Paolo Virzì

Italy, 2018 / 125 min / Italian OV with French subt. (IT OV with FR subt.) / film noir, dramatic comedy

In collaboration with the Festival du Film Italien de Villerupt

A humorous and daring tribute to the golden age of Italian cinema.

Italy, 1990. On the night when Italy’s national football team is eliminated from the World Cup by Argentina on penalty kicks, throwing the capital into deep despair, a black Maserati plunges into the Tiber River. Inside the vehicle, the police find the body of the well-known Italian film producer Leandro Saponaro. The main suspects for the murder are three young aspiring screenwriters, hauled in front of the Carabinieri to tell their version of what happened. Magical Nights is the story of their adventures in the final throes of a glorious era in Italian film.

“Paolo Virzì's bittersweet comedy describes the tail end of the glorious Italian cinema.”Deborah Young, Hollywood Reporter, 27/10/2018


Sat 16/03 21:00 Ciné Utopia IT OV with FR subt. Public

“Paolo Virzì's bittersweet comedy describes the tail end of the glorious Italian cinema. […] Virzì returns to familiar territory where he is fully in creative control and, most importantly, has something to say about the cynicism and corruption that dominated an era. He cleverly melds several real-life figures into screen characters who will ring a bell — many bells — for Italian insiders. […] But even without the bonus of recognition, the film is fast-paced entertainment that connects with audiences and conveys the atmosphere of a little-explored era. […] Two hours of screen time fly by, paced to the chipper rhythms of Nino Rota and the Fellini films, until Carlo Virzì's score turns more brooding. Jacopo Quadri’s editing makes a major contribution to keeping things funny and moving along. Vladan Radovic’s inventive cinematography and Alessandro Vannucci's detailed sets, like Saponaro's tasteless office, to name one jewel, amusingly mimic the excesses of the period.” Deborah Young, Hollywood Reporter, 27/10/2018

“A humorous and daring tribute to the golden years of Italian cinema. […] Virzì and his co-writers Francesca Archibugi and Francesco Piccolo also add a touch of the Italian giallo to the mix. Virzì’s film is not limited to the portrait of a by-gone era but also engages its audience in a mystery that needs solving, one that has to do with the mysterious death of a well-known film producer on the night of an unfortunate football defeat.” Vittoria Scarpa, Cineuropa, 29/10/2018

Cast & Credits
Mauro Lamantia, Giovanni Toscano, Irene Vetere, Giancarlo Giannini, Eugenio Marinelli, Marina Rocco, Paolo Sassanelli, Roberto Herlitzka, Regina Orioli, Andrea Roncato
Francesco Piccolo, Francesca Archibugi, Paolo Virzì
Vladan Radovic
Daniela Bassani
Alessandro Vannucci
Carlo Virzì
Lotus Production, Rai Cinema, 3 Marys Entertainment
BAC Films

Italian writer, director, and producer Paolo Virzì was born in 1964 in Livorno, Tuscany, Italy. He studied screenwriting at the prestigious film school of the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia, graduating in 1987. He made his directing debut in 1994 with La bella vita, which was presented at the Venice Film Festival, won the Ciak d’oro, the Nastro d’Argento of the Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists, and the Academy of Italian Cinema’s prestigious David di Donatello for Best New Director. Over the course of his career, he became one of Italy’s most renowned filmmakers, directing films lauded by critics and winning multiple awards. In October 2008, the Annecy Italian Film Festival presented its Sergio Leone Award to Paolo Virzì for his entire career. In 2013, Virzì become director of the 31st Torino Film Festival, which lead to a 30% increase in visitor numbers.

  • 2018 – Notti magiche
  • 2017 – The Leisure Seeker
  • 2016 – La pazza gioia
  • 2013 – Il capitale umano
  • 2012 – Tutti i santi giorni
  • 2010 – La prima cosa bella
  • 2008 – Tutta la vita davanti
  • 2006 – N (Io e Napoleone)
  • 2003 – Caterina va in città
  • 2002 – My Name Is Tanino
  • 2001 – La strana coppia. Incontro con Age e Scarpelli (documentary)
  • 1999 – Provino d'ammissione (short)
  • 1999 – Baci e abbracci
  • 1997 – Ovosodo
  • 1996 – Roma Ovest 143 (short segment in the “Intolerance” collection)
  • 1996 – Ferie d'agosto
  • 1994 – La bella vita