Category: Film

Holy Motors


The First Ferrari IndyCar – in the early years of F1 competition, the Indy 500 was included as an event.


Micah inspecting a Vespa with a side-car at the Museo Piaggio

On the way back from Verona, we visited Maranello, home of the Ferrari motor factory, museum, and test track. This visit had been a dream of Jakob’s for many years, due to his dedication to industrial design and his interest in ‘going fast.’

Motor vehicles play a prominent part of Italian culture and sport; racing is one of the most popular spectator sports (motorcycles and F1) and participatory activities (as anyone passed by an Audi doing 180 km/hr on the autostrada can attest).

We had already visited, during our trip to Tuscany, the Museo Piaggio, where the eternal flame of Vespa, the iconic Italian scooter, is kept alive; this post records Jakob’s thoughts about stylish Italian transport.

(Our title refers to the strange but wonderful film, Holy Motors, which we watched earlier this year.)

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Pigs are Big

Peppa Pig gioca calcio

Micah (and all of Italy, it seems) has fallen in love with Peppa Pig, the four-year old heroine of five-minute long British cartoons dubbed brilliantly into Italian (sometimes they show the original English ones too, but they don’t sound as good).

The original series ran in the U.K. from 2004-2012 in its home country. It’s about an anthropomorphic pig family and their friends and adventures, which is perfect for young kids. Every day after school Micah hurries to turn on the episodes, and he seems to have learned lots of Italian that way. The dialogue is simple (but not simplistic), and very clear, so even  older learners can follow along easily.

News-stands and bookstores are filled with merchandising — Peppa Pig storybooks, candies, figurines, sticker-books, magazines, etc. etc. One might really get sick of it all, except that the characters are just so darned cute. Simon’s favorite is Peppa’s little brother George, who can say only one word: “Dinosauro,” referring to his favorite toy, and he always growls after he says it. The episodes are also pretty funny.

On the big screen

On the big screen

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a quick update by me, the lord of the Frogadorins

My quickest vlog ever…

(Note that the Firefox browser often does not display YouTube videos properly; you may need to use a different browser.)

Oh – you can also watch a short film I made this summer with my cousins on the farm, and just edited together:

“City of Phelopia”

It’s dystopian.

Trailer coming soon for my new Short Film, shot here in Perugia!

Micah Sees a Giraffe Movie


Yesterday the family went to see “Le Avventure di Zarafa,” a French film dubbed into Italian, at the Cinema Méliès, a new venue installed  behind the 16th- c. Chiesa di San Fiorenzo, in the hall of an old cloister, the “Casa dell’Associazionismo,” which is the headquarters of the Arci Perugia, a progressive social and cultural organization that has roots in late-19th century social movements. The courtyard leading to the hall is a beautiful space, centered around an old tree, as in this photo by R.o.b.e.r.t.o.:

The cloister, by R.o.b.e.r.t.o.

The hall was absolutely packed for the 4:30 matinee with parents, kids, snacks, and cheers. When the projector started, kids began to cheer inizia! inizia! (it’s starting, it’s starting!), and everyone applauded at the end.

The 2012 film (website and trailer here) is broadly about the journey of a boy and a giraffe (and their friends) from the Sudan to Paris. The kernel of the story is a true one, based on the actual 1826 journey of the first giraffe to France, which caused a stir (600,000 visitors came to see it in 1827), and ‘girafomania‘ gripped the city.

The giraffe embarking at Alexandria, 1826

Of course, a kids’ film takes significant liberties and invokes magical realism to tell the tale (though it doesn’t shy away from criticizing imperialism, slavery, and racism); you could read more about this lovely film on IMDB or Rotten Tomatoes.

Micah wants to describe it for his friends and family, as it was the first movie that he has seen in Italy. And he likes giraffes; they’re not quite orange, but they’re close!

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Castel Rigone, Week 5: Boxscores and Referees

Box score for the match in Il Giornale dell'Umbria

Box score for the Week 5 match in Il Giornale dell’Umbria

This past weekend, the biancoblu of Castel Rigone dropped a close game 1-0 at Poggibonsi. It was their third loss in three away games, and they sit in the danger zone near the bottom of the table, though the season is yet young, with 29 games yet to contest. The team played strongly (especially in the second half), and probably deserved a draw, but an unmarked run into the area by Poggibonsi was capped with a volley into goal at 22′, and that’s all that was needed.

Here are the video highlights of the week 5 match:

(Note that the Firefox browser often does not display YouTube videos properly; you may need to use a different browser.)

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