Thanks to Convivo, a nonprofit seeking to be "San Diego's premier Italian cultural organization," locals will get a chance to see some of the best European imports of recent years. The series is entitled "Films Al Fresco," which debuts Saturday, June 13, at The Lafayette Hotel in North Park with an opening night presentation of Cinema Paradiso, Giuseppe Tornatore's 1988 love letter to movies.
A national cinema survey such as "Films Al Fresco" might seem remedial in cities like Los Angeles and New York, but for San Diegans this represents a real opportunity for film lovers to see a broad cross-section of Italian films from multiple time periods and genres.
The most essential of these is Vittorio and Paolo Taviani's landmark 1982 drama The Night of the Shooting Stars (July 10), a seminal art film set at the tail end of WWII in an rural village caught up in the struggle between retreating Nazis and advancing Allied forces. It mixes political themes with beguiling magical realism to amazing effect.
Also of note is Gillo Pontecorvo's 1957 The Wide Blue Road (Sept. 11) starring Yves Mortand as a desperate fisherman trying to feed his family. Known for his masterpiece The Battle of Algiers, Pontecorvo has the unique ability to bunker the camera inside tense situations of human dilemma.
The series ends with a fittingly enjoyable movie feast. Big Night (Oct. 16) stars Stanley Tucci and the indomitable Tony Shalhoub as bickering brothers trying to save their restaurant by cooking one last amazing meal. It will whet your appetite for comedy while conjuring up food cravings you didn't know existed.
Good thing wine and appetizers will be for sale before each screening, which will begin shortly after 7 p.m. For more information about Films Al Fresco visit conviviosociety.org/films.
Amor de mis amores: Love at first sight strikes hard in this romantic comedy set in Spain. Screens through Thursday, June 18, at the Digital Gym Cinema in North Park.
Jurassic World: Velociraptors in mirror are closer than they appear.
Live from New York: This documentary goes behind the scenes of an American television institution: Saturday Night Live.
Marie's Story: A deaf and blind teenager finds salvation in a nunnery in 19th century France. Screens through Thursday, June 18, at the Digital Gym Cinema in North Park.
Results: Andrew Bujalski's sweetly offbeat romantic comedy features Guy Pearce and Cobie Smulder's as personal trainers whose relationship gets complicated after a new client (Kevin Corrigan) comes into the picture.
Sundance Film Festival Shorts: Award winning collection of short films from the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, including Don Hertzfeld's World of Tomorrow. Screens through Wednesday, June 17, at the Digital Gym Cinema in North Park.
Testament of Youth: Vera Brittain's WWI memoir is told from the perspective of a woman seeing the futility of war for the first time.
One Time Only
La Mafia uccide solo d'estate (The Mafia only kills in the Summer): A romantic comedy with political teeth, this film by Pierfrancesco Diliberto addresses the impact the Mafia has had on Palermo history and its everyday citizenry. Screens at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 11, at La Paloma Theatre in Encinitas.
The Thomas Crown Affair: Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway star in Norman Jewison's romantic thriller about a bank robber who falls in love with his pursuer. Screens at 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, June 11 and 12, at Cinema Under the Stars in Mission Hills.
Cinema Paradiso: Fall in love with the power of movies all over again with this inspirational drama from Italy. Screens at 7 p.m. Saturday, June 13, at The Lafayette Hotel in North Park.
The Maltese Falcon: Considered by many to be the first true film noir, this Humphrey Bogart detective story involves a cast of eccentric criminals and a priceless statuette. Screens at 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, June 13 and 14, at Cinema Under the Stars in Mission Hills.
Shadow of a Doubt: The menacing Uncle Charlie (Joseph Cotten) is a real peach to Teresa Wright's suspicious young lass. Screens at 2 p.m. Sunday, June 14, at the Point Loma / Hervey Branch Library.
The One I Love: Mark Duplass and Elisabeth Moss try to navigate the tricky pitfalls of marriage in this indie drama from Charlie McDowell. Screens at 6:30 p.m. Monday, June 15, at the San Diego Central Library in East Village.
White on Rice: Dave Boyle's charming comedy shows that it's never too late in life to grow up. Screens at 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 16, at the Point Loma / Hervey Branch Library.
Strangers on a Train: If you ever needed a morality lesson about the dangers of trading murders with a complete stranger, let my man Hitch show you the way. Screens at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 17, at the Scripps Ranch Public Library.
Pearl Peep's Viewer's Choice: The choice is yours, dear reader. Screens at 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 17 at The Pearl Hotel in Point Loma.
Aloft : A conflicted single mother turned mystic must come to grips with the decisions she makes that will affect her children well into the future.
Entourage : The popular HBO show about a movie star and his childhood friends making it big in Hollywood gets the big-screen treatment. Opens wide Wednesday, June 3.
Insidious: Chapter 3 : Round three in the ongoing battle between white suburbia and the supernatural hereafter. Go!
Love & Mercy : Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys gets the biopic treatment in a story that covers pivotal moments in the 1960s and 1980s. Starring Paul Dano and John Cusack.
