La buca by Ciprì, a whirling and romantic homage to cinema
by Camillo de Marco
- Sergio Castellitto, Rocco Papaleo and Valeria Bruni Tedeschi star in the second movie by the Sicilian director, to be released on 25 September with Lucky Red
Daniele Ciprì abandons the cynicism of his years of collaboration with Franco Maresco and of his first directing feature It was the son [+see also:
film profile] (Best Photography at the 2012 Venice Film Festival) for an abstract cinematographic universe, that’s universal, romantic and composed of timeless and identifiable topoi. This is La buca [+see also:
film profile] (lit. "the hole"), to be released on 25 September 2014 with Lucky Red. Starring Sergio Castellitto, Rocco Papaleo and Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, the film co-produced by Italy and Switzerland (Malìa with Rai Cinema and Villi Hermann’s Imago) is a bizarre comedy in "buddy movie" style set in an undefined city and in an unspecified era, in which modern-day events are mixed with Fifties elements, like cars, bicycles, street-lights, bistros, fur collars and black antique telephones.
Oscar (Castellitto) is a failed and shady lawyer, a misogynist and misanthrope, who, by chance in the bar of the kind and caring Carmen (Bruni Tedeschi), meets a man who is fresh out of prison. Armando (Papaleo) has served 27 years for armed robbery and manslaughter. But he’s innocent, and the lawyer immediately sees a potential business opportunity: he offers him a retrial and the enormous respective compensation for the years unjustly spent in prison. Together they go in search of witnesses of that fateful day, accompanied by a stray dog which follows them everywhere and which Armando renames International. Among the witnesses is Arianna (Valentina Bellè) the girl with whom Armando was in love when he was young...
Younger viewers will have the impression of a continuous reference to films which made cinema History, from American comedies by Billy Wilder with the "strange duo" Jack Lemmon to Walter Matthau to that of Blake Edwards or even the elaborate and larger-than-life French work by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, up to explicit tributes to Mel Brooks, Hitchcock, Kubrick and even to the cinema lovers’ film par excellence, Citizen Kane by Orson Welles.
Add to all of that the animation that recaptures the comic strips by great French and Belgian authors and the score by Pino Donaggio and Zeno Gabaglio which runs through different eras, helped by Stefano Bollani’s piano pieces. You get the feeling that Daniele Ciprì is not looking to satisfy his own personal style, rather, he seems to have abdicated in favour of a pure, elegant, swirling, at times amusing homage to auteur cinema.
(Translated from Italian)