Last week, Italy’s Milena Canonero took home her fourth Oscar for Best Costume Design for her work on The Grand Budapest Hotel. But after winning the prize for Best Foreign Language Film last year with Paolo Sorrentino’s La Grande Bellezza (The Great Beauty), this year Italy didn’t even have an entry in that category. Disappointing.
Not that there weren’t some notable Italian films released in 2014. In fact, it’s a bit surprising that the critically acclaimed Il capital umano (Human Capital) didn’t make it to the final round of Oscar voting. Back in June, it won top prize at the David di Donatello Awards, beating out The Great Beauty. And it features several of Italy’s “A-list” talent such as Valeria Golino (Respiro) and Luigi Lo Cascio (La meglio gioventù).
In my post last week about Valentine’s Day, I cited a friend’s blog that had served as some inspiration for my semi-rant against the silly myths associated with that saint and his day. Since then, I’ve gotten a lot of feedback, and several people have asked me about John’s blog.
So, by popular demand, John has graciously agreed to write a guest post today on my site. When I read it, I couldn’t stop laughing. I know that any American who has spent significant time abroad will relate to his observations. But it’s pretty damn funny no matter what your experience has been.
I’ve written about the topic of reverse culture shock, too. Last summer I was in Little Italy in New York, which provided a perfect contrast between the New World’s version of Italy, and the genuine article. John takes a different approach, training his experienced journalist’s eye on the homeland. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Our cheeky group of expats (COSÌ) has chosen the timely topic of romance, relationships, and all things “dell’amore” in honor of San Valentino, whose festa we celebrate tomorrow. I’ve written about this a few times before, so initially I wasn’t that jazzed to revisit the subject. Then I read a blog post by my friend John Henderson, and my enthusiasm briefly stirred. It was a fleeting, vicarious moment, but it brought me back to those days long ago, when I was trying to make sense of another culture’s courtship rituals.
In an effort to inject a healthy dose of genuine culture and learning into this irreverent stump of mine, I’m thrilled to have a guest post today from authors Jane Fortune and Linda Falcone from the Advancing Women Artists Foundation, talking about their book on the 1966 flood in Florence.
Furthermore, I’d like to add that…you know what? I’m not going to say anymore. I can only diminish the value of their erudite and emotional article. I will, however, give them my sincere “Grazie!” Enjoy!