Ciao! Exploring Italy by Film, Rodney Uhler, GCIFF Film Programmer
I Am Love (Available on Magnolia Selects (Free 7-day trial), Amazon Prime)
The 2009 breakout feature by the director of Call Me By Your Name was also his first collaboration with Tilda Swinton who learned Italian for the role. Swinton plays Emma the matriarch in a wealthy family in Milan, who starts to feel a bit lost in her newfound status as an empty-nester in a formal family. She’s soon introduced to her son’s friend though, a handsome, passionate chef who plans to open a restaurant with her son. Ignited both by the intoxication of his food and the chef himself, Emma begins an affair that has a ripple effect on the family. The film is a complete sensory experience from the food to the gorgeous clothing and locations, and while the story may be more dramatic than you’d ever want for a vacation, it is a delicious journey.
Cinema Paradiso (Available on HBO)
The Trip to Italy (Available on Amazon, iTunes, IFC Unlimited)
If you’re going to take a tourist’s approach to Italy there are no better haphazard guides then British comedians/actors Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon. The two take a culinary tour from Tuscany to Capri pairing their meals with rapid-fire repertoire, friendly verbal jabs, and hilarious impressions. While I’m sure all friendships would excel against the gorgeous backdrop of Italy, theirs feels particularly special and one you want to join.