PIRANHAS (2019)

A film by  Claudio Giovannesi

Cast:  Francesco Di Napoli, Viviana Aprea, Mattia Piano Del Balzo 

Nicola and her friends are between ten and fifteen years old. They travel by scooter, they are armed and fascinated by crime. They fear neither prison nor death, only to lead an ordinary life like their parents. Their models: the godfathers of the Camorra. Their values: money and power. Their rules: to frequent the good people, to frequent the world of luxury , and to occupy the place left vacant by the old mafia to conquer the districts of Naples, whatever the price.

Nicola, a 15-year-old with little or no prospects of a proper job, but who wants access to the life of luxury enjoyed by his role models: designer clothes and watches, nights of drinking and doing drugs at the city’s clubs together with good-looking girls likewise impressed by those signs of status. Nicola wants to find a way to stop his mother to pay protection money. He needs money. So in  Sanità his own town he meets the local drug lord who put him to work. Soon after they party, get new clothes, and even new scooter. Nicola has charisma and rapidly moves up the latter. An adaptation novel by Roberto Saviano, the Neapolitan who made a name for himself as an authority on the organised crime. Nicola, a 15-year-old with little or no prospects of a regular job, but who wants access to the life of luxury enjoyed by his role models: designer clothes and watches, nights of drinking and doing drugs at the city’s clubs together with good-looking girls likewise impressed by those signs of status. Nicola wants to find a way to stop his mother to pay protection money. He needs money. So in  Sanità his own town he meets the local drug lord who put him to work. Soon after they party, get new clothes, and even new scooter. Nicola has charisma and rapidly moves up the latter. Saviano known this world well it looks like and Giovannesi cast non professional actor to have this feel of authenticity plus the research and it pay off well. Giovannesi avoid the glamour and the sensationalism plus the camera movement is fluid never flashy . Here are teenagers who sees no way out and thinks that being a gangster is the coolest thing but reality is far more than an other monster.

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BOYS CRY (2018)

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A film by Damiano D’Innocenzo, Fabio D’Innocenzo

Cast: Andrea Carpenzano, Matteo Olivetti, Milena Mancini 

In the suburbs of Rome Manolo and Mirko are inseparable one night they finished delivering Pizza, Driving home they hit a pedestrian, panic, so they decided to leave the man there and take off . It is an opportunity of a lifetime. The man is wanted by the Mafia. Ho! boy may their criminal career begins.

Boy cry is an intelligent compelling morality tale. Manolo’s father sees it as an opportunity of a lifetime. Mirko however wants to play hitman for the mob. He sees it as a game. Mirko and Manolo takes care of the mob business and it will come at a price. Do you think that Manolo’s mom is not going to find out. Once the money comes in Manolo’s mom finds out about it but take the money from her son’s stash. How funny is that? They are integrated fully in the mob but the question is for how long. They will be consequences that is going to come up later in the film. Here you have two kids who gets out of this crappy job but has no idea what is in store for them. Mirko here has a stable of women who are prostitute treats them like shit but to top in all off treat his girlfriend like a whore. He has this suppressed guilt about what his job and his stable of women that are prostitute. The cinematographer Paola Carnera who is known for his work with the series Gomorrah and Suburra knows how to shoot the mobsters in those wasteland, ghetto type of landscape. Here are two kids that wants to feel like big men but their maturity never gets quite there.

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DOGMAN (2018)

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A film by Matteo Garrone

Cast: Marcello FonteEdoardo PesceNunzia Schiano

In a deserted  suburb, Marcello, dog groomer discreet and appreciated by all, sees returning from prison his friend Simoncino, a former boxer addicted to cocaine, which quickly racketeering and brutalized the neighborhood. At first confident, Marcello lets himself be dragged into a criminal spiral . He then learns treason and abandonment, so Marcello is planning is revenge very carefully  …

Dogman opens with a large vicious pit bull barking into the face of the camera. Saliva flies, teeth flash and the urge of attacking. Marcello keeps him calm and washes the animal with  affection and the dog calms down. Here is Marcello who is a dog groomer with this unusual face who does his job well and his clients knows him well he also a loving father to his daughter Alida (Alida Baldari Calabria), with whom he enjoys scuba-diving. . It is all going to hell because his friend Simoncino (so he thought) wants some cocaine which marcello gives him but Simoncino needs money and takes Marcello on a crime spree. It is all going to hell from here. Simoncino here is this tough guy who is a pain in the ass to everybody in the neighborhood want to get rid of him. So Marcello’s  life is going to go into a spiral and he is going to plan his revenge. 

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Here Marcello wants to exist because nobody sees him for who he is and his ex-wife ignores him however the one who loves him for who he is , is his daughter who worships him. Later in the film Marcello is going to try to exist and to show everybody what he is capable of doing. Here Dogman is a powerful, deep, and brilliantly directed film. A Wonderful movie about the need to exist and to be loved, that is bitter, violent, sometimes funny with a shattering humanity. This film is a black diamond of Italian cinema as Matteo Garrone knows how to make hem. It is a sort of dark beautiful revenge tale.

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EVERYBODY KNOWS (2018)

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A film by Asghar Farhadi

Cast: Penélope Cruz, Javier Bardem, Jaime Lorente

Carolina (Penélope Cruz) and her Argentinean  husband with their children comes back to her hometown Madrid for a wedding. During the wedding unexpected events takes place that will reveal secrets to the open.

