Readers like you tell us about the Italian movies they’ve been watching. This week, Kristen Theologus tells us about a È Già Ieri. Thanks Kristen!
Kristen Theologus started studying Italian in 2007 and soon became hooked on Italian cinema as a method for language learning. Buying films from IBS has the wonderful advantage of “sottotitoli italiani”, which are sadly missing from DVD releases in the US. Watching these films is like taking a virtual vacation and a mini immersion into Italian culture. Sorrentino’s Jep might have been be searching for “la grande bellezza” but Kristen is looking for the next great Italian comedy.
Kristen’s blog is a must-see; check DIario di una Studentessa Pigra (and for you just beginning to study Italian, Kristen is hardly “pigra” (lazy).
One more thing: she’s @KTechnogal on Twitter and a great follow!
Most of you will know the story from the 1993 film Groundhog Day.
Bill Murray plays Phil Connors, an arrogant and egocentric TV weatherman who, during a hated assignment covering the annual Groundhog Day event in Punxsutawney, finds himself repeating the same day again and again.
In the 2004 Italian remake called È già ieri (Stork Day or It’s Already Yesterday) we find the perfect vehicle for the comedic skills of Antonio Albanese.
Albanese plays Filippo Fontana, an arrogant and cynical TV reporter who, during a hated assignment covering storks in the Canary Islands, finds himself reliving August 13 over and over.
In a nod to the original film, the first scene is with Filippo filming a documentary about a groundhog. It is immediately establish that Filippo is un stronzo who is in desperate need of an attitude adjustment. In an act of payback his boss decides to send him off to Tenerife to report on an unexplained migration of storks to a remote Canary Island. Filippo hates hot weather and hotels make him sick. The film crew draws straws to see which unlucky bastard will have to accompany Filippo. The setup is quick and at the end of the first miserable day, Filippo hopes to escape the island but the sea is too rough for the ferry. When he tries to avoid the first day entirely and catch the morning ferry, it has engine problems.
Every morning at 7 am the radio sounds: ¡ Buenos días días días días días días días días
Funny, they are in the Spanish Canary Islands, but aside from this wake up call, everyone speaks perfect Italian! It does not take Filippo long to figure out he is trapped in August 13. At least it is the night of the Sangria Festival.
The predicament of repeating the same day over and over, until something changes that will release our protagonist from his hell, translates perfectly. The performance of Albanese is what makes the retelling of this story so much fun. It is one of my favorite films and I’ve watched it several times. I think you will not be disappointed if you give it a viewing. The film has English subtitles.
I first watched È già ieri while in Lucca studying at the Lucca Italian School. http://flic.kr/p/bQPKVe