Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Wonders of Summer TV

Since schools let out last week, Italy is officially on its summer schedule. The local bus times were modified and TV line-up has radically changed to welcome the hot months and what they assume Italians are doing (and more importantly not doing, like working too hard, staying in the city or, for that matter, watching much television). Italy is at the beach-right! The whole country! And who watches TV at the beach?!

One of the benefits of these alterations is the return of Italian classic movies to fill in the hours that during the year are dedicated to regular programming including reality, talent and variety shows. But in my opinion, the quality comes in summer when all those people running the shows are on vacation.

Tonight I had the pleasure of watching Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni play roles as Filumena, a prostitute, and Domenico, a wealthy patron of her services, in the 1964 film Matrimonio all'italiana. In the end, the main characters end up married and only when Domenico is already an old man does he realize that her three children are all his. Their passionate arguments during the tormented years of knowing each other are a thrill to watch.

Few of today's Italian actors offer the same kind of charisma and intrigue as these past legends.

And thanks to the TV station's laziness in creating new summer programs, we get to savor the past greats!

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