Film Scouts Diaries

2002 Taormina BNL FilmFest Diaries
Cosa Mostra: Opening night

by Philipp Hoschka

Taormina, July 6, 2002 - Of the 600 film festivals or so that are held every year throughout the world, the Taormina Film Festival probably uses the oldest screening "room" - films are shown in an open-air Greek amphitheatre that is over 2000 years old. Not only that - you also have an incredible view of mount Etna right behind the stage. This can provide for some quite dramatic effects - apparently mount Etna erupted last year during the screening of Copolla's "Apocalypse now: Redux".

This year's opening night started with a rather extended ceremony in which prizes were awarded to various members of the Italian film community. Pedro Almodovar also received a prize, which was greeted by protests of anti-bullfighting activists, and a heated debate in Spanish and Italian. It looks like Almovodar's treatment of bulls in his movie "Talk to her" did not earn him the standard "no animals were harmed" credit at the end of the film.

The award ceremony was followed by a concert of Ennio Morricone's film music - the orchestra was directed by Morricone himself. Again, there was an awkward moment when a firework show started in a nearby town, and the concert was disturbed by thundering noises - apparently, Taormina's mayor does not get along with the mayor of the neighbourhood town ...

Finally, and very late, we could see the 20-minute "extended trailer" of "Gangs of New York" that before had only been shown at the Cannes Film Festival. Hard to tell what the movie will be like from the trailer, but it is clear that it won't have much to do with "Taxi Driver", and that hat fashion for men will soon change dramatically if this movie should have any impact on the fashion industry.

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