Tag Archives: Italian Film Festival 2013

WOMEN DRIVE ME CRAZY

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This film really only needed a one word review.

Hilarious!!

As a first time critic a part of me hoped there would be dozens of filmmaking flaws for me to write about…. I will have to wait for the next Superman attempt.

WOMEN DRIVE ME CRAZY finds its comic feet within the first few lines and sets a pace which is maintained throughout its entirety.

It is possible throughout the film for you to find points where you would have liked to have possibly seen an idea, character or moment explored a little further. The scene where our hero borrows his mother’s car without her permission was a perfect example of this.

The ‘drama enthusiast’ within was crying out to know more than the brief couple of lines indicating the car was important, why did the mother go to the extremes she went too once she was convinced it had been stolen. That is the moment you realize no one is listening to your inner ‘drama enthusiast’ because everyone including your inner ‘lover of comedy’ is too busy laughing.

That is the aspect of comic film making that ‘Women Drive Me Crazy’ achieves with ease, audience forgiveness. If you can make an audience laugh you can get away with a lot, the more you make them laugh the more you will be forgiven for any lapses in story or character.

Director Fausto Brizzi gave the right amount of screen time to each character and the final scenes were quite beautiful with the appropriate amount of pathos for the genre. I enjoyed the journey of each character and thought each little story was beautifully wrapped up – with one exception, the character of Giuli played by the stunning Valeria Billelo. Throughout the entire film we saw a beautiful, forgiving and loving person who had left her violent partner with absolutely no indication within her character that she would ever take him back. SPOILER ALERT There was a noticeable convenience when Giulia left our leading man in the final moments, forcing him back to his true love Roberta played by Margarita Vicario …

All in all I believe WOMEN DRIVE ME CRAZY has the potential to strike a chord with a wide audience. It would not surprise me at all if there is already a Hollywood reproduction in the pipelines. If that happens, for art sake see the original first.

SALVO

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SALVO is the story of a Sicilian mafia hit man doing his duty in eliminating enemies of his clan , and systematically going about killing his targets until he unexpectedly meets a target he simply couldn’t eliminate…a beautiful blind girl called Rita. Torn by his decision he took her to an abandoned factory, where he keeps and observes her, and soon a small miracle happens…

There was not much dialogue in the movie, in particularly by Salvo, and he didn’t have to, as his intense presence and performance were enough to portray the emotion and anguish of his transformation. Initially he was cold, crude and a loner, with very little or no attachment, to anyone or anything. But his fascination with Rita allowed him to start feeling and forming attachments that otherwise may not have happened. His attachment to a dog, his relationship with Rita and even his empathy towards his landlord against the overbearing wife.

The isolation of his existence became more apparent as he could not even trust or confide in his fellow clan men as he did not finish the job by killing Rita and even lying to his Mafia boss, set his fate. He truly had no one except Rita. And the inevitable happened, he was found out.  Salvo is confronted with the choice of giving up Rita to the Mafia or to fight what he believes in.

The film left the audience with numerous possible outcomes of what would happen to Salvo & Rita. But the end wasn’t that  important. What was important was the miracle that happened between two most unlikely people. Highly recommended, and although the film isn’t a chick flick, women will love it. I did.

ITALIAN FILM FESTIVAL- HONEY

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Jasmine Trinca plays the title role

HONEY is a fascinating, in depth look into the complex, moral conflict within society pertaining to euthanasia. The film reaches powerful deep emotional levels through the lens of the personal cost on the service provider, a young girl Irene, hiding behind the pseudonym – Honey.

Honey’s profession causes social isolation by the illegal activates where survival requires her to become a prolific liar; shattering her ability to have an open truthful relationship with family and friends.  This isolation is amplified with her relationship with her boyfriend, when it is violently terminated after she devolves the truth.   The only “friend” Honey seems to trust is the unlikely complex relationship with one of her to be patients where you see Honey does have the ability to create the trust and support she needs to understand her life choices.

Woven throughout the film are keyhole glimpses of the multiple cultures, race and social economics and inter generations which sweep silently through our lives but often we fail to register without the clever camera work to draw our attention to what is in front of us in daily life.   One sticking example is when Honey’s train journey’s as the train leaves the station Honey face is framed in the graffiti sprawled across the outer rim of the train, leaving a frame of a mixed race couple.

Clever use of sound through the drifting in and out of encompassing music, representing the playing through an ipod.  This captures the intriguing isolation and disconnection Honey has with the world when moving through everyday social interactions. Likewise there was remarkable use of absence of sound or over willingness of single sounds like crashing waves and heartbeats to draw the audience deep into intense emotional experiences within seemingly everyday casual actions like a swim in the surf, or a cycle ride.

The film portrays the gritty mundane role in trafficking illegal drugs to assist terminally ill individuals die.  The repetition of routine activates of airports and hotels give you the feeling of ground hog day.

There is no false glamourisation with assisting people ending their lives on their terms.