Italy in form on the Croisette
by Gabriele Barcaro - Camillo de Marco
14/05/2008 - Just a few hours before the opening of Cannes, curiosity grows around the Italian delegation that, unlike last year, is on the Croisette with two films (and three co-productions) vying for the Palme d’Or.
Among those judging them will be Italian actor-director Sergio Castellitto, who is “ready to explain to the colleagues of the international jury the Neapolitan expressions in Gomorra [trailer, film focus]”, as Matteo Garrone’s film on the Camorra preserves the local dialect in the gangsters’ dialogues. Exactly 30 years ago the festival showed its appreciation of analogous choices, awarding the top prize to Ermanno Olmi’s The Tree of Wooden Clogs, which was spoken in the impregnable dialect of Bergamo.
A glossary could also be useful to better understanding Il Divo [trailer, film focus] (“The Deity”), Paolo Sorrentino’s biopic on seven-time Italian Prime Minister (and today Senator for Life) Giulio Andreotti. The film’s pressbook even ends with an overview of the last 30 years of Italian politics, from the Red Brigades to Tangentopoli.
Also dealing with history, though less recent events, is Sanguepazzo [trailer] (“Mad Blood”) by Marco Tullio Giordana, in a Special Screening out of competition. The film stars Monica Bellucci and Luca Zingaretti as real-life acting duo Luisa Ferida and Osvaldo Valenti, who towards the end of the fascist regime were accomplices of torturer Pietro Koch (Paolo Bonanni), and were killed by Partisans in 1945.
Looking instead to current problems is the only Italian title in Directors’ Fortnight, The Rest of the Night [trailer] by Francesco Munzi. The tragic story set in an unspecified city in northern Italy entwines the lives of the local upper class with those living on the margins of poverty and legality.
Italy will also be present in competition with three co-productions: Lucky Red with Le silence de Lorna [trailer, film focus] by Belgian brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne; StudioUrania with French director Philippe Garrel’s La frontière de l’aube [trailer]; and BIM with Three Monkeys [trailer] by Turkey’s Nuri Bilge Ceylan.