Italia DOC

Dear All,

I‘m happy to announce the birth of Italia DOC, an exciting collaboration between UCL SELCS’s Department of Italian and FilmItalia/IstitutoLuce (the national Italian Film Board) that will bring to London an important first series of free screenings of award-winning, contemporary Italian documentaries. All the italan-films-sponsorsfilms will be followed by Q&A sessions with the films’ directors.

All the screenings will take place at the Bloomsbury Studio at 7pm (doors open at 6.30pm).

Entrance is FREE, but booking is mandatory.

– 11 October 2016: Romeo e Giulietta (dir. Massimo Coppola)

  • Krakow Film Festival 2016: Documentary Competition
  • Uruguay International Film Festival 2016: Focus Italia
  • Italia in Doc – Brussels 2015
  • Madrid Italian Film Festival 2015: Best Documentary

Synopsis: Nino and Mary are two sixteen years old who live in a Roma encampment in the area of Rome’s Tor de’ Cenci. The documentary follows the attempt to produce Romeo and Juliet in a place where the plot of Shakespeare’s play is still absurdly topical: Nino and Mary, our Romeo and Juliet, really do belong to two feuding families drastically opposed to them acting together.

To book:

– 22 November 2016: I ricordi del fiume (Dir. Gianluca and Massimiliano De Serio)

  • Annecy Cinema Italien 2016: Focus sui documentari
  • De Rome à Paris 2016
  • DocuTIFF – Documentary Tirana International Film Festival 2016: Feature Competition
  • Open Roads: New Italian Cinema 2016
  • Visions du Reel 2016: International competition
  • La Biennale di Venezia 2015: Fuori Concorso

Synopsis: Over one thousand people of different nationalities live among rats and rubbish in shacks made of metal sheets and wood. It’s the Platz, one of the largest shanty towns in Europe, on the banks of the river Stura in Turin. Many children, women and old people have been living there for years in what has become a practically invisible microcosm that will soon no longer exist. By December 2014 a very ambitious project, with a high social impact and involving many problematic issues, envisaged the dismantling of the huts and the immediate relocation of the families into normal housing. I ricordi del fiume provides an account of the life in this shanty town during its last remaining days, amid distress, drama, hope and scenes from a different way of life.

To book:

– 24 January 2017: L’uomo che non cambiò la storia (dir. Enrico Caria)

  • La Biennale di Venezia 2016: Out of Competition in collaboration with Giornate degli Autori – Venice Days

Synopsis: The ‘man who didn’t change history’ was Ranuccio Bianchi Bandinelli, esteemed Italian scholar of Roman art and a founding father of Italian modern archaeology. A figure that the Fascist regime could be proud of, if it weren’t for the small fact that the professor was firmly anti-Fascist. Things came to a head over Hitler’s famous journey to Italy in 1938, when Bandinelli was courteously invited to accompany Mussolini and the Führer, serving as tour guide and interpreter at the museums and archaeological sites. He could have killed them. Despite being a most peaceful, quiet academic, the professor not only seriously considered the proposition, he actually started planning it in some detail. As he himself minutely recorded in a notebook that was found some years later, and published under the title Hitler and Mussolini 1938: the Führer’s Journey to Italy.

To book:

– 21 February 2017: Liberami (dir. Federica Di Giacomo)

  • La Biennale di Venezia 2016: Orizzonti – Best Film

Synopsis: Every year, in Italy, in Europe and in the world, a higher and higher number of people affirms to be possessed by the Devil. The Catholic Church responds to this situation training more and more priests in the practice of exorcism . The veteran Father Cataldo is one of them. Gloria, Enrico, Anna and Giulia follow Father Cataldo’s mass looking to be rid of their ‘condition’, for which they’re not able to find either labels nor answers. Liberami is a story about the modern practice of exorcism and the affected people’s everyday life: the contrast between ancient traditions and modern habits, between sacred and profane, meets in this astonishing documentary and reveals itself to be, at the same time, disturbing and hilarious.

