theeurocentric

Archive for the ‘Italy’ Category

Have You Heard Of: Disco Drive

In Italy on November 15, 2009 at 8:08 pm

It is no mystery that Italy has never been at the forefront of the modern indie rock scene; while they may be the peoples responsible for the Mona Lisa, gelato, the works of Fellini, and the discovery of the New World, they have yet to produce their own Arctic Monkeys. I know, ‘tis a tragedy of epic proportions. And yet, there may be hope on the horizon in the form of dance rock trio Disco Drive. The band has often been described as the Italian answer to the Klaxons, and their brand of punk funk fusion often brings that British foursome to mind. Disco Drive does have the ability to experiment now-and-again, with songs like the noise-drone “The Giant” (currently streaming on their MySpace) veering away from the majority of their tracks (which have the purpose of getting even the shyest of people on the dance floor).

With just two albums under their belt they’ve already played hundreds of shows throughout Europe (including the UK and Scandinavia) and have a strong fan base in their native country (they were nominated as one of the best live bands of 2005 by MTV Italy for example). Their tourmates include bands like Liars, !!!, Deerhoof, The Long Blondes, Hot Club de Paris, and the aformentioned Klaxons. They are definitely worth a listen, and are hopefully indicative of a growing indie rock force in the long-dormant Italy.

Baaria, directed by Giuseppe Tornatore

In Italy on November 10, 2009 at 8:34 pm



Italy’s latest Oscar submission is Baaria, a film by acclaimed director Giuseppe Tornatore (of Cinema Paradiso fame). It is a dramedy that examines Tornatore’s own hometown of Bagheria in Sicily by following a couple (played by Francesco Scianna and Margareth Made) from the 1920s until the present day. The film also stars Raoul Bova and Monica Bellucci (two names that should be more familiar to American audiences) and includes Tornatore’s trademark blend of wit, nostalgia, and sentimentality. In addition to being chosen as the national submission to next year’s Academy Awards, the film opened the 66th Venice Film Festival, where also won the Pasinetti Award and was nominated for the Golden Lion (the highest honor the festival bestows).

Here’s the full trailer, which actually shows a real cow being killed. It’s a split-second image, but it has apparently caused quite a stir in Italy over the unethical treatment of animals. Tornatore has made a statement saying that what was filmed was just an typical occurrence at the slaughterhouse in which they were shooting.