All the fake ‘films within films’ by Nanni Moretti

Sunday 19 April 2015 – News

In the movies of Nanni Moretti There is always Nanni Moretti, even if his name is Michele Apicella, Don Giulio or Margherita, Nanni he is always there “next to his character”, so much so that he often brings the set with him. My mother is no exception, the protagonist is intent on making a film about an entrepreneur fighting with the workers of a factory that is in danger of closing down, there is an eccentric American actor, there are the workers and the daily difficulties of being a director. The way in which that fake film is filmed says a lot as always.
The filmography of Moretti in fact, it is perhaps the densest film within films, the most filled with filmmakers trying to make a film or dreaming about it. Exaggerated works that usually by genre, theme or style are far from the standards of the stories that contain them. In the fiction of the plot, his characters make feature films as he would never do, as he despises them, as he loves them and as he is intrigued by them. Movies within movies by Moretti are they dreams or nightmares.
Contrary to what happens to other filmmakers, this expedient is rarely used to describe the profession of cinema and it is rarely an operation that smacks of cinephilia, if anything they are pieces of life, grotesque variations not so different from dreams or memories. There are all kinds of movies that Moretti he hates, those he wants to make fun of and on the contrary also those he would like to do, those who then correspond to the lighter and more carefree side of his character. In one case or another, they are works that the director would never actually shoot.

1. The musical about the Trotskyist pastry chef in conformist Italy of the 50s (from April)
It’s the obsession with Nanni in April. While shooting a documentary on the changes in Italian politics in the 90s out of a sense of duty, he actually dreams of a lighter, more fun and colorful film, one with peaceful production, during which even the crew dances serenely. It is a story set in Italy in the 1950s, in which the left is all Stalinist and a Trotskyite pastry chef who is disgusted by everyone is happy only among his cakes, whose protagonist is a very clumsy Silvio Orlando (perfect idea, if such a film were actually made, it would actually serve him as the main actor).

2. Freud’s mother (from Sweet dreams)
It is a nightmarishly crafted period film in which Remo Remotti plays Freud who screams and beats his mother while Michele Apicella films him in a house entirely rebuilt in the studio. Slowly though over the course of Sweet dreamsas a parody, the scenes of Freud’s mother they begin to maintain a strange relationship with Michele’s life.

3. Cataracts (from The caiman)
Horrendous B-series police film shot in the 70s by the protagonist of The Caiman of which we see the daring final. During a Marxist wedding (brilliantly scripted as if someone from the right had written it) Aidra reveals herself to her betrothed, kills him and escapes from the police by smashing a window. Years later, the interpretations are priceless Paolo Virzi and Paolo Sorrentino. In the same film Aidra will return in a scene (even uglier and more paradoxical) taken from another of her many films, told as a bedtime story.

4. The Vietnam War Musical (from Sweet dreams)
Maybe it’s a dream, maybe it’s a desire, maybe a fear. The musical about the Vietnam War appears to Michele while he is playing pinball in a bar, he gets involved and it takes place all around him. Perhaps it is one of the most beautiful fake movies shot by Moretti.

5. Christopher Columbus (from The caiman)
It should be the rebirth of Silvio Orlando, B-movie director in the 1970s and now out of work. There is a great protagonist (Michael Placido) who rejects the film on Berlusconi after feigning interest, is an impressive and important production but in the end he will be tipped off and he will discover it by chasing a sailing ship right on Via Cristoforo Colombo, until he witnesses a grotesque moment in the making.

6. The Italian film that comes out in August (da Dear Diary)
Hilarious parody of Italian films that come out in August, depressed and all introverted, focused on the defeats that paint a generation (the one to which it belongs Nanni Moretti) disillusioned and in which the director does not identify. Before declaring himself a “gorgeous forty-year-old” precisely in response to the pity of the characters in the film, let’s see Nanni desperate in front of a film of bourgeois interiors shot and edited very badly and in which the paradoxical dialogues are recited by dogs. Epic.

7. The caiman (from The caiman)
Of all of them it is the most particular, the only truly serious, even more serious and authentic than the film that contains it. The caiman content inside The caiman is in all respects a film that deserves to be in the filmography of Nanni Moretti except that there are only a few scenes.

All the fake ‘films within films’ by Nanni Moretti