FILM & VIDEO
The Right Distance & Pretty Letters and Love Crimes & Come Undone & Immaturi
June 5, 2011
The Right Distance: The art of ensemble filmmaking is to know when to make the switch from one storyline to another. As Hemingway said about the business of novel writing: “Always end a day’s work when things are going well.” One of the many qualities of this beautifully orchestrated film is writer/director Carlo Mazzacurati’s deft juggling of emotional tensions within a small town setting in the Po river...
The Right Distance: The art of ensemble filmmaking is to know when to make the switch from one storyline to another. As Hemingway said about the business of novel writing: “Always end a day’s work when things are going well.” One of the many qualities of this beautifully orchestrated film is writer/director Carlo Mazzacurati’s deft juggling of emotional tensions within a small town setting in the Po river flatlands.
Although set up as a first person narrative by teenage cub reporter Giovanni (Giovanni Capovilla) as he observes little local dramas, such as a serial dog murderer and the arrival of Mara (Valentina Lodovini), the new primary school teacher, whose youth, beauty and sophistication takes everyone by surprise, the emphasis switches, with infinite subtlety, from one character to another.
This technique is enhanced by exquisite cinematography and a brooding sense of foreboding, which for a while remains no more than a mote in the mind’s eye. Mara rents a converted farm building outside the village, which for many women on their own might be a scary prospect. Even when she discovers that Hassan (Ahmed Hafiene), the handsome Tunisian garage mechanic, has been stalking her, she takes the initiative and confronts him. Meanwhile, Giovanni has hacked into her laptop and is reading her emails, giving him unique access to her thoughts and opinions. Noon
Pretty Letters and Love Crimes: Rosalba loves Danilo, a young man who must spend many years in prison. To ease the suffering of his detention, she decides to write him a sweet, passionate and lyrical letter every day. However it is not easy to translate her feelings into words, so she turns for help to Katia, her best friend, who is now confined to a wheelchair. Katia takes on the role of ‘love promoter,’ just like Cyrano de Bergerac, but it soon grows dangerous, as little by little those emotions, those poetic lines conceived for Rosalba become her own, and Danilo’s passionate replies start to belong to Katia.
When Rosalba and Danilo break up, Katia sets out to meet him in prison, to see what the man she has fallen for actually looks like.
Unfortunately, as she is not a relative she can’t obtain a permission to see him. However, her will is stronger than the rules and in the end she manages to meet him. This is the most emotional moment of her life. Other encounters follow, difficult and not at all intimate in the cold visitors’ area, but in the end Danilo falls in love with her too. They decide to get married. The whole prison takes part in the event. When the judge grants Danilo permission to see his young wife outside the prison, Katia, helped by Rosalba, arranges an escape for him. Of course Danilo jumps at the opportunity, but while he is escaping he realizes that life as a fugitive will separate him from Katia, whom he cannot live without now. So he decides to give himself up and settles back into prison life once again. 2 pm
Come Undone: Anna has everything she thought she could ever need: a respectable career, a caring family, and a loving partner, Alessio. But when she meets Domenico, a handsome, married waiter, her neatly ordered world begins to fall apart. They quickly fall into a heated affair, based on secret meetings, stolen caresses, cell phone fights, and endless lies. Anna's increasingly distant behavior goes unnoticed by Alessio, while Domenico's wife becomes steadily more suspicious of her husband. As the two lovers begin to fall deeper under the spell of passion, they are faced with a life-changing choice which neither is entirely prepared to make. 4 pm
Immaturi: Giorgio , Lorenzo , Piero, Luisa, Virgilio, Francesca : what do these 38-year-olds have in common? Twenty years ago they were classmates, but above all they were friends, they were a group. Then something happened and the group broke up. Soon they’ll become a group again, at least for a few days: the Ministry of Education has annulled their high school graduation exams and they’ll have to take them again, or witness the annulment of all qualifications acquired thereafter. And so, with a few more wrinkles and a little less hair, we’ll see them together again, like old times. With the desire to savor again the taste of youth, but with a greater or lesser awareness that that period has ended. 5:30 pm