WITH Italian Week commencing at Ventnor Arts Club and a Paolo Sorrentino double feature to boot, it's an exciting week for fans and afficionados of Italian cinema.

Today (Friday), Sandown Library are screening Red Joan (12) at 6.40pm, starring Judi Dench.

Picture this ­— the year is 2000, and Joan Stanley is living in contented retirement in suburbia at the turn of the millennium.

Her tranquil life is suddenly disrupted, however, when she is arrested by MI5 and accused of providing intelligence to communist Russia.

Cut to 1938, where Joan is a Cambridge physics student who falls for young communist, Leo Galich, and through him, begins to see the world in a new light.

Joan must choose between betraying her country and loved ones, or saving them.

Italian week commences on Tuesday, with Ventnor Arts Club showing The Great Beauty (15) at 7.30pm.

The film ­follows the story of Jep Gambardella ­— an ageing writer that has spent many years seducing his way through the lavish nightlife of Rome for decades.

When his 65th birthday coincides with a shock from the past, however, Jep finds himself unexpectedly taking stock of his life, looking past the extravagant nightclubs, parties, and cafés to find Rome in all its glory.

On Thursday, the arts club continues the Italian trend with a screening of Loro (18) at 7.30pm.

Seduction, glamour, corruption, drugs and raucous poolside parties ­— the life and times of scandal-plagued Silvio Berlusconi have long-demanded a screen depiction.

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