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FILMS Italy

Vanzinas’ Sotto il vestito niente fights the "intoxication" of recent comedies

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Vanzinas’ Sotto il vestito niente fights the "intoxication" of recent comedies

It’s not a remake, or a sequel. It has the same title as their 1985 film, but the filmmakers would rather it be considered a reboot, a rewrite. Sotto il vestito niente - L'ultima sfilata [+see also:
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(“Nothing Underneath: The Last Fashion Show”) by the Vanzina brothers has another unique thing going for it as well. At a time when comedies are breaking the box office banks in Italy, the masters of the genre, in its most commercial forms (Vacanze di Natale, A spasso nel tempo, Un'estate ai Caraibi), are making a countercurrent turn and bringing a mystery to Italian screens.

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"In a period of comedy intoxication, we wanted to make audiences feel something, scare them and entertain them with tools other than laughter,” says Enrico Vanzina, co-writer of the script with his brother Carlo, who directs, and Franco Ferrini, who was written films for Dario Argento.

Shot in Italy, Sweden and Switzerland, this blend of crime story-dark fairy tale-family drama interweaves three stories. The first is a police detective (the ironic Francesco Montanari, "Libanese" from the popular TV series Romanzo Criminale) investigating the mysterious death of a top model.

Then there’s a young woman (Italian-American model Vanessa Hessler) debuting in the bewitching and cruel world of fashion. Lastly, a renowned fashion designer (Richard E. Grant, of Robert Altman’s Prêt-à-Porter) has all kinds of skeletons in his closet.

The proceedings are teeming with film references dear to the Vanzinas, from Hitchcock to Preminger, Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy ("A source of inspiration” according to the director) and the crime novels of Camilla Lackberg. In fact, the film’s last scenes were shot in Fjallbacka, the Swedish setting of the writer’s novels.

Filmgoers who like a lot of blood, however, will be disappointed. "We wanted to avoid the most violent aspects", says Carlo Vanzina. "We preferred focusing on the plot, on the mechanism of ‘Let’s try and guess who the killer is.’ Which is also why we didn’t include a love story.”

"The first Sotto il vestito niente was a supernatural thriller, a la Brian De Palma", adds Ferrini. "This film is more realistic, more mature, more European".

Sotto il vestito niente - L'ultima sfilata will be distributed domestically on March 25 on 350 screens, by Medusa, which produced the film with Video 80.

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(Translated from Italian)

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