Is Italy finally getting tired of melodramatic love stories?
So, I was not at the now infamous first press screening of director/writer Cristina Comencini‘s new film, Quando La Notte, with Claudia Pandolfi and Philippo TImi – I saw it at Campo San Polo later in the festival. Nobody at Campo San Polo was laughing and booing like they did at the press screening. Apparently, the dialogue really cracked people up during some very dramatic moments that were intended to be emotional and not funny.
Comencini’s reaction: “Emotions are not always accepted at festivals”. I understand her frustrations but this attempt to defend her film falls flat and is, frankly, bullshit. This year’s Venice film festival was full of emotion – the other Italian movie in competition, Terraferma, for example, is electifying and yet did not evoke giggles from the crowd.
Cristina’s husband, producer Riccardo Tozzi, said it best: “OK if you want to throw tomatoes at the end of a movie, but to laugh during it is a form of violence – it changes the way the public sees it.” I tend to agree. I won’t argue with what the critics think about Quando La Notte – but c’mon. Grow up. I find it hard to believe that it was necessary to disrupt the screening with adolescent reactions.
I enjoyed Quando La Notte. I love the actors and was moved by the relationship between sullen mountain man, Manfred, played by Timi, and stressed out post partum mom Marina, played by Pandolfi. The difference between Italian and American love stories fascinates me; there is a formula for Hollywood movies that would prevent the kind of relationships in Italian love stories from succeeding. Americans want the lovers to be more likeable, more redeeming, and Italians don’t seem to need that. Like in Non Ti Muovere, where the “love story” is born from a rape. This confuses American women, but Italian women are more likely to accept it.
I’ll have a full review of Quando La Notte for tomorrow – give me a minute to think about this. I want to ponder the boos and the laughing and decide for myself it they are fair evaluations despite the rudeness of it all.