Four Italian films you can watch this summer at Cinema Akil: from 'La Dolce Vita' to 'Il Postino'

The summer programme at Dubai's only independent art-house cinema begins on Friday, June 26

Dubai's only independent arthouse cinema reopened on June 12. Photo Mohamed Somji / Seeing Things 
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Cinema Akil is launching a summer-long series of film screenings, with classic and contemporary favourites that celebrate the joy of travel, in the spotlight.

Dubbed Cinema Akil Traveller, the programme kicks off on Friday, June 26, with four classic Italian films, which will be screened at the venue in collaboration with the Italian Cultural Institute and Front Row Filmed Entertainment.

The series will start with the Federico Fellini masterpiece La Dolce Vita.

Dubai's only independent art-house cinema reopened on June 12, as the UAE began easing restrictions that were put in place to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

The cinema, which is located in Alserkal Avenue, has redesigned its seating arrangement and imposed a number of social-distancing measures to ensure visitors have a safe and worry-free viewing experience.

“At Cinema Akil, we've always believed that cinema can take you through places and times,” founder and managing director Butheina Kazim said in a statement.

“You don’t have to get on a plane to travel. Summer 2020 is not a typical one and, if like many this year, you’re choosing not to fly to your summer holiday destination, we wanted to bring that destination to you,” she said.

The organisation has joined forces with the newly opened Italian Cultural Institute Abu Dhabi and long-time partners Front Row Filmed Entertainment for the summer programme.

Here's the lowdown on a few of the films you can watch this season.

'La Dolce Vita' (1960)

One of Fellini's most lauded films, La Dolce Vita won the coveted Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1960, then nabbed the Academy Award for Best Costume Design two years later.

'La Dolce Vita' will be showing at Cinema Akil from June 26 to July 9. Courtesy Cinema Akil
'La Dolce Vita' will be showing at Cinema Akil from June 26 to July 9. Courtesy Cinema Akil

The comedy-drama stars Marcello Mastroianni, who depicts a columnist named Marcello Rubini, who many believe to be Fellini’s alter ego.

The film follows Rubini’s adventures around an ultra-modern, ultra-sophisticated, ultra-decadent Rome, creating a portrait of an intelligent but superficial man who craves a life of celebrity, wealth and self-indulgence.

La Dolce Vita will be showing at Cinema Akil from Friday, June 26 to Thursday, July 9.

'La Grande Bellezza' (2013)

Paolo Sorrentino's art drama La Grande Bellezza (The Great Beauty) won the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar in 2013.

It tells the story of an ageing writer, who, after his 65th birthday, begins to take stock of his life, and starts looking past the lavish nightclubs, parties and cafes he has spent most of his time in. Instead he wants to discover Rome in all its glory.

In 2016, the film was listed among the 100 greatest films since 2000 in an international critics’ poll.

La Grande Bellezza will be screening at Cinema Akil from Friday to Thursday, July 10 to 23.

'Il Postino' (1994)

Directed by Massimo Troisi and Michael Radford, Il Postino (The Postman) is one of the most romantic films ever made.

The film is set in the 1950s and tells of a postman whose sole duty it is to deliver Pablo Neruda’s daily mail after the exiled Cuban poet settles down on a tiny Italian isle.

The film is a moving tale of poetry, love and friendship, made more poignant by the fact Troisi – who also acts as the postman in the film – died the day after filming ended.

The comedy-drama earned numerous accolades upon its release in 1994, including the Bafta Award for Best Film Not in the English Language, Best Direction and Best Film Music.

Il Postino will be showing at Cinema Akil from Friday to Thursday, July 24 to 30.

'Mediterraneo' (1991)

Gabriele Salvatores’ anti-war film is set during the Second World War and tells the story of a group of Italian soldiers who become stranded on a seemingly deserted island in the middle of the Aegean Sea.

Soon, the soldiers realise that the island’s citizens have merely gone into hiding, thinking that they were under German attack. As the soldiers become acclimated to island life, they begin repainting the church’s frescoes, starting football teams and even finding romance.

Mediterraneo will be screening at Cinema Akil from Friday, July 31 to Thursday, August 6.