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Articles by: Maria Klein

  • Art & Culture

    Fare Cinema 2019 Italian Film Festival in Los Angeles

    The second edition of a special event dedicated to Italian film industry professionals is coming to Los Angeles. Fare Cinema has put together an initiative to educate the global public on Italian talent in filmmaking.


    “As part of the initiative, over 100 Italian cinema ambassadors will travel the globe to talk about the professions of filmmaking,” says the Italian Cultural Institute of Los Angeles.


    Franco Eco, a composer, theater director, artistic director and music producer, will be giving masterclasses in Los Angeles on the link between the musical language and the technical and expressive experience of the cinematographic art.


    The inspiration for this lecture comes from Walter Benijamin essay’s The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction. Stemming from this theme, the lesson will later outline a potential route the evolution of cinema and film music will take through the new media.


    From the experiences of accomplished professionals, the audience has the opportunity to learn about the work of Italians who have made an indispensable contribution to the art and industry of film, in Italy and abroad.

    This free admission event aims to stimulate the interests of an international public and increases the chance for recognition of Italian TV and films abroad.


    This initiative represents what Fare Cinema likes to call an “integrated approach, or rather, the bringing together of all the tools used to create a culture that values all elements of Italian excellence around the world.” Cinema is the knot that ties together every aspect of Italian identity. It combines art, culture, poetry and values in one.


    Created by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in collaboration with the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities, ANICA and Luce Cinecittà. In LA this event is presented under the auspices of the Consulate General of Italy in Los Angeles.


  • Art & Culture

    Pitti Uomo: Italian Fashion and Sustainability

    Research allows for new technological experimentation, giving contemporary fashion brands accessibility to creative and alternative materials. Many of the brands featured in this year’s Pitti Uomo turn to recycling among other practices to participate in the eco-oriented fashion trend.


    Orange Fiber produced the first sustainable fabric made from citrus trees. The company, a Pitti Uomo brand name, states that “Salvatore Ferragamo is the first fashion house to make use exclusively of Orange Fiber Fabrics. This much-anticipated collaboration is born of a shared passion for creative innovation, sustainable design, and our beloved heritage of Italian excellence.”


    Even the traditional Marinella Ties jumped onto the going green ship with a new limited edition Orange Fiber collection.


    The Cividini fashion outlet, among others, also looks to contribute to sustainability. Through returning to the use of handmade and artisan processes, such as tie-dye, they work towards a clean and unpolluted environment.


    Blauer USA just came out with their new beachwear line in which 10 models of boy bathing suits were made from recycled plastic water bottles.


    Pitti Uomo and the brands that follow its lead have found that sustainable products do not by any means ignore style. Instead, they offer “futuristic details like heat-welded seams, iridescent fabrics, and laser cuts.”


    American fashion outlets such as Rag & Bone, DÔEN, Eileen Fisher, and Mara Hoffman all push to incorporate this going green attitude within their products, and more importantly in big-name American brands.


    “She paints in circular brushstrokes, recycling and giving new life to old textiles and discarded garments,” reads a comment on Eileen Fisher’s fashion production. “The result? Luxurious and sustainable womenswear.”


    “It’s no surprise then, that in 2017, Rag & Bone partnered with Cotton Incorporated's Blue Jeans Go Green to launch a denim recycling program,” is stated in The Good Trade website.  


    These smaller American outlets look to involve big name companies within their country to take on eco-sustainability in their fashion lines. For example, American Eagle states “starting in 2018 we made the move to use shopping bags with a higher percentage of recycled content.”

    Although this is a positive move, many American fashion outlets are lacking in incorporating going green within their actual clothing lines.


    The focus on innovation, technology, and sustainability within design has sparked great interest in Italian fashion outlets. The importance now is that this same desire for sustainability in fashion is shared globally.

  • Facts & Stories

    An 'Italian Sabbatical’ in Grottole

    The Mayor of Grottole Francesco De Giacomo called the project a "one-of-a-kind opportunity," for his town of only 300 residents. Airbnb together with Wonder Grottole have been hard at work in attempting to save the village.

    This southern italian town is suffering greatly from depopulation. Today there have been counted more than 600 empty homes within the village. Many inhabitants have left and continue to do so putting the place in great risk of becoming a ghost town.

