Per amor vostro, Anna drives away her ghosts
by Camillo De Marco
- VENICE 2015: The second fiction feature by Giuseppe Gaudino offers protagonist Valeria Golino the opportunity to express herself in one of her most intense performances to date
The fourth Italian film in competition at the Venice Film Festival, Per amor vostro [+see also:
interview: Giuseppe M Gaudino
film profile] by Giuseppe M Guadino comes as a pleasant surprise at the end of the festival with all of its visionary charged emotion that the versatile director is capable of. Set in Naples, the film offers the protagonist Valeria Golino the opportunity to express herself in one of her most intense performances to date.
Anna is a woman nearing 50. She’s both frail and tough, obsessed with family problems: her elderly parents strapped for cash, her unemployed brother and one of the three siblings, Arturo, a deaf mute, with all the baggage that comes with the disability. At last Anna’s longed-for job arrives, working on the set of a TV fiction as a "prompter": she copies out the cues on large sheets of paper that she shows to the actors while they rehearse (in jargon a "teleprompter" who gives “autocues”).
However Anna is not at peace, she sees the world in black and white, a painful past behind her that influences her life. Nightmares and visions besiege her regularly: a black sea that grows rough, while foreboding clouds descend upon it; the bus she takes to go home is filled with Dante-esque restless souls and then the water that quickly encircles her... Anna doesn’t want to see the reality that surrounds her, her violent husband (Massimiliano Gallo) who brings home so much money from who knows where. That’s why the woman accepts the advances of actor (Adriano Giannini) who makes her feel loved and appreciated at last.
Almost twenty years since Giro di lune tra terra e mare (1997), his only fiction feature among a number of mainly documentary-style works, Beppe Gaudino overcomes a huge number of difficulties and puts together a network of independent producers - Buena Onda, Eskimo, Figli del Bronx, Gaundri, Bea Production Company, Minerva, with the French co-production by Les Films des Tournelles – to make a movie that portrays and spreads his "rich and complex" imaginary, as Valeria Golino suitably defined it. Many things converge within Per amor vostro: the Neapolitan music tradition the Epsilon Indi, who mix popular and electronic music in a wonderful project that runs through the whole film; painting with the digital painting technique that the director applies to the film’s frames in a kaleidoscope of images; iconography and religious culture in the Mediterranean, with it’s somewhat dazzling accompaniment of colours, revered Virgin Marys, angels and skulls; the geography of Naples, which the director’s focus extends from the Fontanelle cemetery, below Capodimonte, to Rione Sanità, from the Purgatorio ad Arco church to the Catacombs of San Gaudioso. And there’s the total humanity of the protagonist, a woman crying out for love, whose eyes have a shallow depth of field that the focal lenses used by the director of photography Matteo Cocco capture effectively.
The film has its release in Italian theatres on 17 September with Officine Ubu, the independent company that recently brought to cinemas The Tribe [+see also:
film profile] by Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy, Grand Prix at Critics’ Week in Cannes and Discovery Award at the EFAs.
(Translated from Italian)