On the eve of the David by Donatello we can say that, having regard to the official nominationstonight live on Rai Uno we should attend an award ceremony presented by Carlo Conti And Drusilla Foer the results are quite uncertain, because the average level is high and the variety of genres is significant. Something that cannot be taken for granted in prizes like this: just think of the absence of Moretti and Favino or the five candidates for Best Actress, all for the first time. So let’s take a tour, unconventional as usual, between two candidates in the dance and two great excluded, all already recoverable on home video or on the platform.
Let’s start with Here I laugh and his 14 nominations. Mario Martone for Best Director and Best Film, Toni Servillo from Best Actor, while the other 11 cover the entire acting and technical department, from photography to sound through costumes, make-up and sets. Complementary to De Filippo Brothers by Sergio Rubini – and candidate for six David – shows the history of the Scarpetta / De Filippo family on the side of Eduardo Scarpetta. The work focused on the progenitor of the Neapolitan twentieth-century theater focuses very much on a sly and in great form Servillo as much as on the filmic story of art and theatrical and human miseries, but even more on the diatribe between parody and plagiarism that flared up between Scarpetta and a Mephistophelic Gabriele D’Annunzio, with the face and the affected class of Paolo Pierobon. The legal dispute is managed, surprisingly, by the excellent Lino Musella. In the role of the philosopher Benedetto Croce takes stock on the essence of parodyvalid yesterday as today.
After having grossed three million euros in theaters, it can now be purchased on online streaming platforms such as Prime Video, but in the blu-ray version the extra contents offered by 01 Distribution and Eagle Pictures they are a bit thin, at least in minutes. It is a backstage where the director talks about the theater used in the set, plus a short film with Servillo himself and Ernesto Maieux. In all, the quarter of an hour is not reached. Too bad, there would have been a lot to explore between costumes, historical-documentary reconstructions and testimonies from the technical and artistic cast.
Remaining on D’Annunzio, the fil rouge leads us to Bad Poet by Gianluca Jodice, nominated for the David for Best Directorial Debut. Del Vate, carved on the face of Sergio Castellitto, the Roman actor brings old age and the dream shattered by former friend Mussolini to the big screen: to bring “fantasy to power”. Deserved nomination, but perhaps a few more would not be out of tune. In the disc version, the film is accompanied by a rich backstage where make-up artist Roberto Pastore and costume designer Andrea Cavalletto also speak. There are duets on the set between director and director of photography, Daniele Ciprì, while from the shores of Lake Garda, Giordano Bruno Guerri, historian and president, talks about the original location of the Vittoriale museum center, while Francesco Patanè, co-star with Castellitto, explains to the public the actor’s work on his fascist officer. The director reveals instead how he united D’Annunzio and the Vittoriale to Dracula and his castle, giving way to fully understand the atmosphere of the film. Finally, an interview by the critic Enrico Magrelli with Jodice on his personal representation of time and space enriches the whole.
Let’s move on to the big excluded with Mondocane. Farsightedness is not always rewarded in our country, at least not immediately. Thus the first work by Alessandro Celli, a rare and admirable example of dystopia applied to Taranto reworked in an ecological post-apocalypse key, sees as co-protagonist Alessandro Borghi as the adult leader of a baby gang. In the making of proposed by blu-ray the director, actors and producer Matteo Rovere speak to the camera, who with this work expands the filmography of his Grøenlandia Group in variety and genre. He pits curiosity about drawings, costumes and real locations adapted in the city of the two seas. Always too short, seven minutes, for a complex and fascinating set and imaginary world to build.
It may be a small stretch, as a UK / Italy co-production set in England and shot in the language but, written and directed by that calm and thoughtful talent of Uberto Pasolini, it is a film that lights up the eyes and the heart. Halfway between a Ken Loach style and bike thievesthis Nowhere Special puts us by the hand of a single father who is totally absorbed in finding the right family for his four-year-old son. A merciless illness makes his time run out and only an economically but above all emotionally stable family can guarantee a good future for the child.
In the DVD version of Lucky Red, the extra that stands out is an interview with the author. Pasolini’s identification with the parent of the newspaper article that inspired him for the film, the research with people and social workers involved in similar events and the personal experience of a parent are faced with honest consistency by the Italian filmmaker who has been living in England for many years. For him, “life between father and son is made up of little things, breakfasts, walks in the park …”. It’s about the amazing James Norton, the lead actor, about the journey towards a perfect family and of the interior and preventive work on the memory of the child for the memory of his father. A gem.