Paper-azzi persue Bernardo at the Italian film festival

lipsBernardo managed to sneak in to the opening night of the Italian Film Festival in Sydney last night. A couple of people even came up to him and asked him for his autograph. Later he realised that they were merely waiters handing out paper napkins (Bernardo had scoffed a few mini pizzas and must have had a string of molten mozzarella clinging to his chin at the time). Never mind. Bernardo is sure that they will treasure his scribblings on their napkins for the rest of their lives. The opening film was La Grande Bellezza (The Great Beauty), directed by Paolo Sorrentino and starring Toni Servillo. It was in some ways a homage to the city of Rome, although this was a Rome with hardly any people in it. We got to see the great tourist sights without any of the pesky tourists getting in the way. The city was practically deserted! Except when someone threw a party, and then it was the full-on rent a crowd. Why do the outrageous parties in films and video clips never look anything in real life? Nobody stands around looking bored, they all hit the dance floor with gusto, even the grannies, and even though the music is very loud they can all hear what each other is saying. At 142 minutes the film was rather long, but it was visually striking, if not bizarre at times. There are some items about it in the “Related articles” links at the bottom of this post.

The festival is in its 14th year and as well as Sydney takes place in Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and even Byron Bay up on the north coast of NSW. As usual, judging by the trailers and the program brochure, it looks like a great mix of comedy, drama, thriller, romance and documentary. (The adverts by the festival sponsors weren’t bad either). Bernardo felt thrilled to be transported back into Italy, at least mentally. As one of the guest speakers said, the great thing about film is that it is “a transfer of culture, a transfer of emotions”.

After the film, there was a party in the Paddington Town Hall, which as you can see below, was decked out in rather garish colours. Unlike the parties in the film, there didn’t seem to be any lines of cocaine or strippers jumping out of cakes, but the food was plentiful, and one of the sponsors, Lavazza, supplied coffees mixed with Frangelico liqueur and hazelnut cream. Bernardo quaffed a few of these, so it is no wonder he had trouble sleeping till the early hours of the morning.

I managed to take a photo of the bar before the stampede for the drinks after the film. Actually I was leading the stampede! Photo: Bernardo

Bernardo managed to take a photo of the bar before the stampede for the drinks after the film. Actually Bernardo was leading the stampede!

All the guests got a bag full of fancy products from the sponsors to take home. These included some ground coffee, some pasta, some scent for men, a colourful wrist band (which Bernardo mistook for a cock ring), a little bottle of moscato wine and – most intriguing of all – a sexy pair of Levante Jolanda tights (ladies’ stockings). I am afraid, though, that Bernardo will not get much use out of these. His pair were a Nero Medium, whereas Bernardo, who it must be said does have great legs, is at least a large, if not larger. But the saucy, stripey, see-though black just might be his colour. We shall see 🙂 Ciao!


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