Diario di bordo – Day 6

Wednesday 06 july – Day 06

Whilst Italy’s footballing excitement provides a freeing catharsis, we have the pleasure of descending on a Piazza Verdi completely packed with spectators.

It’s always worth spending a couple of moments observing this colourful human garden, where people curiously flick through the festival’s publications whilst the children among us anxiously wait for the screening of animated cartoons.

We begin in a private, domestic setting with Y mañana navidad, where an ageing man choses a friendly lunch as the occasion to reveal his own partner’s betrayal. Director Héctor Rull only needs nine minutes to stigmatise a harsh interpersonal theme.

Have you ever thought about the suggestion that water is a living element in which we can lose ourselves; almost a redemptive oasis that helps us survive the cut thrust of every-day life? This is well and truly achieved in Sarah Van Den Boom’s Dans les eaux profondes, with a series of events which links homosexuality to the living pulpit present in the embryos of each of us.

One never expects the interpersonal relationships that develop between people outside of a nucleonic family. The maid in Clara Roquet’s El adiós understands, after a struggle, that her life inside of what seemed to be a protected nest will never be the same again.

Excuse us an outburst of Italian pride, but we must confess our unconditional love for the grand theatrical and cinematographic traditions of the Italian south; how could one not define the efforts of actor Gianfelice Imparato, already appreciated on the big screen in Il divo and Gomorra, as simply extraordinary.

As the protagonist of Emanuele Palamara’s La smorfia, the excellent Imparato plays the role of a celebrated Neapolitan opera singer who’s suffered a stroke; through his difficult day, the protagonists share the burning memories of a sweet artistic past and the intolerance that comes from being with an overly controlling wife.

Only at the end do we discover the true affection of our female protagonist. The public’s appreciation for this short is clear to see.

The omnipresence of the aquatic element again comes to the fore in a tale about the resourcefulness of humanity when faced with mortality; and accurate use of silence and sounds much more than acting, these factors allow Polish filmmaker Paulina Skibińska to overcome her own artistic challenge, entitled Obiekt.

Moments of pure emotion, extraordinary direction of the actors and a message disarming in its directness: war is condemned in all of its guises and regardless of from where it comes.

Props to Sandra Ceccarelli, the astonished spectator of scenes of blood and death; her role as an elderly voice actress sees her emulate one of the great names of Italian theatre – the great Marzia Ubaldi.

We thought that cinematic clerical satire had already seen its best days thanks to the great Pupi Avati (remember his 1975 classic “La mazurka del barone, della santa e del fico fiorone”), but we are now faced with something just as exhilarating.

We are, of course, alluding to Michel Zarazi’s Sous les soutanes, where an eccentric group of bungling nuns find themselves having to save a chubby monsignor from the trap of a land mine.

A totally different context comes next with the greying, professional downward spiral of the two labourer protagonists in Mamci i udice…almost neo-realist direction introduces us to an environment where the path to change is always littered with obstacles.

Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette’s Prends-moi tackles a delicate subject, earnestly telling the story of how the disabled have the right to a proper sex life. The hospital setting establishes a daily life dripping with despair but also extreme social demands.

Davide Salucci’s Il principe is a truly entertaining animated short, which retells the dear old legend of a knight on his trusty steed in an ironic and paroxysmal way.

Davide nails the visual technics, which resemble a painting, and the surreal scenography where modern buildings and airports go hand in hand with drawbridges and Medieval castles.

The beautiful power of horror films is like a black widow constantly waiting to strike! Try to see Ignacio F. Rodó’s Tuck Me In and discover how just one minute of narration is enough to turn the atmosphere to ice.

A few more shivers are absolutely necessary in this season burning fire. We linger to talk with a few of the festival’s guests – priceless moments of international communication.

Next stop: Thursday evening.

Riccardo Visintin

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