    Unfortunately this problem is not just affecting Grottole, research conducted by Legambiente, Italy’s institution that tracks the state of the national environment, shows that over half of the country’s smallest villages are in danger of disappearing within the decades to come. 2.430 places, today home to 3 million Italians, destined to vanish, because no one will be living in them anymore.

    Grottole, however, is not going to sit back and watch this happen, with the aid of Airbnb and Wonder Grottole the town is setting into action a new project going by the name of, the “Italian Sabbatical.”

    To participate you only need to be at least 18-years-old and willing to live in Grottole for three months, from June to August 2019. The chosen candidates will enjoy an all-expenses-paid stay in the village, where they will become part of the fabric of the community and, therefore, be responsible for helping revitalise the town.

    "Our dream is to repopulate the historic centre of Grottole," said Silvio Donadio, a founder of Wonder Grottole. "Within 10 years we'd like to see the village full of people from different cultures, perfectly integrated with the local community."

    News of the Italian Sabbatical project travelled the world, and over 280,000 people applied to be selected for the project. Locals have already prepared homes to host the five volunteers who were chosen, and the volunteers will have a full schedule of activities involving the entire village.

    "Even if I had had 100,000 euros to invest in marketing, I never could have gotten the same results in terms of visibility," De Giacomo said. "I hope the trend of depopulation, which is afflicting many small Italian villages, can be slowed. And I hope the can-do spirit I see today among the people in my community also stays," he said. Enza, an inhabitant of Grottole says "I've always lived here, and I'll never leave."

    The project offers to the volunteers the opportunity of learning about craftsmanship, agriculture, language, culture, and food from people who grew up mastering these professions.

    Rocco Filomeno, a local beekeeper, said: "People who arrive here from big cities will find an ancient village surrounded by woods and meadows. We'll encourage them to leave behind their old lives and to connect with our way of life.”

    Through the “Italian Sabbatical,” Grottole is hoping to provide their guests with an opportunity of a lifetime. They will be able to engage in a lifestyle that functions on a slower, less stressful pace while learning life skills at the same time. The ambition of the project is to revitalize the beautiful village of Grottole and everything it has to offer.


  • Facts & Stories

    Accidents Sparks Venice Ship Controversy

    In the past years, cruise industry officials assured the public that guiding tugboats and technology would provide for a safe docking onto the busy Giudecca Canal. Yet, the recent collision proves that this is not necessarily the case.

    "The MSC ship had an engine failure, which was immediately reported by the captain," said Davide Calderan, the head of one of the tugboats accompanying the cruise ship, according to AFP and Italian media. The tugboats tried to guide the cruise liner in safely, which holds more than 2,600 people, but were not strong enough to do so successfully.

    The local port authority for Venice told CNN its priority on Sunday was managing the accident, but that from tomorrow on its goal is to "finally create a solution to the traffic of large ships in Venice."

    "What happened in the port of Venice is confirmation of what we have been saying for some time," Italy's environment minister Sergio Costa tweeted. "Cruise ships must not sail down the Giudecca. We have been working on moving them for months now and are nearing a solution."

    Jane Da Mosto, an environmental scientist who heads We Are Here Venice, which looks to ban cruise ships says, "It worries me because it's something that could've happened so many other times, and could happen again today."

    This accident has re-sparked the debate over these large vessels. Local Venetians are saying "enough is enough," and that the accident was a "wake-up call." Members of "No grandi navi (No big ships)" movement have begun to protest in front of the large MSC Opera cruise ship, which crashed earlier that morning, into the fragile city.

    However, the big ships, which sail through the lagoon and the Giudecca Canal upon docking are also a key factor for a large portion of tourism in the city, as they bring close to two million visitors a year.

    Following Sunday's accident, Italy's transport minister, Danilo Toninelli, said the government is "close" to a solution to protect both the lagoon and tourism.

    A plan to divert large cruise ships away from St Mark’s basin and the Giudecca canal and towards the Vittorio Emanuele canal was drawn up by local authorities four years ago. “And in that time there has been no response (from the national government),” said Paola Mar, Venice tourism chief. “Our message is clear enough, now.”

