Shorter 'Famiglia' to debut in Italy


ROME -- Paolo Sorrentino on Friday said that his long-awaited fourth film, "L'Amico di Famiglia" (The Friend of the Family), will arrive in Italian cinemas next month, but at a shorter length than the version that premiered at the Festival de Cannes this year.

The film stirred controversy when its Italian release was held until Nov. 10 -- an extremely long lag time between its premiere and local release by Italian standards.

Distributor Fandango said the release of the film was delayed for marketing reasons. Italian cinema owners complained about the decision at the time, with several threatening not to show the film when it was finally released as they wanted to benefit from the publicity the film attracted in Cannes.

Nanni Moretti's "Il Caimano" ("The Caiman"), the other Italian film In Competition at Cannes, was a commercial success in Italy and will soon be released on DVD.

"L'Amico di Famiglia" tells the dark story of a loan shark who uses his influence to try to push his way into the affairs of those who borrow money from him.

Sorrentino, speaking in television interviews to promote the film, revealed that the film was shortened by several minutes ahead of the release date. Though the 36-year-old director vowed that the main story of the film was not affected by the edits, the local media are reporting that the changes were made to make the film less dark than the original version.