When I first came to Italy, one of the most bewildering and highly annoying new things I experienced was the fact that every single film, documentary, cartoon etc. is systematically dubbed into Italian. In my humble opinion, this must be one of the reasons why the vast majority of Italians speaks poorly other languages besides their own, as they never had the chance to digest & be properly exposed to anything but Italian since childhood.
Here dubbing goes a long way back in history to the 1930’s, when Mussolini and his authoritative dictatorship made it compulsory for all foreign films to be dubbed into Italian, at a cost covered by the foreign production houses. In time, this became a widely appreciated tradition, with Rome becoming the heart of a very profitable and lucrative new industry that will be very difficult to overthrow. I met people convinced that the Italian actors dubbing the likes of Penelope Cruz, Alan Rickman, Anthony Hopkins, Morgan Freeman, Marlon Brando etc. (just to cite some of the most recognizable voices in commercial cinema and not only) did a better job than the original. Must be an acquired taste that, as yet, I haven’t acquired.
Nevertheless, it was no way of running away from it, until I found the only two places in Turin where one can watch movies in their original language (with Italian subtitles), hear the actors’ original lines and voices:
1. CINEMA MASSIMO (SALA TRE), via Verdi 18, Torino – tickets €6 (€4 for under 18 and for students – evening screenings, €3 for over 65 and for students – late afternoon screenings)
This one is actually closed from July 21st to August 24th, but will reopen at the end of the summer with some of world cinema’s most recent gems: Pedro Almodovar’s Julieta (2016), Terry Gilliam’s The Zero Theorem (2014), Valerie Donzelli’s Marguerite et Julien (2015), Richard Linklater’s Everybody Wants Some!! (2016), and Rebecca Miller’s Maggie’s Plan (2015).
2. CINEMA CENTRALE ARTHOUSE, via Carlo Alberto 27, Torino – tickets €6 (€4 for under 18, over 65, students)
Until July 27th, their program includes a Spanish Film Festival (España, te quiero!) featuring, among many others, five contemporary films that won the Goya Award for best film. Here is the complete list of screenings: