Laughter, tears and fear – European style
by Gabriele Barcaro
21/09/2007 - The percentage of European films arriving on Italian screens has never been so overwhelming: five of the six titles on release today are hoping to take on US animated films The Simpsons Movie and Shrek the Third, at the top of the box office.
Of the two Italian films, the first, Giancarlo Scarchilli’s Scrivilo sui muri [trailer] (“Write It on the Walls”), distributed by Eagle Pictures on 310 screens, is the first generational comedy of the new season.
As this successful genre (from Night Before Exams [trailer] to Ho voglia di te [trailer]), especially among young audiences, last year showed the first signs of a downturn, the box office intake will give some indication if the trend has exhausted itself or if the formula continues to wield its appeal.
Older audiences are the target of Piano, solo [trailer] by Riccardo Milani. The biography of jazz musician Luca Flores, which 01 Distribution is bringing to 130 screens, is counting on the charisma of lead actor Kim Rossi Stuart and the story of a talented man that music and the world lost too soon.
From Britain comes Joe Wright’s Atonement [trailer], a UK/US co-production in competition at Venice. Adapting the Ian McEwan novel, the director returns to working with Keira Knightley (the star of his Pride and Prejudice [trailer]), who is at the centre of a story of love (with James McAvoy) and jealousy that will touch the hearts of more romantic audiences. Universal is distributing it on 220 screens.
Mikado is dedicating the same number of screens to Funeral Party by Frank Oz, a director who has returned to England after a predominantly Hollywood career. The comedy, a UK/US/German co-production set during a funeral, was a huge success at the Locarno Film Festival.
The fifth title is Christopher Smith’s UK/German film Severance [trailer], which Medusa is releasing on 125 screens. The horror flick with political ambitions (and many humorous moments) set in the forests of Hungary will not disappoint lovers of the splatter genre.
(Translated from Italian)