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ROME 2014 Prospettive Italia

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Fino a qui tutto bene: five characters in search of a future


- Roan Johnson returns to the Rome Film Festival with his second film, a light-hearted comedy about the moment when university ends and life begins, supported by a cast of fantastic young actors

Fino a qui tutto bene: five characters in search of a future

Fino a qui tutto bene [+see also:
film profile
(lit. “So Far So Good”) is a film made with very little money and lots of heart and you can see that from the opening credits: a movie directed by the “incredulous Roan Johnson” – can be read as soon as the cinema lights dim – and directed “with the Garibaldine collaboration of writers, actors and crew”. Already it makes you smile. Three years after his acclaimed debut with The First on the List [+see also:
film review
film profile
, the Italian director (whose father is English) brings a very low budget, light-hearted comedy to the Rome Film Festival. The plot, on paper, might not be that original, but since it’s supported by a cast of fantastic young actors and by a sharp and credible dialogue, it turns out to be a little gem for independent cinema. 

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The movie, written by the director with Ottavia Madeddu, tells the story of the last weekend together of five youngsters (three boys and two girls) who for years studied and lived in the same house, in Pisa. University is out, each of them is about to embark on a different path: some will stay in Pisa; some will return home to their parents, some will move to another city and one will even move to Iceland. That protected period of their life, that bubble in which infinite opportunities awaited them, is fading away – now is the time for decisions and responsibility: love or a well-paid job? Have a child or wait for better circumstances? Follow your dreams or be happy with whatever comes your way?

Fino a qui tutto bene is a film of actors: Alessio Vassallo, Paolo Cioni, Silvia D'Amico, Guglielmo Favilla, Melissa Anna Bartolini – the first three from the National Academy of Drama in Rome, Favilla from the Experimental Film Centre and Bartolini selected by the Taviani brothers for their upcoming Maraviglioso Boccaccio – who give their characters brio and personality, by demonstrating wonderful harmony. “For the four weeks of filming, the actors really slept in the house in which we were shooting the movie”, Johnson told us, “also because there was no money for a hotel”.

When making the movie, which also saw the amicable participation of Isabella Ragonese (seen recently in Leopardi [+see also:
film review
film focus
interview: Mario Martone
film profile
); the creator drew inspiration from The Coproducers production system: no cachet, everyone is acknowledged by a “small piece” of the movie based on their work. “We were inspired by the students that we had interviewed for a documentary commissioned by the University of Pisa”, explained the director, “we were surprised by their daring attitude and determination not to give in to the crisis. So when we decided to base the film on their stories, and we didn’t have financing, we too were determined not to surrender and to go it alone”.

In short, a film about friendship made thanks to friends. Well-received at the Rome Film Festival: so far so good, one might say. For the audience’s reaction, we’ll have to wait until 29 January 2015, in theatres with Microcinema.

(Translated from Italian)

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