    “Today’s accident at the port of Venice shows that the large vessels should no longer pass through the Giudecca,” Danilo Toninelli tweeted. “After so many years of inertia, we are finally close to a definitive solution to protect both the lagoon and tourism.”

    In addition to the big ships crowding waterways, and blocking views, they also create waves that risk damage to the city's buildings and infrastructure. Environmentalists have long claimed that waves caused by the cruise ships have eroded the underwater supports of buildings and polluted the waters.    

    The government, as mentioned earlier, is close to finding a solution. It is unclear, however, whether the solution would mean cruise ships of all sizes being banned from the canal or not.

    Overall the startling accident on Sunday has re-kindled the topic of how to address cruise ships in Venice, hopefully this time to draw a permanent solution.


  • Art & Culture

    Leonardo Da Vinci 2.0

    Milan's “Leonardo da Vinci 3D” exhibit is virtually bringing back the past for all to enjoy this summer. In this show, which will be held in the suggestive Cattedrale della Fabbrica del Vapore, the life and artworks of Leonardo can be experienced on a personal level unlike ever before.

    Through the use of technology the show breaks through traditional borders, bringing to the visitors images, lights, sounds and colors that recall the life and great works of Da Vinci.

    The exhibit is a jump from the past to the present, that allows for the public to get to know the great master “in person”. A life size hologram of Leonardo himself recounts his story and inspiration behind his works.

    Tradition and technological innovation work hand in hand to reveal to the viewer the true vastity and complexity of the world the well-known figure of Leonardo gravitated around.

    Technology creates the bridge that allows us to connect to this past world. The show not only narrates the life of Leonardo but also his universe.

    The exhibit links us to Da Vinci’s room of inventions, the mirror room dedicated to the flying machine, to the final immersive room of his artwork.

    This so-called “impossible exhibition” is a digital gallery, that for the first time, brings together, in a natural scale, all of the most famous Leonardo paintings. Viewers can experience Leonardo’s art, from the Mona Lisa to the Virgin of the Rocks, on a personal level.

    Viewing art through this digital lense gives people the opportunity to experience first hand the creative expression of the great artist, down to the very last detail. The exhibit in this sense creates a truly immersive experience.

    With the help of VR (virtual reality) and Oculus (glasses that permit virtual reality vision) the public can virtually submerge themselves into what they find fascinating.

    This virtual jump into the color, poses and details of the artists paintings on a natural scale is an experience that is not to be missed, drawing many from around the world to Milan this summer.     


  • Facts & Stories

    Game of Thrones Museum Opens in Ancient Roman City of Split

    The television series Game of Thrones might be over but fans can now experience the majestic and fantastical lure of the show first-hand within a new museum located in Split, Croatia, where many of the show’s iconic scenes were shot.    

    Dubrovnik was the main filming location in Croatia for King’s Landing, the capital of the seven kingdoms in the show. Moreover, the ancient palace of Diocletian in Split is home to the unforgettable scenes in which Daenerys trains her dragons.

    The majestic palace of Diocletian was originally built by the ancient Romans in the years 293-305 CE. With its various columns, archways, doors and interwoven paths the palace is an invitation to lose oneself to imagination.

    The directors of the TV show recognized the beauty of the ancient roman landscape to portray the perfect fantasy world. The still intact magnificent Roman architecture is fundamental to creating an imaginative and mystical atmosphere. The remains of the palace lend themselves to a beauty beyond our world.        

    In the museum “Everything is just like in the series. The exhibits are exact replicas of scenes, symbols and characters from GoT,” Luka Galic, the person behind the museum told the Croatia Times.

    The site is entirely dedicated to Game of Thrones. The 300 square meter space, is split up into five diversely themed rooms, each conceived by Luka Galic. Together with a crew of 40 artists and fans of GoT, he created rooms that faithfully reproduced elements, costumes, swords and even characters from the show.

    The beloved Jon Snow, Tyrion, Aryya, and even Daenerys with one of her dragons are on display giving fans the ultimate experience of immersion in the alternate universe of the GoT.

    The museum takes the visitors on a real life journey through the show. Providing first hand experience to sites and scenes that fans have watched and loved throughout the years. The institution has become a new and not to be missed attraction for Game of Thrones fans.

