Vancouver Italian Film Festival brings De Niro in his prime, Mastroianni and Loren, Fellini, and more

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      With its dual focus on contemporary and classic titles, the Vancouver Italian Film Festival offers a remarkably well-rounded appreciation of one of the world’s richest cinema cultures. The Taviani brothers fall into both those categories this year, the festival’s fifth, with their latest, Rainbow: A Private Affair, screening alongside 1977’s Padre Padrone and their 1982 masterpiece, The Night of the Shooting Stars.

      Elsewhere, we see Ettore Scola represented by 1977’s A Special Day, starring Marcello Mastroianni and Sophia Loren, while the fest also offers the chance to catch both Gerard Depardieu and Robert De Niro in their prime with the rare five-hour cut of Bernardo Bertolucci’s 1900.

      Newer titles include the engagingly absurd Ears and the gritty Gran Turismo–set drama Italian Race, while The Great Beauty’s Toni Servillo returns as yet another misbehaving senior in Let Yourself Go. The Vancity Theatre also welcomes a return visit by Luca Guadagnino’s sumptuous I Am Love, still fresh since its run in 2009, and made especially timely by the recent release of the director’s worldwide smash Call Me by Your Name.

      The seven-day rave continues with documentaries, biopics, and more—all of it kicking off next Friday (January 5) with the highly touted Tulipani: Love, Honour and a Bicycle.

      And lest we forget: Federico Fellini is always making a comeback at this festival. See our interview above with Nancy Cartwright—a.k.a Bart Simpson!—for more about that.

      The Vancouver Italian Film Festival runs at the Vancity Theatre from January 5 to 11. More info is at