Italian film fest premieres at La Jolla Community Center, Jan. 23-Feb. 14

‘Most people are not aware that there are hundreds of Italian films, many with English subtitles, which have never or seldom been shown in the United States,’ Giuseppe Annino said in an interview with L’Italo-Americano magazine.
(Courtesy Photo)

Yearning for a mid-winter getaway to Italy? The La Jolla Community Center is offering the next best thing — an Italian Film Series, arriving Jan. 23, 2020 and departing Feb. 14 at 6811 La Jolla Blvd., La Jolla.

“There will be a four films shown, all with English subtitles,” said Barbara Burton Graf, the center’s marketing director. “A social will precede the screenings at 6:30 p.m., and the films will begin at 7 p.m. on four consecutive Thursdays.”

She added that film curator Giuseppe Annino selected the titles from the vast number of memorable Italian films, and “each captures the culture of Italy, the character of its people, and tells a story of people dealing with difficulty, but with the element of humor.”

In “Mid-August Lunch” (Jan. 23, 2020) an affable bachelor who lives with his elderly mother has not been paying the bills for his condo. Then, the landlord offers him a deal he can’t refuse.

In “Maccheroni” (Jan. 30, 2020) a corporate executive returns to Naples after 40 years and is shocked to learn why everyone seems to remember him.

In “Mediterraneo” (Feb. 6, 2020) a platoon of Italian soldiers is shipped to a small non-strategic Greek island and forgotten. They soon abandon military discipline in favor of blending into the local culture. (“Mediterraneo” won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1992.)

In “Bread and Tulips” (Feb. 13, 2020) an unappreciated housewife is inadvertently left behind while on a family vacation and decides to seek adventure in Venice on her own. Uh-oh.

“This is the first time we have hosted a foreign film showcase and we are very excited!” said Community Center executive director Nancy Walter. “We have so many members with different talents and backgrounds, and Joseph Annino is one of them! He approached me with the idea of using our well-equipped facility to have a mini showcase of Italian films. He was instrumental in the Italian Film Festival in Little Italy, but has since retired from that.

“We hosted many very successful movie nights last year, making it clear that people love to escape into a film.”

Tickets are $5 at the door and drinks are available for purchase.