Fans of the L.A.-based band Mötley Crüe immediately related to him, as they realised that the blind guitarist,…

Can File Sharing Become a Form of Art? “The Pirate Cinema” Project Investigates Information Flows as Aesthetic Exploration

When it comes to torrents and digital piracy, users’ behaviours online are usually tackled under a variety of points of view, which include ethics, laws and copyright issues. But what about the file themselves, whose content is usually ‘invisible’ when people are sharing it via BitTorrent? What if you could have a glimpse of that…

The British Museum and Its Audiences: A Day in the Life of Jane Findlay

Have you ever wondered what happens behind the scenes of world-famous galleries and museums? How do they connect with their audiences? What are their routines and how do they arrange the content that we experience as visitors? I’ve reached out to Jane Findlay, Head of Schools and Young Audiences at The British Museum, and asked…

The Roar of the Old Lion: John Milius and… “Milius”

When I was much younger I loved watching movies but I did not pay particular attention to the cast and crew. I just enjoyed the stories. It was only later, when I started to study cinema, that I really got into “the who and the what” of filmmaking and began to think about a film…

How to Shape your Film’s Extra Content: A Lesson Learnt from “Birdman”

There is little doubt that Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Oscar-winning Birdman (Or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) was one of last year’s most interesting films in terms of direction and cinematography, not to mention how the whole project was conceived from the beginning. Filming Riggan Thomson’ attempt to adapt Raymond Carver’s short story “What We Talk…

Are Smartphones Helping Us To Shoot Smarter Films?

Just a few days ago, as the Sundance Film Festival was about to end, a film started making the headlines. Sean Baker’s Tangerine, shot with an iPhone 5s, was enthusiastically saluted as the frontrunner of a new breed of movies that, by spending between $168 and $768 for set up, can achieve quality images for…

“What Makes It Interactive?” Crisps, Chats and Factual Documentaries

I started to research interactive documentaries back in 2013 when I was living in Italy, because this hybrid form of storytelling matched my interest in digital narratives and audience engagement. As soon as I moved to London I looked for people interested in the topic and immediately found out that one of the leading researchers…

Islam, Interactivity And a Drone: Chevalier and Mossessian Reunite for “Digital Arabesques”

I’m always happy to see collaborations among artists grow, and even happier when artistic projects explore different cultures and build bridges between distant worlds. That is why I got very excited about Digital Arabesques 2014. As featured in a recent article on Designboom, the latest collaboration between French digital artist Miguel Chevalier and filmmaker Claude…

Paint Like a Human, And Stop Training Robots to Take Your Place

Robots and AI are all around us. Deal with it. In the past few days I’ve come across news that made me think about the relationship between art and mechanical – and digital, in this case – means of (re)production. Especially when the connection between humans and machines is blurred like it is nowadays. It…

Joan Miró: “The Creative Impulse” Exhibition

Let’s face reality: your child does not draw like a conceptual artist or an abstract painter. Usually it’s the other way round: artists can replicate the childlike way of drawing. I say this because I was recently visiting a non-figurative exhibition and I heard the same old comment from a parent, pronounced with a dismissive…

Let’s Bring the “Gialli” Back. Davide Melini on his Short “Deep Shock” (Part 2)

After discussing how director Davide Melini started his career, let’s delve into his new short, Deep Shock. Produced by Fabel Aguilera and Melini himself, it is supported by the most important institutions of Malaga, such as the “Diputación de Málaga”, the “Ayuntamiento de Málaga” and the “Málaga Film Office”. According to the official synopsis, the…

Wing Chun Looks Better When You Wear A Panama

Wong Kar-wai’s The Grandmaster starts and ends with a hat. A Panama hat, to be precise, worn by actor Tony Leung as master Ip Man. Actually, the whole film focuses on the style at large of the legendary martial artist. He was internationally famous for training a young Bruce Lee while he was living in…

Put a Kermode Under Your Christmas Tree

Christmas is coming fast. Sounds menacing, but you better be ready. As I love books, and I suppose you love films since you follow this blog, I am going to suggest an exciting read for the upcoming holidays that combines the two. Whether you live in the UK or not, the name Mark Kermode might…

“Tim’s Vermeer” or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Imitation

Films about obsessions usually tell us more about the obsessed than the obsession in itself. That’s why I don’t agree with Jonathan Jones’ review on The Guardian of Teller’s documentary Tim’s Vermeer, which tells the story of Tim Jenison, a tech entrepreneur and inventor who desperately tried to discover the secrets of the painting techniques…

Let’s Go South and Enjoy Some (Cine)Excess

Cine-Excess is one of those places where you can spend your lunch break eating sandwiches and fresh fruit while speaking about moviemaking, crowdfunding and gatekeepers in the film industry with veteran horror directors such as Jeff Lieberman. That’s exactly what happened to me on 15 November, while I was waiting to present my paper at…

Audience Design: Two Strategy Sketches at Connecting Cottbus

In the film industry there is one very specific place where creativity meets business: the market. It’s the place where scriptwriters, filmmakers and producers have the concrete chance to secure a budget for their projects, or find co-production opportunities that might open new international doors to develop their films. It’s also the place where, in…