Comedian Anthony Locascio shares his top 5 movies based in Italy or Greece

Anthony Locascio

It’s comedy festival time in Australia, and one of the leading lights on the scene is Anthony Locascio. His comedy showcases his Greek and Italian heritage through the use of stories, songs and sounds. He explores the rich highs, and challenges associated with his Mediterranean-Australian heritage, and his show has proven to resonate strongly with so many Australians., providing plenty of laughs along the way.

This year he is performing at the Adelaide Fringe Festival, Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Perth Comedy Festival & Sydney Comedy Festival. Ticket details are below.

Anthony has been a 2 x NSW Raw Comedy State Finalist, sold out shows at the Sydney Comedy Festival and Perth Comedy Festival. His YouTube videos have over 1 million views. He is a comedian well worth catching.

Describing his show, Anthony says “My relationship with my Greek/Italian background has been a 29 year, on again, off again love story. Growing up in a country as ethnically charged as Australia, I have, at various points in my life, felt both immense pride and shame for the cultures of my grandparents. This show is the story of that emotional roller coaster; my relationship with my background throughout my childhood and adolescence has been mirrored by my use of it for comedy material.” 

To celebrate his run of shows, Anthony has assembled a list of his top 5 movies for the AU, based in Italy or Greece. Read on, and check them out.

 

Anthony Locascio’s Top 5 Movies Based In Italy or Greece

(Honourable Mentions; Lo Spietato (The Ruthless), Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, The Guns Of Navarone)

5. The Talented Mr Ripley

In an age where ‘Inventing Anna’ (which I’m yet to get around to) and ‘The Tinder Swindler’ (my early pick for 2022’s best comedy) are rampant, it’s nice to sit back and reflect upon my first experience with a con-man flick-this Matt Damon helmed gem.

One of those rich American dramas set on an idyllic Italian backdrop, TTMR focuses primarily on Damon’s Ripley swindling the life out of Jude Law at his Jude Lawiest (albeit playing an American).

Any film that has EITHER Cate Blanchett or the late, great Phillip Seymour Hoffman is one I will, watch without question. This one has both.

4. The Inbetweeners Movie

The BBC program always had a special place in my heart; I always felt I was somewhat of an Inbetweener myself, occupying that space in which you aren’t sporty enough to be a jock, but aren’t getting close to good enough grades to be a nerd.

Though I am sadly yet to experience the magic of Crete, I have sampled all the other Greek party islands multiple times with my group of mates, all of whom thought (think) we were considerably cooler than reality indicated. So, when this movie came out, it was nice for us to not feel so alone in this cold, cold world.

3. 300

Swords. Blood. Abs. What more do you need in an adrenaline-pumping, two-hour romp of pure machismo.

Every little Greek boy felt a melding of their deep-rooted Hellenism and their unabating pubescent testosterone when this came out. The sepia façade makes the whole film seem like a graphic novel, every moment seems to get more dramatic and heroic, and Gerard Butler playing King Leonidas just seems like a casting made in Hollywood heaven.

Your mileage may vary with CGI obliques, but everyone loves an against all odds tale, and that of the 300 warriors who stood up to an entire Persian army to halt their march to Greece is a true (probably…prove it isn’t!) story that makes you want to run through walls, wearing sandals.

This Is Sparta.

2. La Vita E Bella

If you did 3 Unit Italian for the HSC around 2010, you’ll be fully familiar with this film, as it was the ENTIRETY of the syllabus. So I have seen it in excess of 30 odd times, and it remains, simply, one of the most beautiful films I’ve ever seen.

Unjustly remembered more for its star/director’s insane Oscar win celebration than its themes; a heart-warming, underdog love story and the perhaps lesser-explored persecution of Italian Jews during the second world war. I’ve yet to see a film depict the holocaust in such a delicate, multi-layered and yet humorous way, it laid the foundations for films such as JoJo Rabbit.

I’ll let you guys know when I meet someone who can get through this one without crying. Guido Orefice is still my hero, and not just for globalising the phrase “Buongiorno principessa!”

1. The Godfather

Also known as ‘the best movie based ANYWHERE’. They actually revoke your Italian license if this isn’t your favourite movie, so it had to be my number one.

Most of it takes place in America, depicting the beautiful/brutal dichotomy of a family man, embroiled in the upper echelons of New York’s organised crime networks at their very peak. The best part of it, however, is when (the ACTUAL Godfather) Michael Corleone, is forced to flee and hide out in Sicily.

The town of Corleone (both the namesake of the protagonist family and the village from which the patriarch hails) is located on a hill, which is between the two villages where my grandparents were born (Roccamena and Camporeale), so this one hits really close to home.

By contrast to TTMR, it is the lesser-seen part of Italy that shines through in this film. The 1970s cinematography is not a hindrance to appreciating the gorgeous Sicilian landscape; from the rolling hills and fields, to the way the sun hits the quintessentially Sicilian trees, to something as simple as the quaint tavern the characters stop for a glass of wine at.

And to boot, the most heartening and subsequently tragic leg of Michael’s character arc takes place while he is in Sicily (no spoilers, but you really should have seen this film by now).
The only film which comes anywhere close to this is its sequel, which features even more of Sicily. No bias here.

 

ANTHONY LOCASCIO ‘DON’T CALL ME A WOG’! (AN ETHNIC COMEDY STORY) TOUR DATES

TICKETS: MELBOURNE | PERTH | SYDNEY

 Sunday, April 10th – Club Voltaire – Melbourne
Tuesday, April 12th – Club Voltaire – Melbourne
Wednesday, April 13th – Club Voltaire – Melbourne
Thursday, April 14th – Club Voltaire – Melbourne
Saturday, April 16th – Club Voltaire – Melbourne
Sunday, April 17th – Club Voltaire – Melbourne
Tuesday, April 19th – Club Voltaire – Melbourne
Wednesday, April 20th – Club Voltaire – Melbourne
Thursday, April 21st – Club Voltaire – Melbourne
Sunday, April 24th – Club Voltaire – Melbourne

Friday, May 6th – Regal Theatre Chorus Room – Perth
Saturday, May 7th – Regal Theatre Chorus Room – Perth

Friday, May 13th – Factory Theatre Main Room – Sydney

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Bruce Baker

Probably riding my bike, taking photos and/or at a gig. Insta: @bruce_a_baker

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