To book:


The Q&As will be conducted by Dr Cristina Massaccesi (UCL SELCS – Italian).

With the coordination of Infallible London and with thanks to Pullman Hotels.

For information:

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UCL and Devil’s Advocates – Screening of Frenzy (1972)

UCL SELCS and Auteur Books are very happy to announce a screening of Frenzy (Alfred Hitchcock, 1972). The film screening will take place on Wednesday 9th March at 18:30 in Pearson (North East Entrance) G22 LTimages

The film will be introduced by Ian Cooper. Ian has taught Film Theory and Contemporary Cinema at Birkbeck College from 1997 to 2003 and he is now a full time writer and screenwriter. He has published several books and studies, such as Witchfinder General (Auteur, 2011), Cultographies: Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (University of Columbia Press, 2011) the introduction to D. Harlan Wilson’s novel Peckinpah: An Ultraviolent Romance (2009) and a chapter in Screening the Undead (IB Tauris, 2014). He will shortly publish Frightmares: A History of British Horror Cinema followed in 2017 with a volume in the ‘Devil’s Advocates’ series on Frenzy (both Auteur Publishing).

The film screening will be followed by a Q&A with the audience.

Tickets are free of charge but seats are limited and booking is essential. To book tickets go to Eventbrite.

For information:

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UCL and Devil’s Advocates – Screening of Dead of Night (1945)


UCL SELCS and Auteur Books are very happy to announce a screening of Dead of Night (Alberto Cavalcanti, Charles Crichton, Basil Dearden and Robert Hamer, 1945). The screening will take place on Wednesday 2 December at 6.20pm in Pearson (North East Entrance) G22 LT.

The film will be introduced by Jez Conolly. Jez is co-editor, with Caroline Whelan, of three books in the World Film Locations series (Dublin, Reykjavik and Liverpool) published by Intellect. He writes regularly for The Big Picture magazine and website and has contributed to numerous other cinema books and journals. Devil’s Advocates: Dead of Night, published by Auteur in November 2015 and co-written with David Owain Bates, is his second book in the series, the first was published in 2013 and concerned John Carpenter’s The Thing. When not writing, Jez is Head of Student Engagement for University of Bristol Library Services.41v+AqUhazL._SX351_BO1,204,203,200_

‘Nearly 60 years on, Ealing’s compendium of spooky tales remains scary as hell. The best of the five stories, which we see enacted as they’re related in turn by guests at a country house, are Cavalcanti’s ‘The Ventriloquist’s Dummy’, with Redgrave possessed by his deceptively lifeless little partner, and Hamer’s ‘The Haunted Mirror’, with the splendid Withers a reluctant participant as history repeats itself; least frightening, but amusing, are Radford and Wayne as typically obsessive sporting coves in Crichton’s ‘Golfing Story’. Best of all, however, is the overall narrative arc, with the framing story finally taking a headlong rush into a nightmarish realm almost surreal in its weird clarity and familiarity.’ (Time Out)

The film screening will be followed by a Q&A with the audience chaired by Dr Cristina Massaccesi (UCL SELCS). For info:

Tickets are free of charge but seats are limited and booking through Eventbrite is essential. Please, do let us know if you have to cancel your booking in order to give someone else the chance to attend the event. Dead-of-Night-006

Hope to see you there!


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UCL and Devil’s Advocates – Screening of Black Sunday (Mario Bava, 1960)

Hello everyone!

After a short break, I’m very pleased to announce that UCL SELCS and Auteur Books have organised a screening of Mario Bava’s Black Sunday (1960). The screening will take place on Thursday 29th October at 6pm in Chadwick B05 LT. The film will be introduced by Martyn Conterio, an editor and journalist specialising in Italian horror who has contributed to Time Out’s Horror Survey and writes for Little White Lies, The Guardian, Total Film and Rue Morgue. Martyn has recently published a study of Black Sunday in the series Devil’s Advocates (Auteur, 2015). 9781906733834The film screening will be followed by a Q&A.

