By Contributing Writer Nicole O’Connell
The Italian Film Series prepares to entertain audiences for another semester, and this time, the theme is horror!
If that theme sounds eerily familiar to you, it is because this is not the first time the film series has decided to scare its audiences.
“We actually had a horror theme in the spring semester of 2018,” says Rose Facchini, professor of Italian at UMass Dartmouth. “Unfortunately, there was just not enough time to show all of the terrific Italian films that we wanted! The fall semester is more fitting, too, with Halloween and coming change in weather. It sets the mood for frightening experiences.”
The screenings will begin in October and last through December. The four films being shown this semester are: The House of the Laughing Windows (1976), Cemetery Man (1994), Suspiria (1977), and Suspiria (2018).
Facchini is most thrilled to show the two Suspiria films.
“Comparing and contrasting the original 1977 and the remake from 2018 will be such an exciting experience,” Facchini says. “It will be so interesting to analyze what choices Luca Guadagnino (dir. of 2018) made in contrast to those of the great Dario Argento (dir. of 1977)!”
The Film Series started back during the spring of 2016 with a theme of immigration.
“We thought it would be a good way to supplement and enrich the courses that we both offer concerning the Italian language, culture, and history,” Facchini says. “We began with the topic of immigration to tackle the poignant issue of refugees that end up on the Italian peninsula, which was extraordinarily relevant to the wider global immigration issues. Connectivity is really at the heart of not only this theme, but the film series as well; one can really learn a lot about their own culture, language, and beliefs through another’s.”
Though the dialogue in the films shown is in Italian, English subtitles will be used.
The schedule of films this semester is:
The House of the Laughing Windows (1976) Oct. 2. Stefano, a young restorer, is commissioned to save a controversial mural located in the church of a small, isolated village (IMDB).
Cemetery Man (1994) Nov. 6. A cemetery man must kill the dead a second time when they become zombies (IMDB).
Suspiria (1977) Dec. 4. An American newcomer to a prestigious German ballet academy comes to realize that the school is a front for something sinister amid a series of grisly murders (IMDB).
Suspiria (2018) Dec. 10. A remake of the 1977 Dario Argento film of the same title. A darkness swirls at the center of a world-renowned dance company, one that will engulf the artistic director, an ambitious young dancer, and a grieving psychotherapist. Some will succumb to the nightmare. Others will finally wake up (IMDB).
All screenings will be in LARTS 117 starting at 7 p.m.
Admission is free and refreshments will be served.
“I hope that the UMD community will gain an appreciation for a culture and language that may be different than their own,” Facchini says. “This helps us to overcome racial and ethnic divisions through an open-mindedness that can only be gained by experiencing another culture and society (which is most effectively through its language, I must add). I hope that this will instill a sense of desperately needed empathy in a world filled with strife.”
The film series is sponsored by the Foreign Literature and Languages Department and the History Department.
While the film series is a highlight for Italian Studies programming, other Italian Studies events for the year include a faculty panel discussion in the fall and a student panel discussion in the spring. These panels allow faculty and students to present original research in Italian Studies or a related field to the campus community. In the past, Italian Studies events have also included external speakers and performers.