Event is a double-header, Monday and Tuesday nights, 5:30 p.m.

Drumroll please. This is the grand finale of the Ciao Cinema! segment of Cinematheque, a cinema club and joint venture between the Telluride Film Festival and the five-star Wilkinson Public Library. The six-part Italian series, programmed by Telluride Film Festival Director Gary Meyer, has been one of the most successful of the series to date. “Best of Youth” is the featured film (2003, 360 minutes total, 180 minutes each night).

“Best of Youth,” a surprise hit of the 2003 Telluride Film Festival, is in the award-winning epic tradition of “The Godfather,” Italian accent et tutti (and all). The story begins in 1966, as Italy is exploding in the same social revolution that is shaking America back in the days of drugs, sex, rock ‘n roll and flower children. During that epic, a single, ill-fated incident sends the lives of two idealistic brothers, Nicola, a med student, and Matteo Carati, a troubled soldier, careening in two opposite directions. The film follows the lives of the brothers into the 21st century as their divergent paths intersect through some of the most catastrophic events in recent history, underlining the interplay between personal and political.

(Do you hear the echoes in the headlines of today?)

“When the film was over, I had no particular desire to leave the theater, and would happily have stayed another three hours,” wrote critic Roger Ebert.

Telluride Watch publisher and cinephile Seth Cagin is Ringmaster.

The evening is FREE and open to all. Pre-SHOW reception begins at 5:30 p.m.

Stay tuned for the summer Cinematheque schedule, which takes place during the months of June, July and August. The theme is “Screwball Comedy”

For a preview of “Best of Youth” watch the trailer:

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