A film retrospective to tie in with its Frida Kahlo exhibition
The overwhelming and elusive personality of Frida is our inspiration for an absorbing journey into the world of the cinema as it explores the lives of truly great women, looking at their decisions and actions that had such an impact on their time and using their stories as a springboard to recreate the mosaic of modern female sensitivity. The cinema has helped to turn these alluring yet often restless spirits, into popular icons thanks to some unparalleled performances, yet here we probe behind the legend to discover the real women, the real Frida, Anna, Laura, Virginia... their deepest identity. Caged in by the dominant ethic and by social convention, they often fought to emerge and to triumph with admirable elan and determination, occasionally giving in to unbearable suffering but always imparting a universal significance to their pain.
Our thanks for the films go to: The Mexican Embassy, UNAM film library, Fondazione Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia - Cineteca Nazionale, Ripley's Film, Fondazione Cineteca di Bologna, Universal, Lucky Red, Medusa, Bim, British Film Institute, Mediaset, Warner Bros., Moviemax, 20th Century Fox Searchlight, Ambi Pictures
Factory Girl - Cinema
directed by George Hickenlooper. USA, 2006, 90 min, Italian version
Edie Sedgwick, an actress and Andy Warhol's model and muse, forced her magnetic charm on the chaos of New York in the 1960s, becoming an icon of counter-culture before slowly losing her grip on reality while still very young.
Frida - Cinema
directed by Julie Taymor. USA, Canada, Mexico, 2002, 118 min, original version with Italian subtitles
The screen is filled with the colours of Frida's paintings, while her suffering and passion are admirably brought to life by Salma Hayek in perfect symbiosis with the great painter's creative genius.
INGRID, ISA, ANNA, ALIDA
Of Life and Love - Cinema
directed by Luigi Zampa, Gianni Franciolini, Roberto Rossellini, Luchino Visconti, Alfredo Guarini. Italy, 1953, 95'
Four divas - Bergman, Miranda, Magnani, Valli - play themselves in four episodes directed by masters of the Italian cinema, doffing the mask forced on them by their celebrity as they get to grips with daily life.
La vie en rose - Cinema
directed by Olivier Dahan. France, 2007, 140 min, Italian version
A voice with a myriad nuances, ranging from the gentle to the gloomy, touches the deepest chord in the human heart, down to the layer as painful as the tragic life of Edith Piaf, the undying legend of French song.
The Passion of Joan of Arc - Cinema
directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer. France, 1928, 92 min, Italian version
This absolute masterpiece in the history of the cinema, which marked the peak of Dreyer's visual experimentation, causes the deep-seated identity and psychological distress of a tortured soul to shine through in the leading lady's astonishingly expressive performance.
Frida, Still Life - Cinema
directed by Paul Leduc. Mexico, 1986, 108 min, original version with Italian subtitles
Frida's marriage with Rivera and her relationship with Trotsky, her art, her commitment and her suffering: fragments of life that flicker like lightning across the art of Frida, played here by Mexican star Ofelia Medina.
Isadora - Cinema
directed by Karel Reisz. UK, 1968, 144 min, original version with Italian subtitles
The great Isadora Duncan, an eccentric and revolutionary dancer who rebelled against academic inflexibility, gave the female body the freedom to express itself. With an ethereal and sublime performance from Vanessa Redgrave.
Marilyn - Cinema
directed by Simon Curtis. UK, USA, 2011, 99 min, Italian version
The erotic fantasy of an entire generation of males comes true in the life of a normal guy who meets and falls in love with the most desired woman in the world, but he discovers pain and fragility behind the unique magic of her beauty.
Callas forever - Cinema
directed by Franco Zeffirelli. Italy, France, UK, Romania, 2002, 111 min
A sophisticated fictional recreation of the great soprano's twilight years, with a heart-rending performance from Fanny Ardant as she dwells on her lost youth and on the voice that made her the diva par excellence.
Mrs. Henderson Presents - Cinema
directed by Stephen Frears. UK, 2005, 103 min, Italian version
The amusing, true story of an English aristocrat whose legendary theatre was bursting with living tableaux of naked women, offering the only oasis of peace to soldiers in a London rocked by Nazi air raids.
The Scarlet Empress - Cinema
directed by Josef von Sternberg. USA, 1934, 104 min, original version with Italian subtitles
The most fascinating of Von Sternberg's masterpieces with Marlene Dietrich, who pours her brazen and elusive sensuality into the role of the great Russian empress sitting atop a frenzied world of power and sex.
Sylvia - Cinema
directed by Christine Jeffs. UK, 2003, 110 min, original version with Italian subtitles
Sylvia Plath, one of America's greatest contemporary writers and the wife of celebrated poet Ted Hughes, devoted her genius to translating an awareness of the pain of living into disturbing prose, right up to her tragic suicide at the age of only thirty-one.
Evita - Cinema
directed by Alan Parker. USA, 1996, 135 min, original version with Italian subtitles
An astonishing Hollywood musical whose genius lies in having superimposed contemporary pop icon Madonna on one of the most famous figures of 20th century politics, a woman who is still today an object of popular veneration in Argentina.
Coco Before Chanel - Cinema
directed by Anne Fontaine. France, 2009, 110 min, Italian version
A sophisticated and resolutely independent genius, Coco Chanel emancipated women with her revolutionary clothing, smashing through the confines of the male social and political power that had immobilized them in roles of mere frivolity for so long.
Nora - Cinema
directed by Pat Murphy. Ireland, UK, Italy, Germany, 2000, 106 min, Italian version
An extraordinary and unprecedented take on 20th century literary genius James Joyce comes to us through the eyes of Nora Barnacle, his loyal lifelong companion, as she struggles with the great writer's neuroses.
Amelia - Cinema
directed by Mira Nair. USA, 2009, 111 min, original version with Italian subtitles
Hilary Swank brings her unique charisma to this portrayal of legendary aviator Amelia Earhart, the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic, thus earning a place of honour in the US mindset for her outstanding courage.
The Hours - Cinema
directed by Stephen Daldry. USA, 2002, 114 min, original version with Italian subtitles
Virginia Woolf's novel "Mrs. Dalloway" affects three generations of women. Nicole Kidman won an Oscar for her extraordinary identification with the famous authoress' pain-wracked inner soul.
Like the Wind - Cinema
directed by Marco Simon Puccioni. Italy, 2013, 110 min
A portrait of Armida Miserere, one of the first women to run a prison, an exclusively male role until she arrived on the scene and fought to improve inmates' conditions, driven by an uncompromising desire for justice.