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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Mailbag: Rome: Dr. Cooper Writes re: " La Dolce Vita"

Hi Everybody, Just saw the movie "Hope Springs" with Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones. I give it two stars (out of four). The subject is maintaining or regaining a loving relationship after many years and changes together. Discuss among yourselves. Rome has a cinema called Nuovo Olimpia that shows American movies in English (with Italian subtitles). It is located on Via in Lucina, 16/g, just off the Via del Corso, south of the Piazza del Popolo and west of the Spanish Steps. In 2006, I saw two new American movies: The Departed, with Leonardo di Caprio, and Babel, with Brad Pitt. The opportunity to watch movies in English is one of the reasons I like to camp in Rome for a few days before the final semester meeting with the students in Levanto, Italy, just north of the Cinque Terra. Tonight, I plan to see Fellini's La Dolce Vita, dubbed in English, at the cinema Azzurro Scipioni near Vatican City. The cinema is run by a wonderful man named Silvano Agosti, whom I met in 2006. As I was looking at the movie posters in his window, he spoke to me and told me about La Dolce Vita, which he shows in English every Sunday at 5:00. pm. He is a passionate man. When I asked him if he himself "is a filmmaker", he said, "No, I am a human being." I guess he WORKS in films, which is different. When I told him I was a teacher, he said, "Oh, you are a murderer of the spirit!" I laughed, deciding to take his passionate expressions in stride. I guess he has strong views on proper ways to raise and educate children. The fact that I am a college teacher (instead of those mean old elementary and secondary teachers like my son, nieces, and nephews) did not seem to faze him or prompt him to let me off the hook. When I returned to view one of the two movies I saw at his cinema, he modified his "murderer" comment by saying, "You have a kind face." He gave me a book he had written. I guess he liked me, despite his seemingly harsh judgment. My encounter with Mr. Agosti and La Dolce Vita remain one of my fondest memories of the 2006 SAE trip. And so I have given myself the assignment to return this evening to view La Dolce Vita for the second time. I hope Mr. Agosti is there. I'll keep you posted. See you soon,

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