Rome Travel Guide

Rome Architecture, History, Art, Museums, Galleries, Fashion, Music, Photos, Walking and Hiking Itineraries, Neighborhoods, News and Social Commentary, Politics, Things to Do in Rome and Environs. Over 900 posts

Sunday, February 21, 2021

ELFO in Rome


As those who follow Rome the Second Time may know, the administrators of the website are keen observers of Rome's WALLS.  Over the years, we have learned a great deal about the city's politics, about its heroes and villains, its neo-fascists and do-gooders, its martyrs and activists.  

And so, when we landed in the neighborhood of Pigneto in the spring of 2019, we were pleased to find an area dense with posters, graffiti, wall art and wall writing. Much of what we found was familiar.  But not the word ELFO, which appeared in several places, sometimes simply as "ELFO," but also as "ELFO AMOK" and "ELFO AMOK/LF.LF."  A mystery to be sure: possibly the initials of a local activist, or those of an anti-fascist martyred in the "Anni di Piombo," the "Years of Lead," a reference to a decade of ideological conflict and violence, assassination and murder, that began in the 1970s. Another layer of Rome's political onion, peeled away.  

Alas, none of that proved to be true. As we later learned, ELFO (which means "elf," a mythical being), refers to the animated television series "Disenchantment," written and produced by Matt Groening (best known for "The Simpsons," whose characters also appear on Rome walls), which premiered on Netflix in August, 2018--just in time to inspire the person or persons who chose to celebrate it on Pigneto's walls.  

It's in the genre of medieval fantasy, and it's set in the kingdom of Dreamland. As far as I know, it has nothing to do with Rome.  Sorry about that. 


Saturday, February 6, 2021

Reviews of Italian Films - Now Easily Accessible

We liked this one mainly for its
views of Rome.  Review

On "our" (2 Film Critics) movie review site, we now have a category for Italian films. [To "follow" 2 Film Critics, click the bouncing "Follow Us" turquoise button below our photo, here:]

The new "Italian" category, which supplements a "Foreign- All" category, includes films produced in Italy, films about Italy (and specifically Rome in many cases), and films in the Italian language, or all 3!

Generally, we review only new releases, and therefore most of these were newly released when we reviewed them.  There are a few "oldies but goodies" that focus on the city of Rome (e.g. Stazione Termini - ostensibly by De Sica, but mercilessly cut to an American version titled "Indiscretion of an American Housewife" - review here.    

Currently, there are a dozen films in this new category. For 2020, one of these was in our Top 10 (see our Top Ten here) - "Martin Eden" - review here; and one was an honorable mention for 2020, "Il Traditore (the Traitor)" - review here.

You can browse the category by clicking "other" and then "Italian" under the categories right above the review thumbnails on the home page. 

It's here:

This "Italianization" of a semi-autobiographical
Jack London story earned a spot in 2 Film
Critics' Top 10 for 2020.

We don't want to close without mentioning some "sleepers" - fascinating films that didn't get a lot of press, such as A Ciambra (review here) and Piazza Vittorio (review here) - both of which deal with immigrants in 21st century Italy. 

And we also feature films by 2 of Italy's most prominent working directors, Nanni Moretti ("Mia Madre" - review here) and Ferzan Ozpetek ("Facing Windows" - review here), most of whose films are situated in Rome.

Buona visione!

Dianne and Bill