Vieni a vivere a Napoli: An invite from Lombardi, Prisco and De Angelis
by Vittoria Scarpa
- The three directors are presenting a frivolous episode film at the Bari International Film Festival that stages three different stories of immigration and integration in the Neapolitan metropolis
There’s Yoyo, a Chinese boy with an inexplicable desire to work, there’s Luba, a Ukrainian carer who used to be a star and now leads a dreary existence, and there’s Amila, a Sinhalese teenager grappling with a neomelodic singer on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Three nationalities, three different ages and three directors to tell their stories, against the backdrop of a multifaceted Naples that is welcoming but not always easy to live in. We’re talking about Vieni a vivere a Napoli, the frivolous episode film directed by three of the most interesting Neapolitan directors of the here and now: Guido Lombardi (director of Là-bas: A Criminal Education [+see also:
interview: Guido Lombardi
film profile], which won the Lion of the Future at Venice, and Take Five [+see also:
film profile]), Francesco Prisco (Nottetempo [+see also:
film profile]) and Edoardo De Angelis (Mozzarella Stories [+see also:
film profile], Perez [+see also:
Shown in its premiere at the Bif&st - Bari International Film Festival (2-9 April 2016), Vieni a vivere a Napoli is an invite with hidden dangers. It is not an idyllic portrayal of integration in the Neapolitan metropolis, but a surprising fresco which, through almost grotesque tones and more dramatic nuances, shows us the relationship between Neapolitans and immigrants, where the latter often seem more civil than their hosts, and have more common sense. In the episode directed by Guido Lombardi, Gianfelice Imparato plays Nino, the caretaker of a building and the quintessential Neapolitan who doesn’t want to do anything; then young Chang, known as Yoyo, a Chinese boy he must temporarily take care of, comes along to shake up his routine. Yoyo has a problem though: he always wants to work, and Nino just doesn’t understand these Chinese people.
In Francesco Prisco’s episode, a Ukrainian woman, Luba, is mistreated by the old grouch she cares for (Antonio Casagrande) and his daughter. A hard pill to swallow for the woman who was a television host in the Ukraine who then fell into disgrace when her husband, a local politician, ended up in jail following a bribery scandal. But Luba will find a way back into the spotlight. The third episode, directed by Edoardo De Angelis, centres around a young neomelodic singer and her agent (Massimiliano Gallo), as they travel between a radio show, a wedding and a serenade in their limo, amidst rowing, crying and recriminations. Accompanying them, much against her will, is a young Sinhalese barmaid who just wants to be paid for the breakfast she brought the two of them at the office that morning: an endeavour that turns out to be more difficult than she thought it would be.
In line with the great Italian tradition of episode films, Vieni a vivere a Napoli elaborates on one theme through differing visions and styles, but as it is put together by one single technical team (photography, editing, music, etc.), the end result is consistent. A true team effort, as pointed out by the team behind the film, represented by the project creator and producer Alessandro Cannavale: “We have recreated what was normal in Rome in Scola and Risi’s time: a synergy between filmmakers around one single project. It’s the first time it’s happened in Naples”.
Produced by Run Film with the cooperation of Rai Cinema and the support of the Italian Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism, Vieni a vivere a Napoli will be released in cinemas this autumn.
(Translated from Italian)