Gabriele Muccino is back, revelling in the Summertime
by Camillo De Marco
- VENICE 2016: The tenth film by the Roman director, about two Italian teenagers who head off to spend their summer in the United States, has been world-premiered at Venice
His trademark tracking shots – check (right from the opening scenes, no less). A feel-good vibe and petty-bourgeois dramas – check. With Summertime [+see also:
film profile], which has been world-premiered at the Venice Film Festival (in the Cinema in the Garden section) and is set to hit Italian screens on 15 September, courtesy of 01, Gabriele Muccino has come back home, although not completely. Following a ten-year stint in Hollywood, he has now filmed a mainly English-language Italian production (staged by Indiana in conjunction with Rai Cinema, with a budget of €5.8 million) about two Italian teenagers who head off to spend their summer in the United States. Indeed, Summertime only lingers in Rome for a few short minutes, before shifting the action to San Francisco, New Orleans and Cuba. This coming-of-age film with a splash of road movie brings the Roman director’s cinema right back to the times of 1999’s But Forever in My Mind, a highly autobiographical portrait of adolescence focusing on a group of high-school students in Rome, which garnered a lot of praise right here on the Lido.
The main character and narrator of Summertime, Marco (Brando Pacitto), has just finished secondary school and has no idea about what to do with his future. A friend of his with more clearly defined plans heads to California and invites him to tag along. Marco finds himself on a plane to San Francisco with a schoolmate, Maria (Matilda Lutz, from L'Universale [+see also:
film profile]), whom he despises and who is known as "the nun", while his father is suspected of having collected vinyl copies of Mussolini speeches. Awaiting their arrival, ready to host them, is a gay couple, Matt (Taylor Frey) and Paul (Joseph Haro). Marco finds the pair fascinating, while self-righteous, 18-year-old Maria is repulsed. But when the duo begins to explain the tumultuous story of how they met, in the puritanical American South, something soon brings the four youngsters together.
In Muccino’s tenth feature, there is no trace of the scepticism and generational disenchantment that we saw in 2001’s The Last Kiss, the movie that propelled him so suddenly to fame and fortune in Italy, earning him an Audience Award at Sundance and distribution in the USA, and spawning a mediocre transatlantic remake.
While The Last Kiss was a reflection of a generation of thirty-somethings fleeing from themselves, today’s audience for Muccino’s film was born with the new millennium. The film’s Italian title, L’Estate Addosso, is lifted from the song of the same name by Lorenzo Cherubini-Jovanotti, the video for which Muccino directed last year (and which has notched up 15 million views on YouTube); incidentally, Jovanotti curated the movie’s entire soundtrack.
Summertime was produced by Indiana Production Company and Rai Cinema, and is being sold abroad by Rai Com.
(Translated from Italian)