Cinema Italiano | Bellissima

A film director is looking for a little girl for his new movie. Along with other mothers, Maddelena takes her daughter to the legendary Cinecittà (Italian for Cinema City), a large film studio in Rome that was the center of Italian cinema, hoping she’ll be selected and become a star. She is ready to sacrifice anything for little Maria, even if it strains the family’s fortunes to pay for teachers, hairdressers, and bribes to fulfill her dreams. Director: Luchino Visconti. Starring Anna Magnani and Walter Chiari. Italian with English subtitles. 1952, B&W, DVD, 114 minutes.

In this Italian film series, Visconti’s Bellissima gives us a glimpse into the beginning of the post-war Italian film industry. Barefoot Contessa (Nov. 23) and La Amiche (Nov. 30) showcase costumes designed by the Fontana sisters—Zoe, Micol, and Giovanna—who opened their Rome atelier in 1943 and whose signature designs earned Rome the nickname “Hollywood on the Tiber.” Valentino: The Last Emperor (Nov. 28) is a behind-the-scenes view of Italian fashion today. Each film will be introduced by Nicole LaBouff, assistant curator of textiles in the MIA’s Department of Decorative Arts, Textiles & Sculpture.

For tickets, call (612) 870-6323 or reserve online.

Presented in partnership with The Italian Cultural Center.