Dir. Gianni Di Gregorio (2008); 75 min
FRIDAY, August 1st at 7 & 9:30pm
SATURDAY, August 2nd at 7 & 9:30pm
SUNDAY, August 3rd at 3pm
After penning the screenplay for 2008’s highly esteemed modern mafia film, Gomorrah, Gianni Di Gregorio set to creating a film all his own. Di Gregorio would write, direct, and star in Mid-August Lunch, a delicious portrait of a summer holiday which was actually shot in Di Gregorio’s real apartment and of which the average age of the cast would be 80. Di Gregorio stars as Gianni, who spends his days sipping white wine and doting on his somewhat demanding 93-year old mother in their shared apartment in Rome. August fifteenth, the Catholic feast day of the Assumption of Mary into Heaven (Ferragosto), marks the start of Italy’s vacation period when most businesses and shops are closed. Everyone around Gianni wants to leave the city for summer and due to some combination of his kind nature, guilt, and a couple of bribes, Gianni ends up taking in three more mothers for the holiday. Gianni makes the best of what he has and scrambles around town to put together a proper meal for everybody, succumbing only once to the stress of taking care of four mothers when he casually slips some sleeping pills into their chamomile tea. Winner of the 2008 debut director prize at the Venice film festival, at age 60, Di Gregorio serves up a rare Italian arthouse hit pitch-perfect in its dignity, humor, and unanticipated ability to move its audience.