De Chirico L'enigma di un giornoSpeaking with director, producer, actress and writer Eleonora Danco about her most recent brainchild, N-Capace, I openly confessed to her that upon reading the synopsis/presentation of her docu-movie I was not optimistic. It read:
“This movie is about a woman’s conflict with her father, after her mother’s death […] In this journey between Terracina and Rome, amidst the grief that overcomes her, she speaks to elders and teenagers. […] [T]hus two generations having in common emptiness and anxiety undergo comparison.”

I told Eleonora I was wary of yet another neo-neo-realism movie with feminist undertones… and that frankly, the only thing that had caught my attention was Terracina. Having spent considerable time in the unassuming seaside town, I became curious regarding what movie could have come out of that place. Continua a leggere N-Capace

No Road, Just Us by Paola De Santiago Haas

Train Landscape by Eric RavilliousAberdeen Art Gallery and Museums CollectionJourneys are always important for us, even the shortest ones. That’s one of the most important lessons we might learn in life, and Paola de Santiago Haas with her No Road, Just Us, reminds us not to forget it. That lesson she was able to learn quite soon, it seems, during her life spent travelling all around the world for study, work and pleasure. In this charming compilation of short stories, most of them strictly biographical, we follow Paola during her travels, starting from Mexico, her birthplace.
The chapters devoted to Mexico are probably the most interesting because they offer a unique point of view on that country. It’s the view of a woman who was born there but, because of her choices, often happened to travel inside Mexico as tourist. Not just an ordinary traveller, however… Continua a leggere No Road, Just Us by Paola De Santiago Haas

The Patience Stone

The Patience Stone2It was over dinner in Cannes that I first heard of Atiq Rahimi and his work. My Afghan friends Zaid and Massood are friends of Rahimi’s, and he had recently won the Prix Goncourt, a prestigious literary prize that since 1903 is given to French literary works. The award put Rahimi among Proust, Duras and Rimbaud, just to mention a few; the fact that this was Rahimi’s first book in French further ignited my curiosity and by the end of the week I was reading The Patience Stone.
A year later, attending by chance an Afghan cultural festival taking place at Paris’ Theatre de la Ville, the leaflet of the event featured an introduction by Rahimi: “In my country, music can be heard everywhere. Music is the way we have to survive, art is what saves us from the horror of reality.”
Rahimi was expected to arrive that evening but did not, much to my regret. I had questions for him, questions that will have to wait. Continua a leggere The Patience Stone

The Grandmaster

wong-kar-wai-670Amidst the vast majority of movies that are forgotten after five minutes, every once in a while there is a movie that changes you, one way or another, at least temporarily.  Sometimes, even days after you leave the movie theatre a feeling lingers, a feeling that what that movie has conveyed is still inside you. It may be the story, the message, the visual impact, or something else.  And then there is the movie that, together with this, also closes a circle.  Like Wong Kar Wai’s The GrandmasterContinua a leggere The Grandmaster

Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami

work-2499477-3-flat550x550075f-kafka-on-the-shore-1_2It is not normal for leeches to rain down from the sky onto a parking lot on the highway.  Nor is it normal for slick, black snow to fall onto the shoulders of some young thugs spoiling for a fight and remain stuck to their skin.  It isn’t normal for an entire class to lose consciousness while out on a school trip in the mountains and that all the children recover, while one child remains in a coma for weeks.  And it is not normal for an old man to be able to speak with cats.
His latest novel, 1Q84, tops the bestseller lists in both the East and the West.  Therefore, no introductions are necessary for Murakami, the reserved and inscrutable writer whom everyone is already talking about; instead, let’s dive straight into Kafka on the Shore.   Continua a leggere Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami


When my childhood days were spent in long, boring visits to relatives and parents’ friends, one of the pastimes was to comb the titles on their obscure libraries.  After long hours made bearable by bookshelf curiosity, I finally came to the conclusion that the most common book on Spanish-speaking households was not CervantesDon Quijote, but Pablo Neruda’s Confieso que he vivido (Memoirs).  Every home I visited had this book!  It made me wonder… The ubiquitous sight of the broad white spine and bold black letters slowly took me to the conclusion that I could never consider myself a truly cultured person of Spanish-language heritage if I had not read this book…
And the thickness and prestige scared me to death.
I had come to believe that reading Memoirs would be a kind of rite of passage:  I imagined myself reading it on a long train journey, maybe the Orient-Express, where the mystic combination of journey and book would change my life.    Continua a leggere Memorias

There’s no place like London
Part two: the Streets

If you wish to know Great Britain better, to start from London could be a nice idea. Try starting from its streets: neat, large, full of cars moving on what the rest of the world calls the wrong side of the road. Follow them in the right direction and you’ll find yourself watching a huge river- yup, it’s the Thames. As many other European capitals, London was built in that spot because of its favourable position, beside a river which can be followed to the sea, not too far away for easy naval trading but enough to be safe from unexpected invasions. In recent years London has focused more on its riverside, which is just as interesting: while cities like Paris always lived strictly in connection with their river, London seemed to want to forget the Thames, almost as if it were something trivial and filthy. Continua a leggere There’s no place like London
Part two: the Streets