From Sorrentino to Oliviero: Turin offers 24 visions of Naples
by Gabriele Barcaro
06/12/2010 - It was a true Neapolitan paradox. “The film was commissioned,” says producer Angelo Curti, “then not supported by those who commissioned it. The Campania Region asked us to make a film to help improve Naples’ image after the rubbish emergency, they worked to get us €200,000 – then disappeared”.
From this difficult beginning came Napoli 24 – shown out of competition at the Turin Film Festival (TFF) – a curious mosaic of visions, most of them from young filmmakers, of Naples. Short, three-minute fragments that convey the soul of this decidedly diverse city.
The omnibus project includes emerging filmmakers – “Creativity is a renewable energy source in Naples,” says Curti – and established names, including two winners of recent TFF editions: Pietro Marcello (Best Film in 2009 for The Mouth of the Wolf [trailer, film focus]) and Bruno Oliviero (Best Italian Documentary in 2008 for Napoli Piazza Municipio). To the latter, the unifying trait of the individual episode is “a filmmaking style that is more about removing things than blurting them out”.
Napoli 24 doesn’t “blurt” anything. On the contrary, at times it risks being cryptic for avoiding controversy, folklore and clichés. For weaving the films together in a discontinuous manner (supervised by expert editor Giogiò Franchini). For reducing words to a minimum. Adds another of the project’s producers, Nicola Giuliano (the third is Giorgio Magliulo): “Many of the shorts in the film have no dialogue, but this wasn’t voluntary, I think it depends on the language of the documentary, which often doesn’t include dialogue”.
The shorts aren’t all of the same quality but overall the mosaic is successful. The best episode is saved for last, and is alone worth the price of the ticket: “La principessa di Napoli”, by the inimitable Paolo Sorrentino.
(Translated from Italian)