A British couple, played by Ingrid Bergman and George Sanders, drive to Naples to deal with an inheritance. The timing is post war. The film is black and white. The mood is grey. On the car ride, a rare interlude alone together, they realize that after eight years of marriage they have little to say [...]Read More >>
Crisis? I ask, and he says, “What crisis?”
My husband’s in Seoul for business. Once again, the North Korean’s are on a war path. Well, according to the NYT that is, and CNN and every other news outlet. Should I be worried? Probably. Am I? No, not really.
The three times this week he’s bothered to [...]Read More >>
Over the past thirteen years the reality television show, Grande Fratello (Big Brother), has remained a feral sensation in Italy, one far surpassing even its British and American counterparts. Italians rich and poor, young and old, northern and southern, pious and not, gather around their small boxes each evening to watch, riveted, twenty or so [...]Read More >>
I dropped my husband off at Malpensa in the pre-dawn light, plugged Corso Vittorio Emanuele 135 Naples into my rental car’s GPS, and drove off with one last giddy nervous wave. I still remember the look on his face as he stood on the curb watching me go: disbelief, consternation, a touch of irony, but [...]Read More >>
My dad used to recite Shakespeare, often and at random, mostly when he couldn’t find his own words. “To thine own self be true,” he might say to me. My responses were either to stare at him blankly or roll my eyes, lest he see that I was intrigued, for Shakespeare’s words seemed to transform [...]Read More >>
John Turturro’s documentary, Passione (2010), is an ode to the city of Napoli and a menagerie of its music. There is no beginning, middle, or end, we simply wander down dark alleys into beaten down piazzas enticed by exotic women and mysterious men, professional musicians or people the director pulled off the street belting out songs [...]Read More >>
Five films by the Italian masters. Not the sweet, sentimental films we all love—Cinema Paradiso, Il Postino, Mediterraneo… I’m talking about films that will make you stir or scream, not weep.
I am Love (2009) has one of the most sensual love scenes I’ve ever seen on screen, in a sun-dappled garden, birds and bees [...]Read More >>
Italian for Beginners is a precious little Danish film (2002) about a group of lonely misfits searching for sanctuary, connection, and purpose in an Italian language class taught at their local community center during the dead of one Copenhagen winter.
There’s nothing like pouring your heart out to someone who doesn’t speak your language. This is [...]Read More >>
In Imperfect Pairings a woman struggles to find a common language with the man she loves, her business colleagues, the Italian family that embraces her, her own family, and ultimately, herself.
How do you survive in a world where everybody is speaking different languages?
When I was in business school I gave a speech promoting Deborah Tannen’s [...]Read More >>
In Bangkok some years ago, my husband and I went to see a movie at the Emporium, a modern US-style mall, housed in a slick skyscraper on Sukhumvit Road near where the old Chokchai Steakhouse used to be. Before the movie began, instead of previews, the Thai National Anthem started playing along with a montage [...]Read More >>