Not 81/2 Weeks with Claudia Cardinale in Abu Dhabi

There are some women who can cut through your armor like a hot knife through butter and get to your heart. Next thing you know you’re in love. You’re a lost pup. You don’t know if you’re coming or going. I’ll tell you. I’ve lived with some gorgeous women. You throw into the mix Italian, and top the word off with Sicilian, and Dio mio, it’s Claudia Cardinale.

Now how can you not like a women who told reporter in 1965: –

She liked a dry martini before dinner, caviar for hors d’oeuvres, lobsters or oysters for seafood, or a steak alla Fiorentina. When it came to wine, her preference was for a rich, red wine.

 

I love films, and I love film-making, and everything that goes with it. Cardinale, and her image was something that never left my mind. Since 81/2 weeks that image of her’s has stayed with me. I felt like Seinfeld kissing his date during Schindler’s List,  watching Franco Zeffirelli Jesus of Nazareth and all the time thinking give me more on the screen of Claudia Cardinale.

While Cardinale was born in Tunisia on April 15, 1938, her parents were from Sicily. Her father was an Italian railroad worker. Despite having an Italian father, she grew up speaking French after her French mother. Cardinale speaks French, Italian, English, Spanish and Arabic. Cardinale first attracted attention in 1957 after winning the “Most Beautiful Girl in Tunisia” contest; her prize was a trip to the Venice Film Festival, inspiring her to pursue a career in acting. After studying at Rome’s Centro Sperimentale film school, she made her screen debut in 1958 in Mario Monicelli’s classic caper comedy I Soliti Ignoti, followed a year later by Pietro Germi’s Un Maledetto Imbroglio.

Under the guidance of producer Franco Cristaldi (later to become her husband), Cardinale emerged as a major sex symbol; however, she also continued to appear with highly regarded filmmakers, including Abel Gance (The Battle of Austerlitz), Luchino Visconti (Rocco E I Suoi Fratelli), and Philippe de Broca (1962’s Cartouche). In 1963, Cardinale received her widest exposure to date, playing herself — the object of star Marcello Mastroianni’s fantasies — in Federico Fellini’s masterpiece 8 1/2. That same year, she also appeared in Visconti’s epic Il Gattopardo. Their combined success piqued Hollywood’s interest, and in 1964 she co-starred in her first American production, Henry Hathaway’s Circus World. She also appeared opposite Peter Sellers in Blake Edwards’ The Pink Panther. I could not stop thinking of her in, Once Upon A Time In The West.

Cardinale continued dividing her time between Hollywood and Europe for the remainder of the decade, appearing in diverse projects ranging from the 1965 Visconti war drama Vaghe Stelle dell’Orsa to the 1966 Richard Brooks Western The Professionals. In 1968, she also co-starred in the Sergio Leone classic Once Upon a Time in the West. However, with the 1969 Mikhail Kalatozov adventure La Tenda Rossa, Cardinale began appearing almost exclusively in European films, few of which were distributed in English-language markets. As a result, she was largely a memory when she resurfaced in the 1976 hit The Pink Panther Strikes Again. A year later, she also co-starred in the television miniseries Jesus of Nazareth. Cardinale’s next high-profile international project was the 1982 Werner Herzog art-house hit Fitzcarraldo. She followed it with another miniseries, 1983’s Princess Daisy, then again remained in Europe prior to the 1993 Son of the Pink Panther.

As at Toronto International Film Festival, in Abu Dhabi the world’s oldest living filmmaker, and he remains one of its most inventive, prolific, and relevant at age 103, Portuguese master Manoel de Oliveira, film Gebo and the Shadow will be presented.

Gebo and the Shadow, based on the 1923 play by the great Portuguese modernist Raul Brandão, assembles a cast of cinematic legends — including Cardinale, Michael Lonsdale, Jeanne Moreau,along with de Oliveira regulars Leonor Silveira and Ricardo Trêpa (the director’s nephew) for a tale of a fin de siècle Parisian family beset by economic crisis — a story that has powerful resonance with our own times.

Would 81/2 weeks be enough time to sit down and talk to Cardinale about her adventures over time from Europe to Hollywood? I think not.
If time could be had with Cardinale to just sit and talk, where would it be? Abu Dhabi would be a good place to start.

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Gebo Et L’Ombre (Gebo And The Shadow) trailer HD... by myfilm-gr

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Sweden in Abu Dhabi – ‘Eat Sleep Die’ –

I did not get to see the film Eat Sleep Die at the Toronto International Film Festival, and so I was not going to miss this Swedish gem in Abu Dhabi, at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival 2012.

