Diary – 6 July 2020

For Italy and the world in general Ennio Morricone was much more than a composer of soundtracks.

His scores flew in a life of their own, in tandem, their impact on film making them a separate creative entity, instantly recognisable.

Hearing about his death was a terrible blow. We will miss the person more than the personality, meek and mild and a discreet standard bearer for understatement.

July has pulled a strange rabbit out of its hat, with assorted downpours and blasts of unbearable heat.

International Shorts Festival 2020 is continuing its virtual journey with works from three female directors. But first things first.

EXAM by Sonia K. Hadad is a strongly dramatic narrative of the school nightmare of a young Arab girl. In the dangerous role of drugs courier, she has to face up to the consequences.

Viewing continues with IL NOSTRO TEMPO by Veronica Spedicati, in a play on narrative and drama which would have met with the favour of a fine connoisseur of childhood such as Gianni Amelio. A difficult relationship between father and daughter is played out through the slow, sleepy summer afternoons in the splendid region of Puglia. There is perhaps the spectre of the father’s illness, yet the smiles strengthen the relationship between two figures so distant from one another.

El LIBRE by Francesca Català portrays a redhaired bookseller tackling a disobedient book up to the final, surprising revelation.

SONG SPARROW by Farzaneh Omidvarnia is a work of animation that tells of the journey by a group of refugees. The dramatic shades of the concept fade away in the unexpected finale of anticipation.

GUY PROPOSES TO HIS GIRLFREND ON A MOUNTAIN by Bernhard Wenger takes us on a wonderful holiday among snow-capped mountains. Care is needed though, as Cupid is calling the shots…. Special applause should go to the overall originality, an Austrian production against the thunder and lightning of a disco.

The final screening is that of COMMUNITY GARDENS from Lithuanian director Vytautas Katcus. A fire breaks out in this bucolic setting, the environmental event marking out the divide between the protagonist and his homeland.

June is a month of anniversaries and of memories. Vittorio Gassman and Alberto Sordi are so close to audiences’ hearts as to rise to become preferred icons of a cinema that possibly no longer exists. We feel it is right to remember them, seeing as they too contributed to building strong emotions in celluloid.

The date is for Tuesday evening.

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