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RIFF 2013 Competition

Internet’s degeneration in Aquadro, a story of hyper-connected teens

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- Stefano Lodovichi’s feature film debut, in competition at the Rome Independent Film Festival, is among ten other Web Movies produced by Rai Cinema to be distributed directly through online streaming

Internet’s degeneration in Aquadro, a story of hyper-connected teens

Presented in competition at the Rome Independent Film Festival (4-11 April), Aquadro, the first feature length fiction film by 29-year-old Stefano Lodovichi, is an interesting experiment of interaction between web and cinema. The online world and its pitfalls are at the centre of the plot with “dirty” visual language through webcams and smartphones, but also because it is a film that comes to life and was conceived to exist online. The film is in fact one of the ten Web Movies produced by Rai Cinema destined for online streaming distribution, chosen among seven other screenplays in the Solinas Experimenta 2011 award final.

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Aquadro stands for the Italian quadrato meaning square or frame and the As of Amanda and Alberto. The two are 16, and like every other young person today, they live with a telephone in their hands, or in front of a screen monitor: YouTube, webcams and smartphones are the vehicles and witnesses to their experiences. In order to find out how to use a tampon, Amanda doesn’t ask her mother or a friend, she finds a tutorial online. Alberto isn’t looking for a girlfriend but turns on the computer and visits porn websites. During a school outing, they meet and their melancholies collide. A sweet and clean relationship starts between them, fed by video-calls and text messages.  

But Alberto, who is used to virtual sex, finds it difficult to live a real kind of physical intimacy. When Amanda discovers his dependency, she decides to go along with it and lets herself be filmed while they make love for the first time. “This will be our secret,” she says to him. But in the era of internet, one click is all it takes to reveal a secret. The video ends up online. Amanda, ashamed, full of anger and incredulity thinks the only solution is to escape and disappear. 

Lodovichi’s film is relevant to today’s world and makes one reflect on the negative consequences technology may be having on teenagers. It depicts a world in which parents are absent, in which there is always someone around willing to film you, or take a photo of you, while you are having a drink at a party, while you are playing with a friend or while you are sleeping. The images can easily bounce from one telephone to the next, out of control. The film conveys this with a contaminated style, following the characters with a camera on a shoulder or through the screen of a telephone, alternating warm colours of reality with cold colours of monitors, reflected on their faces, all to the sound of music (by Alto Adige band Sense of Akasha). The film also reveals two newcomers Maria Vittoria Barrella and Lorenzo Colombi, in complete symphony with each other and the story.

Produced by Tommaso Arrighi’s Mood Film with Rai Cinema, with contribution from BLS-Business Location Südtirol-Alto Adige, Aquadro can be streamed for free until May 14 on www.cubovision.it, and from June 1-30 on www.raicinemachannel.it; starting on July 1, 2013, streaming will no longer be free, but accessible through www.apple.com/it/iTunes. The film will be in competition on April 17 and 18 at the 27th Blozano Film Festival.

(Translated from Italian)

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