Spy : Melissa McCarthy steps out from behind the desk and into the field in this spy comedy from director Paul Feig ( Bridesmaids ).
When Marnie Was There : The latest animation from the legendary Studio Ghibli tells the story of a shy young girl who meets the young occupant of a mysterious mansion.
Aloha: Cameron Crowe tries to resuscitate his career with this long-delayed (not a good sign) drama about a military man based in Hawaii trying to rediscover love.
San Andreas: "What a disaster."
—Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.
In the Name of My Daughter: André Téchiné's melodrama is set in the South of France and follows the sordid relationships of a casino owner (Catherine Deneuve) and her daughter.
Poltergeist: In this remake, the youngest daughter of a suburban family is captured by ghosts, leaving her family scrambling for ways to rescue her.
Tomorrowland: George Clooney and Britt Robertson star in Brad Bird's space adventure about a young girl who finds a ring that opens up an alternate universe.
Saint Laurent: A strange and beguiling biopic about the famous French fashion designer, Yves Saint Laurent, portrayed with unflinching vulnerability by Gaspard Ulliel. Bertrand Bonello directs.
The 100-Year-Old Man Who Jumped Out the Window and Disappeared: An elderly man escapes his nursing home immediately before his 100th birthday hoping to rekindle his sense of adventure.
Felix and Meira: Two lost souls attempt to find a romantic connection despite the obstacles presented by the neighborhood they inhabit.
Mad Max: Fury Road: George Miller's infamous policeman-turned-road-warrior returns to the big screen in what looks like one long bonkers chase through a dystopic desert. Tom Hardy reprises the role made famous by Mel Gibson.
About Elly: While on a picnic in the north of Iran, a kindergarten teacher disappears, leaving her friends distraught with panic. From director Asghar Farhadi ( A Separation ).
Far From the Madding Crowd: Carey Mulligan and Matthias Schoenaerts star in Thomas Vinterberg's adaptation of Thomas Hardy's sweeping romance about a fiercely independent woman who struggles to choose between three suitors.
Black Souls: Based on Gioacchini Criaco's novel of the same name, this gripping mafia tale explores the tension and conflict between three brothers fighting for control of an Italian crime family.
Noble: A feature film based on the true story of Christina Noble, an Irish children's rights campaigner who traveled to Vietnam to make a difference.
Hot Pursuit: An uptight cop played by Reese Witherspoon tries to protect the vivacious widow of a Mexican drug boss while being pursued through Texas by a collective of bad guys. .
Welcome to Me: A psychotic woman (Kristen Wiig) wins the lottery and decides to stop taking her meds and creates her own talk show.
The D Train: Jack Black and James Marsden are quite a pair in this dark comedy about the head of a high school reunion committee who travels to Los Angeles, hoping to convince the most popular guy from his graduating class to attend the event.
Avengers: Age of Ultron : The brood of Marvel superheroes are back to battle the nefarious Ultron, who has plans to take over the world.
Clouds of Sils Maria : A middle-aged actress decides to star in a reboot of the play that made her famous 20 years before. Starring Juliette Binoche, Kristin Stewart and Chloë Grace-Moretz.
Dior and I : Documentary that takes you behind the scenes of the storied world of the Christian Dior fashion house.
Ex Machina : Set in the near future, Alex Garland's sci-fi film tells the story of an Internet mogul who convinces one of his employees to conduct a Turing test on his newest A.I. creation.
Little Boy : With his father away in WW II, a young boy goes to great lengths to restore stability to his family.
The Age of Adaline : Rendered ageless after a fateful accident, a young woman born at the turn of the 20th century lives a lonely life of immortality until she finally meets a stranger who may be worth dying for.
The Road to Juarez : An ex-con recruits his friends to pull off a daring heist against a powerful Mexican drug cartel.
The Water Diviner : After the battle of Gallipoli, an Australian man travels to Turkey hoping to locate his three missing sons.
Desert Dancer : An ambitious young man risks everything to start a new dance company despite the politically volatile climate of his home country of Iran.
Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter : A young Japanese woman travels to America searching for a briefcase full of cash that was hidden in the snow during 1996's Fargo .
Lambert and Stamp: This documentary looks at the unlikely partnership between two aspiring filmmakers who ended up producing one of the greatest rock bands in history: The Who.
Monkey Kingdom : A documentary about one newborn monkey and its mother attempting to survive the social hierarchy of the Temple Troop, a group of monkeys who live in a series of ruins deep in the jungles of South Asia.
True Story : James Franco stars as a murder suspect who has stolen the identity of a disgraced New York Times reporter played by Jonah Hill. Weird casting.
Unfriended : The Facebook horror film you knew was coming but didn't think would be here quite this soon.
Havana Curveball : A young and enthusiastic teenager decides to create a grand plan of supplying Cuba with baseballs after being inspired by the holy words associated with his Bar Mitzvah.
Kill Me Three Times : After a botched assignment, a professional hitman played by Simon Pegg gets wrapped up in three different tales of murder, blackmail and revenge.