The recliners: Francesca Archibugi talks about adolescence

They found themselves, once again together, Francesca Archibugi And Franceso Piccolo for writing The lying down film by the Roman director. Long and demanding, she says, and you can believe her. The film is now on Netflix.

The book of Michele Serra from which it is taken, in fact, (a pre / text and not a pretext), is a stream of consciousness of just one hundred pages, an interior monologue, amusing and poignant, a letter not sent, a confrontation with himself and with his own paternal inadequacies to the point of suffering, even if tempered by the author’s usual irony. He needed a texture, which was patiently woven. Therefore, respect a written text by betraying it, not as he explained to us Paolo Taviani about the novel by Fenoglio, A private matter.

The plot of The Lying Down

For The lying down the story had to be entirely constructed, and Michele Serra declared himself satisfied at the press conference, because this new family novel has lost none of its moods, feelings, atmospheres. He was in danger of bordering on cynicism, given the dislike that sometimes the two protagonists, his father Giorgio (Claudio Bisio), successful television journalist, and his son Tito (Gaddo Bacchini), full-time teenager: two people who never take a step towards each other, in a compulsion to repeat without escape, a sclerotic relationship, parental anxiety and adolescent anxiety that are amplified by mirroring each other.

It’s been ten years since Flight lessonsin which Francesca Archibugi he had caused his two 18-year-olds, Chicken and Curry, to go all the way to India to unlock the process of individuation that had been paralyzed in their family life. Roman bourgeois family, like that of Tito, who is Milanese instead (Milan, seen from above or traveled by Tito by bicycle, is very well rendered with its skyscrapers, its colors that when there are really beautiful). Back to talk about adolescence, then, but the point of view also includes that of the adult, his anger, already included in the title, which expresses a judgment, but almost never a prejudice on the part of the director, in front of the perfectionist of negligence that occupies the sofa at home, alone or with five others lying down like him (they, yes, Tito’s real family).

Claudio Bisio in the role of the clumsy parent is very credible: the natural interpreter, given that for two years he has been on stage in the theater with Father and sonalso taken from Serra’s text. A parody of a father, which sums up the two weaknesses: the protective craving of the mother, the claims of righteousness of the Father, who helps and at the same time scolds, a schizophrenic caricature of authority (from The lying down di Serra).

A coming-of-age history

A story of formation, then, which concerns fathers and sons, who would like to lower their weapons, and cannot; the adult is always looking for the right word, for the behavior that could make him enter the intimacy of the boy, who skilfully escapes any possible confrontation. Some sequences of the film could be used in parenting courses, where they perfectly illustrate the traps of the double bind, the communication disorders, the unconscious projections of the fathers, the cumbersome interferences in the growth process. Parents do not believe that their children work even when they are lying down, perhaps more so, in the apparent suspension of thought. Ten years ago one of the two boys from Flight lessons he said he always lived in expectation of something: “So I don’t live, I kill time, I kill Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and nothing comes, no one “. It is this suspension that adults fail to grasp. And in their shortcomings, they feel guilty for not having patience, fortitude, authority, severity, generosity, exemplarity … … too many, too many virtues for those who in the meantime try to continue living (Greenhouse). And this is precisely the misunderstanding in which Giorgio finds himself, that of thinking of continuing to live and not identifying in the child’s adolescence an opportunity for growth even for himself.

The latest film is definitely full of all these insights of the Archibugi, and it will be highly appreciated by those who live or have lived the adolescence of children, especially boys (and survived from it), like Serra’s book, on the other hand. In the end, however, one gets the impression that by approaching the experiences of the two generations, in the effort to keep the right distance, he has lost a little his ability to move, the absolute empathy towards adolescence, which is the trait distinctive of his poetics.

The recliners: Francesca Archibugi talks about adolescence