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PRODUCTION Italy

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Lucini’s tailor-made ensemble football

by Gabriele Barcaro

28/03/2008

One of the move beloved (and mourned) coaches in the history of Italian football, Trieste native Nereo Rocco lends one of his infamous sayings to Luca Lucini’s new film Amore bugie & calcetto (“Love, Lies and Five-a-Side Football”). “On the field and in life” is the motto of the comedy set in Trieste, and in particular in the world of (recreational) football.

The characters’ playing styles fit their personalities: there’s the middle-aged man who resorts to doping (and Viagra in the bedroom), a goalie who’s gloomy even when he hangs up his gloves and an attacker of shinbones who’s ruthless off the field as well.

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“The ensemble nature”, says co-scriptwriter Fabio Bonifacci, “allowed us to be as real as possible. Reality is always an ensemble, main characters exist only in the movies”.

In fact, while the film focuses on Claudio Bisio’s approaching-50 character (and in his duets with Angela Finocchiaro, the wife who was dumped for a younger lover), it also works to achieve a certain harmony among the strong cast. “I worked like a tailor,” says Lucini, “fashioning the roles to the actors and trying to maintain a coherent tone among the stories”.

The stylistic choices, on the other hand, were purposely varied. “I used a different shooting style for each character,” adds the director. “For example, to back up the emotional state of the unhappy married couple played by Filippo Nigro and Claudia Pandolfi, I shot with a nervous, hand-held camera”.

The cast features Chiara Mastalli, Andrea De Rosa, Max Mazzotta, Marina Rocco and Pietro Sermonti, as well as Giuseppe Battiston, who for his role of the corpulent goal-maker and – above all – romantic sports journalist was inspired by the “surliness and passion of journalists like Gianni Mura and Gianni Brera”.

Produced for €4m by Cattleya (in collaboration with the Friuli Venezia Giulia Film Commission), Amore bugie & calcetto is being released on April 4 by Warner Bros. Pictures Italia on approximately 250 screens.

(Translated from Italian)

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