è stata la mano di dio ^ the hand of god
This is the inaugural piece for interrobang, ?!, our culture-y column.
Consider listen to Ludovico Einaudi* if you do end up reading this.
A couple of evenings ago, around sunset I cycled South East from my residence with a clipboard, a couple of writing utensils stuffed into an old fanny pack my dad passed on to me to go to the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) Lightbox on King Street.
I was there to watch the third Paolo Sorrentino film I’ve ever seen. His other works, La Grand Bellezza (The Great Beauty) and Youth are two of my favourite films. I have visited them more than once because that is what you do with that which you love. You return.
"I have visited them more than once because that is what you do with that which you love. You return."
Watching movies solo is not a guilty pleasure because I do not feel guilty about (this) pleasure**. There is something very special about not being concerned about knowing anyone else in the crowd (there were around 10-20 people)***.
The film is set in Napoli i.e. Naples. It centers around a family, a young person, and the title references one of the most famous goals scored by one of the most famous people at the FIFA World Cup. It is also considered the most autobiographical of Sorrentino’s work.
Sorrentino’s vision, guided by the camerawork and crew is so (consistently) good and similar to my other favourite film from Italy, Il Sorpasso, there are moments when you guess about what is going to happen. No, this is not hollywood. No, this is not bollywood or lollywood. Yes, it is Netflix produced.
"This type of honesty cuts right through the bullshit we seem to be mired in and moored by. It is seriously fun, it is funnily serious."
All of this to say: that it might be dressed up but it is about as close to the Truth, uppercase T, that you will see projected on screens of this size and venues of such reverence. This type of honesty cuts right through the bullshit we seem to be mired in and moored by. It is seriously fun, it is funnily serious. And sad, too. Remarkable, unremarkable. It has range and demonstrates a lot of it.
Watching a Sorrentino film is to listen to, view, feel, and think for whatever the runtime is, an exceptionally rich poem with all the flavourfilledness that the best Italian food you’ve ever eaten can offer. It also has, unfortunately, doses of what one might expect from Italian cinema of this level, objectification of female-identifying bodies, vulgarity of speech, fatphobia, ______. And inevitably often is, as one may hope Italian-made work would be, about ageing. Ageing bodies, ageing buildings, ageing _______.
A friend who has been working on film programming texted saying, “gli italiani (italians) like to joke about everything! except their mammas!”
"gli italiani (italians) like to joke about everything! except their mammas!"
Definitely had some mamma jokes too.
Anyhow, highly recommend it and would love to write about it more when I revisit it which I know I will.
Looking forward to next time. Until then.
*or Lele Marchitelli who composed the music for the film
** see adrienne marie brown
*** did feel guilty about Omicron rampaging through Ontario and being here as a society, again
clipboard notes below:
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