    The museum further presents photos that were taken on set and objects that were used during actual filming, demonstrating the ties that the country of Croatia has with the show.

    The Game of Thrones Museum is not the only attraction to the striking ancient Roman city of Split. The Diocletian palace at the heart of the city also hosts an annual Split Summer Festival. Musical, artistic and theatrical performances take place for a whole month long.

    Also this summer from July 12th to 14th, Ultra Europe brings to Croatia internationally famous artists such as David Guetta, Afrojack, and many others.

    The ancient Roman city, known for its beautiful coastline views and ruins, now also draws in Game of Thrones fans from around the world to their new museum. The age-old city invites the visitors to marvel over and lose themselves in the imaginative realm of the show.

  • Art & Culture

    Looking to The Future of Pompeii

    In recent years, the archeological park of Pompeii has faced several trials which hindered its ability to maintain an adequate international status. After an earthquake in the 1980’s and the collapse of the Schola Armaturarum, many sectors of the outdoor museum, consequently were closed off to the public.

    Massimo Osanna through the “Grande Progetto” did his part to get Pompeii back on its feet after these devastating events. He once again allowed for access to the areas of the archeological park that were priorly damaged.

    Since he is currently almost finished with these works of restoration and reopening, the director looks to the future of Pompeii. His prevalent hope for the outdoor museum is not only to continue to extract new findings, but to strive to expand Pompeii in further dimensions.

    The director plans on achieving this foremost by increasing the number of his crew. He states “at least 100 people” are essential to maintain and provide care for the streets, buildings, and monuments of Pompeii.  

    More importantly, the new trend of museums to reach out, interact, and educate the public in a meaningful manner is at the frontline of Osanna’s demand for the archeological park.

    It is his desire that Pompeii can become a place of archeology that is inclusive to the masses. The director’s ambition is to create an environment that allows for people to be participants. One that pushes them to experience for themselves the lasting presence of antiquity today.

    Massimo Osanna, further recognizes the powerful impact that a relationship with art can have in diversifying their visitors. New tactics may especially reach the youth, who live in an era that perhaps does not place much importance on Pompeii’s archeological magnificence.

    “I am convinced that a museum, in this case an archeological park, must be a pillar of development for the community,” Says Osanna. A place to “rethink one’s own roots and culture.”

    The archeological park is recognized as “the place which has for centuries most greatly influenced european culture, through its various diverse displays and artistic expressions.” Although Massimo Osanna recognizes that it will not be an easy task, he wishes to share Pompeii’s immense and varied beauty with the world.


  • Art & Culture

    Prada Goes Fur-Free

    In order to aid in animal protection, Prada has announced on May 22nd that it will go fur-free, starting with the Spring/Summer 2020 women’s collections. The Italian fashion house has vouched, in collaboration with the Fur Free Alliance (FFA), to no longer use animal furs in their future products.


    Along with the FFA, which groups over 50 organizations in more than 40 countries, Prada has also worked with The Humane Society of the United States and LAV, an Italian organization for animal rights.


    Miuccia Prada herself believes this decision to be an important milestone for the company. Going fur-free has allowed for Prada to experiment with innovative materials, giving the fashion house the chance to explore new frontiers of creativity and express new forms of design. Prada hopes this change in style will give way to future growth within the company, benefiting both them and society.   


    Furthermore, the decision demonstrates the devotion Prada has shown in taking on social responsibility. The fashion house has expressed great consideration for the demand in today’s society to enforce ethical products. Prada, with this commitment to stop using fur, is displaying their desire to link their values with those of society.


    Prada is just the latest in a long line of other fashion groups that have also pledged to go fur-free. Additional companies include Giorgio Armani, Versace, Burberry, Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren and Gucci, as well as fur-free pioneers Stella McCartney and Vivienne Westwood.


    "Technological progress made over the years allows us to have valid alternatives at our disposal that render the use of cruel practices unnecessary as regards animals,” says Armani. “Pursuing the positive process undertaken long ago, my company is now taking a major step ahead, reflecting our attention to the critical issues of protecting and caring for the environment and animals."


    In deciding to go fur-free, Prada is conveying that they too recognize the importance of having a morally correct product, and will continue to do so in the future.