Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Dinner and a movie made easy

Italian food meets Italian cinema in Williamsburg this week.

Carmine’s II, one of the neighborhood’s newest restaurants, hosts “Cinema Al Fresco,” a free outdoor film series featuring Italian films, through June 27.

“It’s the perfect convergence of things in Williamsburg,” said Nick D’Arienzo, who put together the food and film series in the restaurant’s outdoor garden. “It looks like it could be a garden in Italy, with the grape leaves wrapped around the terrace. It’s really beautiful.”

Films screened in the series include Fellini’s “La Dolce Vita,” his 1960 masterpiece about an eccentric journalist’s descent into “the sweet life” of debauchery in Rome, on June 25. The next night is the crowd-pleaser “Cinema Paradiso” (pictured), a “perfect date movie,” said D’Arienzo of the 1988 Giuseppe Tornatore Oscar winner about a filmmaker who recalls his childhood and when he fell in love with the movies.

Closing night on June 27 screens “Big Night,” Stanley Tucci and Campbell Scott’s 1996 film about two brothers who open a new Italian restaurant in America.

“Even though it’s more an Italian American film, it’s about food,” said D’Arienzo. “It’s always been one of my favorites.”

“Cinema Al Fresco” at Carmine’s II [436 Union Ave. near Devoe Street in Williamsburg, (718) 218-8770], through June 27. Free. Live music by Jimmy the Legend at 7 pm, followed by the screenings at 8:30 pm.


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