Waiting for the responses for the Lions of this one Venice 79, here I want to take a look at this quartet of titles that oscillate between news tainted with homophobia, youth discomfort, women’s football and strange night-time encounters. Let’s start with Ghost Night from Fulvio Risuleopresented in section Extra Horizons.
After his second feature film, The blow of the dogthe director takes it back with him Edoardo Pesce. She throws him in a car and makes him meet the newcomer actor Yothin Clavenzani. It all starts with the arrest of a strange plainclothes policeman to a shy naive minor, in overalls, and with some hashish for friends, Tarek, a second generation Italian, but it will turn into a night trip full of twists. , at times hallucinated, through an impassive Rome. Two souls at the antipodes, each with its own discomforts that come to the surface starting from the ridge of the abuse of power. A comparison between adolescence and being an adult seems to be the common thread of this story. Risuleo compacts the narrative better than before. On the one hand it appears as a coming of age, where the big boy has a night to grow up, on the other an unexpected descent towards an increasingly intricate misadventure as the minutes and kilometers pass.
Also The sonthe new work of Florian Zeller it’s about adolescence. Film in competition, offers us a Hugh Jackman in the role of a divorced businessman who is expecting a child from this second and very young wife, Vanessa Kirby. The son from his previous marriage gets in the way, a teenager deeply suffering from the separation of his parents who is seen only as a boy who apparently lives in a world of his own. He has the face of the good and sore Zen MacGrath, a 20-year-old actor with a bright future. Instead his mother has the worried face of Laura Dern, while Jackman’s father plays him a Machiavellian selfish father. Anthony Hopkins.
Fresh from the previous one The father of Zeller, of which however he is not quite up to it, there is a moment in which one could imagine that it could be just that gentleman confused by his arteriosclerosis, but in a prequel, perhaps with Olivia Colman as Jackman’s sister. But this is another film, which does not exist, mind you.
Overall the family drama has one growing tension but always remains cold in form and content. Perhaps because of the low empathy produced by the Jackman character. In contrast, the character of Kirby, pregnant and with the prenatal home intimacy shattered by the presence of the other son of her man, will be the most positive and welcoming character.
We come to Gianni Amelio with his The lord of the ants, a film in competition at the Venice Film Festival and in theaters since yesterday, already second at the box office. The Calabrian director takes up a sad news story remembered by few but very topical in the themes that he urgently discovered. Luigi Lo Cascio he plays Professor Aldo Braibanti, guilty in 1960 of circuiting a young man for perverse and lustful ends. Amelio uses legal drama to aim at an Italian system that pursued homosexuality not as such, but by hanging on it crimes such as plagiarism.
Talk about the right to love Amelio, and we should pay close attention to this. It does so by hooking up a new character to the news, that of the journalist de Unity, Elio Germano. Who gracefully reinterprets certain clichés related to this profession, a shrewd but intellectually honest man, who follows the case sniffing the transversal sexual prejudices, from the right to the old Russia. Beside him his cousin, one Sara Serraiocco which blends perfectly with Germano. She supports him, equals him, at times, in demonstrating for Braibanti she almost confines him. Always healthy and welcome these races between actors. And then she finds an excellent key to put Sara’s Abruzzo dialect into it, with surprising tenderness and naturalness.
But returning to Lo Cascio’s charismatic Braibanti one cannot fail to mention Leonardo Maltese. Much more than a shoulder or a victim of him Ettore of him, in his first Maltese film shocks for the double speed with which he faces the drama of his character. From ethereal innocence to corporal torture through awareness of love, with acting grace and physical changes worthy of a big name.
Finally let’s take a look at Las Leonas from Isabel Achavál And Chiara Bondì. Presented at the Venetian Nights of the Giornate degli Autori, also in the hall from 8 September. It produces Nanni Morettiwho gave the green light to the directors to put together the images of these Lionesses, South American women, but also Chinese and Moroccan, who have built a life in Rome by being home helpers and carers, and as superheroines on Saturdays and Sundays they play kick in a six-team tournament, while a local radio narrates the athletic deeds.
Stories of women, of escapes, memories torn behind missing photos of denied childhoods. Sacrifices, divorces, many kilometers not only in the field but among the homes of the gentlemen where they work. The same gentlemen who were in the room, with all of them, al New Sacher in Rome on the 8th evening for the Roman presentation. A group of women as strong as trees in a storm, proof of this are their children. Beautiful, healthy and with many hopes to further improve their future. In short, second generation Italians. The female direction narrates the actions on the pitch with long replays and soft music while the competition and solidarity between the players and their wisdom are sometimes moving.
Maybe someone will find a pinch of radical chic. Instead it stays a social cinema that would be good for everyone.