“I wanted to make a film about the people I’ve always loved – but was ashamed to be part of.
I wanted to redefine the Swede’s image of Sweden and national identity.
I wanted the leading role to be an intense, cocky, straight- forward Muslim working class girl who doesn’t give a shit what others think about her.
I wanted to portrait a father-daughter relationship I never got to see on screen when I was a young girl.
I wanted to tell the story about young people today, in the midst of
the European unemployment crisis, trying to adapt to a contradictory society.” – Director,Gabriela Pichler

Possibly the most exciting and emotionally acute first feature to emerge from Sweden since Fucking Amal, Gabriela Pichler’s Eat Sleep Die is a heart-wrenching account of the new Europe under globalization — or, to put it in old-school terms, the ugliest aspects of late capitalism and its need to destroy and devour every social structure in pursuit of profit. Directed with sensitivity and profound emotional insight by Pichler — there are few more touching scenes in any film this year than Raša’s reunion with her father, or her and her best friend horsing around in an abandoned playground — Eat Sleep Die boasts brilliant performances from the largely non-professional cast led by Luka, who is quite simply unforgettable as the indomitable Raša.

Gabriela Pichler was born in Huddinge, Sweden and attended film school in Gothenburg. She has directed the short films Nångång (04), Leda (07) and Scratches (08), which won prizes at Munich, Karlovy Vary and the Uppsala Short Film Festival. Eat Sleep Die (12) is her debut feature.

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Cipriani Yas Island Food and Films in Abu Dhabi

There are thousands of great places to go to eat in  Abu Dhabi.  The variety is endless and the chefs some of the best in the world. Where do you go if you are in the mood for Steak tartare?

Paris would be the first city that would come to mind if you wanted Steak tartare with all the bistros but if your from Hollywood at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival then the Beverly Hills Hotels, Polo Lounge serves up a great Steak Tartare over a bed of mesclun or served with toast points or french fries.

The fact is you are not in Paris or Beverly Hills so off you go to Cipriani Yas Island. If you dine at any of the Cipriani’s then you will probably run into staff that have earned their stripes in London, New York or even Harry’s Bar in Venice. So it feels like home.

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‘Arbitrage’ – Opens Abu Dhabi Film Festival – Oscar for Gere!

There was once a wall in New York, that was meant to keep the encroaching English out, as well as the Native American Indians from the Dutch settlement. The Wall had various spots where one would come and meet and trade. This was the beginning of Wall Street, in New York.

In New York City, on Wall Street, each day someone is one step away from making big money, and someone one step away from prison. It’s all a matter of how good your attorney is or who your attorney is.

Each year from Wharton School of Business, Harvard, Princeton, or Stanford among others someone smarter than the year before arrives on the scene who can cook books better, circumvent regulations, create a financial instrument that leads to the zero sum game.

There are others on Wall Street in New York City you go to when your in a jam, and they are the once who give you money to ‘park’, so your books look okay, while at the same time they take a ‘put option’ on your company stock to hedge their bets. They know the game.

The everyday person, no matter how smart he or she maybe has no chance against these odds, they are better off in Las Vegas, on Wall Street they will just get crushed like a fallen leaf in Autumn in Central Park.

The big investment companies on Wall Street are like a great vampire wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming it’s blood funnel into anything that smells like money.

Arbitrage, the movie that opened the Abu Dhabi Film Festival captures the mood and has all of the above elements. In Arbitrage however Richard Gere Gere and first-time director Nicholas Jarecki put a tantalizing spin on what goes on in the head of a fraudulent hedge-fund manager when he decides to stick it to the rest of us, including his own family. On Wall Street, someone will get screwed but screwing your own family? that is the cold, calculating, elegant, character of Robert Miller,portrayed by Richard Gere and in my humble opinion the man deserves an Oscar for his sterling performance. Arbitrage never descends to bland and predictable.

The film was disturbing to me, because of it’s sheer power, and the man portrayed by Richard Gere will stir some emotions in you.

The entire cast, in the film give great performance’s, and at 62 years of age the man Richard Gere is on top of his game.
It’s an implosive tour de force.

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Food for Films in Abu Dhabi at Yotto

If you have twenty-four hours to go till showtime and the ten days of films in Abu Dhabi you best scout out all the places you will want to eat. So upon landing where would I go first, it would have to be Yotto at Yas Yacht Club it’s a must-try on your list!

Cipriani’s only Japanese restaurant, Yotto is small yet perfectly formed. With only ten tables at most, the small, circular dining room instantly transmits a sense of intimacy and exclusivity. Literally meaning yacht or boat, the décor at Yotto follows a similar nautical theme to the rest of Cipriani, with huge floor-to-ceiling windows, soft wood tones and bright yellow and red accents adding a hint of oriental charm.

Ordering the food here, tell the chef, or tell the waiting staff you want it to be a delightful journey, and you will not be disappointed.

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