Fest does the continental

Third Rome lineup puts emphasis on Europe

With six Italian films in competition and a red carpet that one official said will be "less red than normal" — a reference to fewer Hollywood stars — the third Rome International Film Festival is turning its eyes toward Europe.

Fest organizers announced the bulk of the Oct. 22-31 event's lineup Wednesday, revealing a 20-film competition section heavy on European fare, especially Italian.

Highlights include "Easy Virtue," Stephan Elliott's examination of class struggle; Connie Walter's drama "Long Shadows"; and "The Artist," a dark comedy from documentary specialists Gaston Duprat and Mariano Cohn.

Notable local productions in competition include the France-Poland-Italy co-production "Resolution 819" — named for a U.N. resolution about the Balkan conflict — and Edoardo Winspeare's "Galantuomini," about a judge who returns to his hometown after several years away.

Two other Italians films have the country's film history in their DNA.

The competition title "Speak to Me About Me" hails from Brando De Sica, the grandson of director Vittorio De Sica, while Maurizio Scaparro's "The Last Punchinello," a drama screening out of competition, is based on an unpublished treatment by the late Roberto Rossellini.

"I was pleased to see these Italian titles in the program," festival president Gian Luigi Rondi said. "I never asked any of the artistic directors to favor particular films, but my mission has always been Italian film, and so this pleases me." (partialdiff)