Italian filmmakers will make their collective presence known at the 7th Annual NYC Independent Film Festival 2016, director Andrea Di Iorio leading the way with his unsettling film about relationships and our preconceived notions about them.
Two couples have come to an unusual B&B in which, supposedly, long distance relationships are tested. All of the young people have declared their frustrations with making a living in Italy and are thinking about moving, but to different cities, and want to know if their love can withstand the separations. Enzo (Marco Cassini) and Mina (Lucrezia Guidone) are thinking about London and Paris, similar time zones, different breakfasts, and from the start you can tell they aren’t on the same page about what they hope to get from the getaway. While Mina seems to be delighted by her “bells of Notre Dame” wake up call and her breakfast of croissants and café au lait, Enzo, not so much, with his time zone experience that includes Big Ben and Bangers and Mash.
The B&B rules are pretty straightforward: You stay, for most of the day, in a room that makes you feel like you are living in your chosen city, and you’re not supposed to have any contact with your significant other except for a couple of hours a day in the common room. By day one, Enzo and Mina are breaking the rules and having dinner with another couple, Marco (Giovanni Anzaldo) and Catia (Giulia Rupi) who’s chosen to pretend being in Berlin and Beijing.
Maybe I’ve watched too many American horror movies, but the tension between the couples, heightened by an added (unusual) dinner guest (Gaia, played by Elena Arvigo), had me on the edge of my seat; what was I expecting? That the B&B was actually a witches coven and they were all about to be ritualistically sacrificed? That there was a chain saw massacre waiting for them in the living room? Whatever it was, I knew there was something. When Catia disappeared, I was pretty sure we were going to find her chopped up into a thousand pieces out by the wood pile.
But it’s not really a horror story.
And you know, one man’s horror story is another’s dream come true, which I suspect is the whole point (but I’m not sure). It’s possible that this film is entirely interactive, with each viewer experience unique according to his own preconceived notions and reactions to the film’s characters.
It’s not that kind of American horror story, but I think in its own way and for me, it’s scarier than a chain saw massacre movie.
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Catch it at the end of this month in NYC and see for yourself at the NYC Independent Film Festival.