Qualunquemente: When reality and fantasy are equally repellent
by Gabriele Barcaro
Once upon a time Italian cinema was ahead of the times, and could read the clues of the present to predict the immediate future. Things have changed, and the “blame” lies (not only) in cinema but, unfortunately, in reality, which continues to exceed the imagination.
Time overtakes us, something that Antonio Albanese knows very well. Eight years ago he invented the proudly corrupt, sexually manic businessman Cetto La Qualunque, who mirrors Italian immorality. Now, the character is making his big-screen debut in the film Qualunquemente [+see also:
film profile], directed by Giulio Manfredonia.
After four years of being on the lam in South America, Cetto returns to his native Calabria, in a country that, in his absence, has dangerously drawn close to the abyss of legality. Naturally, he also returns to his good old ways of criminality, of tax evasion (“Taxes are like drugs, you pay them once, to try it out, and you become addicted”) and illegal construction. So he becomes the ideal mayoral candidate with his slogan “Più pilu per tutti” (“More sex for everyone”).
Recent headlines, of investigations of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s sex parties with minors, softens the hyperbole of certain lines because worse is being heard from regional and federal halls of power. Nevertheless, Albanese denies any references directed at Berlusconi. “The character is invented, we didn’t want to be too real. Besides, it would’ve been too easy to be base it on him,” explains Albanese, who co-write the script with Piero Guerrera.
Blending realism (context) and the surreal (character), “the film,” adds Albanese, “talks about our country, not only the south.” Case in point: the locations, a series of eco-monsters that offend the sensibilities, are near Rome, not in the deep south.
The cast includes Sergio Rubini, Lorenza Indovina (the first wife of the “polygamous” Cetto) and Luigi Maria Burruano.
Produced by Domenico Procacci’s Fandango in collaboration with RAI Cinema, the film is being released January 21 by 01 Distribution on 600 screens. International rights are handled by Fandango Portobello Sales.
(Translated from Italian)
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