Film Scouts Diaries

2003 Taormina BNL FilmFest Diaries
Mob Blog - Day 8

by Philipp Hoschka

Taormina, June 14, 2003 - The last day of the festival - thankfully so, since it is getting hotter every day here. The festival moved from its traditional July dates to June this year, but it could not escape an unprecedented heat-wave in Europe.

Tonight's closing movie is "Effroyables Jardins" ("Horrifying Gardens") by French director Jean Becker. The film's main story takes place in occupied France during the second world war. A group of men are taken hostage by the German troops as retaliation for an act of sabotage. They are being kept in a muddy pit hole and are facing the threat of being shot, when suddenly, one of the German guards starts making funny faces at them, seemingly adding insult to injury. This tragicomedy adds at least one new aspect to movies on the second world war (not all German soldiers are robots of evil), but turns out to be a bit lengthy - not a surprise, given that it is based on a novel by Michel Quint that has only 60 pages.

The movie is followed by the price ceremony for an Italian film award. Matrix-star Monica Belucci makes a brief appearance - she receives the award for best supporting actress. Finally, we are ready for the traditional midnight dinner reception at the pool of the Hotel Exelsior, with a copious sampling of Sicilian specialities ranging from caponata over pasta con le sarde to cannoli.

Overall, the Taormina BNL Filmfest has continued its upward trend this year, and seems to be in good shape for its 50th anniversary in 2004.

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