You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Rome Film Fest: Extra eclectic

Festival sidebar casts a wide net

Fest takes populist approach | Extra eclectic

Reviving Rome’s ‘La Dolce Vita’ | Where to eat | Seeking bargains | Where to visit | Rome after dark | A Gelato crawl through Rome

Imagine a festival section featuring sex, rock ‘n’ roll and genre pics, but also genocide and green-themed docus, 3-D shorts, “lo-fi” vidclips and even home movies, alongside new works by Alexandre Rockwell and John Landis.

That — and more — is all in Extra, the Rome Film Festival’s cutting-edge section open to all formats.

Going against a growing tendency toward sidebars dedicated to a single strand of esoteric fare, Extra is instead conceived as the ultimate eclectic mixed bag, designed to please sophisticated metropolitan auds, especially in the Internet age.

“It gives people a chance to hop around from one type of cinema to the next,” says Extra topper Mario Sesti.

Sexuality is the theme of a slew of titles this year, two of which are companion pieces of sorts: “Yoyochu in the Land of the Rising Sex,” a docu about late Japanese porn director Tadashi Yoyogi and his unique quest to ensure that the sex in his films was not just real but also pleasurable, and “The Canal Street Madam,” by U.S. helmer Cameron Yates, about the quest to decriminalize prostitution by self-professed prostitute Jeanette Maier, arrested by the FBI for running a New Orleans brothel where she employed her daughter.

Delving into the roots of rock are docus “Mother of Rock: Lillian Roxon,” about the journo who helped legitimize rock music with her 1969 “The Rock Encyclopedia,” and “The Promise: The Making of ‘Darkness on the Edge of Town,'” which goes behind the scenes of the Bruce Springsteen album.

Feature films include the world preem of Landis’ black comedy “Burke and Hare,” Sundance standout “The Freebie” by Katie Aselton and Rockwell’s punchy comedy “Pete Smalls Is Dead.”

Rockwell and Landis will also take part in the onstage conversations that are becoming another Extra trademark. The most high-profile Q&A this year is with Julianne Moore, who is being honored with a Rome lifetime achievement kudo.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Rugrats. Nickeoldeon Animation Studios

    Film News Roundup: 'Rugrats' Writer David N. Weiss Honored by Animation Writers

    In today’s film news roundup, David N. Weiss is honored, Rin Tin Tin is getting a modern movie and “The Shasta Triangle” finds a home. WEISS HONORED David N. Weiss will receive the animation writing award from the Animation Writers Caucus of the Writers Guild of America West. The award will be presented by Weiss’ [...]

  • Marrakech Chief on Selecting Arthouse Films

    Marrakech Chief on Selecting Arthouse Films With a Big Stress on the Word 'Art'

    The 18th edition of the Marrakech Film Festival (Nov. 29-Dec. 7) – one of the leading cultural events in the Africa and Middle East region – will screen 98 films from 34 countries. The fest is also reinforcing its industry presence this year through the second edition of the Atlas Workshops, sponsored by Netflix, which [...]

  • Emma Stone Brad Pitt Damien Chazelle

    Paramount Lands Damien Chazelle's 'Babylon,' Dates It for Christmas 2021

    Paramount Pictures has landed the worldwide rights to Damien Chazelle’s next feature film “Babylon,” sources tell Variety. Insiders add the studio has dated the film for a Dec. 25, 2021 limited release, with plans to go wide on Jan. 7. The release date puts in prime position for another awards season run for Chazelle, who [...]

  • Chris Pratt

    Chris Pratt's Sci-Fi Film 'The Tomorrow War' Gets Release Date

    Chris Pratt’s upcoming sci-fi actioner, which was recently retitled “The Tomorrow War,” has set a Christmas Day 2020 release date. The Paramount film was formerly titled “Ghost Draft.” It follows a man (played by Pratt) who is drafted to fight a future war in which the fate of humanity may rely on his ability to [...]

  • Kim Dong-Ho of GIFF Chairman of

    Inaugural Gangneung Film Festival Pays Tribute to Pierre Rissient

    The opening ceremony of the first edition of the Gangneung International Film Festival was dominated by a tribute to the French film scout and festival selector Pierre Rissient, who died in May 2018. The new festival, 240 km from Seoul, counts former Busan festival co-founder Kim Dong-ho as its chairman and former Bucheon festival head [...]

  • 'Waves': Sterling K. Brown and Trey

    'Waves' Cast Reflects on the Making of the Tragic Family Drama

    “Waves,” a partially autobiographical film written and directed by Trey Edward Shults, is a visually arresting look at the fraying of an upper-middle class black family in South Florida in the aftermath of a violent tragedy. It examines themes of grief, domestic violence, substance abuse and modern-day pressures on kids to succeed. “Propelled by color, [...]

  • Gaston Pavlovich

    Gaston Pavlovich Talks About Producing 'The Irishman'

    Through his production company Fabrica De Cine, Gastón Pavlovich is one of the producers on Martin Scorsese’s two most recent movies: 2016’s “Silence” and 2019’s “The Irishman.” The 51-year-old native of Mexico first gained notice as an executive producer on the Tom Hanks comedy-drama “A Hologram for the King.” Pavlovich also began working with Scorsese [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content