I passed with flying colors
I have good news: I understood every word of the three hour long speech about Italian cinema. That says a lot about how easy it is to learn Italian. Imagine listening to a three hour speech in Chinese after two and a half months of study. It would be gibberish.
I also actually enjoyed it and learned a lot. The professor who presented it had a very deep knowledge of the movies involved. I had only seen one, Gomorrah, but it was good. I just tried to get as much as I could out of the rest of the presentation. She would talk about the movie for about half an hour each, then play a clip illustrating the point she was making. It was very interesting. I felt like she was able to relate a lot of the themes in the films to issues in Italian society. I was ready for it to be over by the end, though.
The Italian Institute brought in a scholar of Italian cinema to do the presentation. She really knew her stuff and was immaculately prepared. The Institute itself is as classy and beautiful as you would expect it to be.
Three hours is a long time, however. I was sick of listening to Italian by the end. It takes a lot of concentration to attentively listen to a three hour speech in a foreign language.