This film is the open film at the Cannes Film Festival, ok then good move but….. Here is the most looked at director who is the most creative of them all, with the Separation his masterpiece, and the client where he shines now he does a film in Madrid and it fall apart. As soon as the film started a quarter of it into it I knew where this was going and who did it and i do hate that from the most creative director. He needs to get back on the horse soon.The disappointment of his latest opus must take into account that Farhadi had never made any mistakes so far, until now.  Let’s first dispel any misunderstanding: the transposition in Spain of an initial material intended to be shot in Iran is not, a priori, a problem in itself. Farhadi had proved that he knew how to find his bearings in a shoot abroad, with actors of a language that is not his own.  Le Passé, made in France, allowed to find his style. However shot in Madrid everything falls apart. I am not saying that the film is not good it is watchable and it has a great cast with some great performances. Because of that Everybody Knows deserves the attention.

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CALL ME BY YOUR NAME (2017)

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A film by : Luca Guadagnino

Cast: Armie Hammer, Timothée Chalamet, Michael Stuhlbarg 

Italy back in The 80’s , a romance will blossoms between a seventeen year-old student and the older man hired as his father’s research assistant aver the summer.

First love , the warm, sunny skies, gentle breezes and charming, tree-lined roads of northern Italy in the summer. what more do you want; Well two beautiful women massaging my body while I drink wine, I know I am dreaming but trust me it is going to happen soon. Just a feeling I got. Guadagnino takes us to they wonderful place where he is patient in telling you the story and you must be also as well. Not an easy thing to do I was wondering where this was going then he hit me. It’s the summer of 1983, and there’s nothing to do but read, play piano, learn about art and pick apricot and peaches and drink wine. Dam! life was so simple back then.

CALL ME BY YOUR NAME (2017)

17-year-old Elio (Timothee Chalamet) visiting his family’s summer home with his parents: his father (Michael Stuhlbarg), a professor of Greco-Roman culture, and his mother (Amira Casar), a translator and hostess. Elio is growing up fast he is 17 years old who  has an intellect of an adult. An American doctoral student named Oliver (Armie Hammer) arrives for the annual internship Elio’s father offers .  It seems that Oliver has everything and that Elio doesn’t ,that’s what the director want you to think. However the two are going to test even push each other though out the summer. They flirt, they try to one up each other on Literature, art and music. Elio how ever tries to romance a french girl on vacation there but thing are no going to go so well at first it is and then Olivier happens. I think Elio knew who he is but denied it to himself that is why he tried to romance this girl. The all film is shot beautifully well on location with some nice setting. There is a sweetness between the two as the story develop especially toward the end. Both actors here are well into their characters that goes double for the Franco-American actor chalamet, there is a fluidity between his languages from French, to Italian and english. A different kind of love story this time between two men. the most beautiful scene here is toward the end when Elio’s father talks to him. Even the ending  felled so perfect.

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LO CHIAMAVANO JEEG ROBOT (2015)

 

 

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A film by Gabriele Mainetti

Cast: Claudio Santamaria, Luca Marinelli, Ilenia Pastorelli

English: They called him Jeeg Robot

Ok here is a Italian film that was released in 2015 we just got it in France on the big screen today. C’est la vie. The english title however is going to be They call me Jeeg Robot.

Enzo (Claudio Santamaria), a small-time criminal who makes ends meet on a daily basis, pick-pocketing and so on a small fish staying out of the gaze of the bigger fish. One day, after being chase by the police Enzo hides along the side of the bay in the water. After being sick and vomiting black goop, Enzo discovers he can suddenly resist almost any impact,  he is super-strong, and his wounds heals  fast. So he uses his newfound powers the best way he knows: By ripping an ATM machine with his bare hands, well after all he is a criminal so therefore it is going to be easy for him to make money.

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Alessia is a girl with a mental disorder who escapes reality by continuously watching the Jeeg Robot anime and relating everything to it. Somehow because of her the emotional wall that Enzo has been building around him is going to crash slowly. In the mix you put in an other gang headed by Fabio who see things in big. Here it is not you standard super hero story. It is funny at times and dark the next, than sad and so on. Jeeg Robot totally cleaned up at the Italian Oscars, getting  sixteen nominations out of a possible twenty-four, and winning seven of them, including all four acting categories. The thing is here they left it open for a second one or more which I hope to see them made.

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FAI BEI SOGNI (2016)

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A film by Marco Bellocchio

Cast: Bérénice Bejo, Valerio Mastandrea, Fabrizio Gifuni, Emmanuelle Devos

English title: Sweat Dreams. 

Here is the life of  journalist Massimo Gramellini’s autobiographic novel Sweet Dreams, Little One, made into a movie by Marco Bellocchio.

At the age of nine, Massimo’s mother (Barbara Ronchi) dies. This tragic event haunts Massimo from his childhood to his adult years. He becomes a journalist. 30 years later he discover this little secret about his family. You first see the life of Massimo with his mother and the love she had for him. You see sweet dreams are the words that little Massimo’s mother whispered into his ear while he was sleeping, before she took her last breath. Lost without his mother Massimo was forced to grow up under that dark cloud of anguish. Because he was shy he sank refuge to his own imagination. He is having a hard time letting go the death of his mother despise all the success a s a journalist. One day he meets Elisa (Bérénice Bejo), a young  doctor, this allows him to come to terms with that childhood secret.  Bejo here doe know how to speak Italian, Espagnol, she is Argentinian and  she is married the French director Academy award winner for the film L’artist Michel Hazanavicius one of those actress that I love . Fai Bei sogni is a human tragedy, a tender movie that open the Cannes Film festival in 2016. A beautiful film.

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