Forever Young: “Fake youths” according to Fausto Brizzi
by Vittoria Scarpa
- Out in Italian theatres is the comedy about fifty-year-olds who don’t want to get old. Also out this week is Un nuovo giorno by Stefano Calvagna, the story of a transexual
“There are no grandparents, aunts and uncles or mums and dads anymore; everyone’s doing pilates”. These were the words of Fausto Brizzi, who has used this strange and very current phenomenon – the extinction of adults – as the foundation for his new and entertaining comedy Forever Young [+see also:
film profile], which lands in theatres today. For the first time, the director of Notte prima degli esami [+see also:
film profile] and Maschi contro femmine [+see also:
film profile] surrenders to the satire of culture and explores the universe of ‘fake youths’, fifty-year-olds who don’t want to get old. There’s Diego (Lillo), a swaggering middle-aged radio dj who wakes up every morning singing “We are young, we run free” (from Alright by Supergrass), but the reality is that he suffers from the ailments that come with getting old and faces the threat of a much younger and menacing rival radio dj (Francesco Sole). Then there’s Giorgio (Fabrizio Bentivoglio), who is 50-years-old and has a partner young enough to be his daughter (Pilar Fogliati), who goes out clubbing till four in the morning with great effort, and almost ironically takes a fancy to someone of his own age who is more easy-going and easier to manage (Lorenza Indovina), a vinyl enthusiast. Then there are cougars Sonia (Luisa Ranieri) and Angela (Sabrina Ferilli). The former is a serial toyboy dater, and the latter is in a relationship with a twenty-year-old (Emanuel Caserio) but is plagued by doubt. And last but not least there’s Franco (Teo Teocoli), a sixty-year-old athlete and health enthusiast with bags of energy who won’t hear of giving up running marathons to be a grandfather (his daughter is played by Claudia Zanella and his son-in-law by Stefano Fresi).
Brizzi chooses not to make any references to plastic surgery in his film (which he wrote with Marco Martani and Edoardo Falcone) and centres everything around his representation of a certain lifestyle. Held up by jokes and quips that are spot on, hilarious duos (in particular Lillo and Nino Frassica, the latter of whom plays a priest who runs the elusive Radio Amen) and a good rhythm, Forever Young also contains elements of nostalgia – which Brizzi successfully experimented with in his first box office champion Notte prima degli esami – aiming for the hearts of those who were young in the 1980s and get excited when they hear Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart” or Alphaville’s “Forever Young”, which is where the film gets its title. Produced by Wildside, the film is being released in 500 theatres today by Medusa.
The other Italian release of the week is Un nuovo giorno [+see also:
film profile] by Stefano Calvagna, a sort of Italian version of The Danish Girl [+see also:
interview: Paco Delgado
film profile], the story of a sex change played by someone who has actually been through one, Sveva Cardinale (the stage name of Paola Catanzaro), upon whose life the film is based. Filmed in Rome and Bangkok, the film tells the story of Giulio, who has felt like he was born in the wrong body since he was a child. At the age of 27, he decides to undergo surgery, at a prestigious clinic in Thailand. But once he becomes a woman, he suffers an identity crisis that he overcomes with the help of his companion and lifelong friends. The film was produced and is being distributed by Poker Entertainment, the company owned by the director.
Also being released this Thursday is British film Weekend [+see also:
film profile] by Andrew Haigh, which finally lands in Italian theatres – the film was released in 2011 – after the success of 45 Years [+see also:
Q&A: Andrew Haigh
film profile] by the same director, albeit with the very vocal judgment of the National Film Evaluation Committee of the Italian Episcopal Conference (CNVF), which labelled it as “hotheaded” and “indecent”; the film is being distributed by Teodora.
(Translated from Italian)