‘With Black Sunday, Mario Bava created what many consider to be one of the most definitive titles in Gothic horror cinema. Adapted from a short story by Nikolai Gogol, the film was banned in Britain for eight years, largely because of its strangely poetic fusion of morbid sexuality and graphic violence, highly unusual for the time. […] Released in the same year as Peeping Tom, Psycho, The Fall of the House of Usher and Eyes Without a Face, Conterio identifies the film as a work which significantly pushed cinematic boundaries in terms of sex and violence and further contextualisation highlights its significance in post-war cinema and the birth of Italian horror.’ (James Gracey,

Tickets are free of charge but seats are limited and booking through Eventbrite is essential. Please, do let me know if you have to cancel your booking in order to give someone else the chance to attend the event. 1349376023_1

Hope to see you there!


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Screening of Italiani veri – how to find the room!

Dear All,

Please note that if you’re not familiar with UCL, the room (Physics A1/A3) where the film screening will take place is not very easy to find…

The entrance on Gower Place can only be accessed if you have a UCL ID badge.

If you are coming from outside UCL, the Physics building can be accessed via the main gate entrance on Gower Street. Enter the main building (North Cloisters and turn left. Walk until the end of the corridor (you will end up in front of a place called Housman Room). Look right and you will see another door that will take you into the Physics Department. Take the lift to the third floor where the lecture theatre is located.

See you there!


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Screening of Italiani Veri – Thursday 15th January

Dear All,

It’s a great pleasure to announce the next event of UCL’s Italian Film Club. On Thursday 15th January 2015 at 6pm we will host the first UK screening of Italiani Veri (2013,, a documentary film by Marco Raffaini and Giuni Ligabue. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with director Marco Raffaini.

The film follows the extraordinary success of Italian popular music (musica leggera) in Russia and in the former Soviet Union Republics over the last 50 years. After spending some time in Russia, one quickly realises that Italian popular music is highly and widely appreciated by older and younger generations alike. Italian popular music triggers strong emotions in Russian people, regardless of their social or cultural background.

The film charts this astonishing story through a series of interviews with the main actors of this success (Robertino, Al Bano, Pupo, Toto Cutugno), with the Russian singers who have performed with them (Tat’jana Bulanova, Svetlana Svetikova, Diana Gurtskaja), with representatives of the S. Petersburg’s underground scene (Oleg Garkusha, Viktor Sologub), music critics journalists, University professors and simple Italian music fans.

The screening will take place in Physics A1/3 (for directions see:

The film will be in Russian and Italian with English subtitles.

Hope to see you there!


locandina ita

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Free Screening and Q&A of ‘Leopardi – Il giovane favoloso’ – Wednesday 19th November

UCL’s Italian Film Club and Infallible Productions Ltd. are happy to announce a free screening of Leopardi. Il giovane favoloso (2014) that will be followed by a Q&A with director Mario Martone and co-screenwriter Ippolita Di Majo chaired by Dr Beatrice Sica (UCL).

The film screening will take place on Wednesday 19 November at 6pm in the Christopher Ingold XLG1 Chemistry LT ( Please note that although the event is free of charge, ticketing is mandatory through Eventbrite ( The film will be in Italian with English subtitles.

‘Giacomo Leopardi is one of the most important and influential poets in Italian literary history. Director Mario Martone’s film, a scrupulously researched and cinematically staged period biopic, gives us the full sweep of the restless and often terribly unhappy events of Leopardi’s life, set within the turbulent context of early 19th-century Italian society, politics and literature. However this is no academic exercise – it is a powerful, moving search for identity and artistic self-expression by a brilliant misfit, memorably played by Elio Germano (My Brother is an Only ChildAs God Commands)’ – Adrian Wootton (CEO Film London).

For information, please send an email to

Hope to see you there!



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