Thursday, June 2, 8:30pm
Monday, June 6, 4:15pm
June 10 @ 6:00pm Colossus – Vaughan
June 16 @ 5:00pm Cinema Cartier – Quebec City
June 19 @ 7:00pm Cinematheque Quebecois – Montreal
The last film of Claudio Caligari tells the story of two marginalized young men, drug addicts/drug dealers in Ostia in the ’90s. Non Essere Cattivo (Don’t Be Bad) tells about the side of Italy the tourists don’t want to know about, but should, if they really want to know Italy.
Caligari, who only lived to see the the editing of his film completed, had a champion in the wings that was determined to see the film in theaters; actor Valerio Mastandrea decided to put on a producer’s hat and do it himself. “I’m an actor, not a producer, but it was important for me that this film be made.”
As it turned out, Mastandrea was right; the film opened and was an immediate success. It went on to be the get the Nastro D’argento Film Of The Year from the Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists, be submitted as the Italian entry to the US Academy Awards, and win at least a dozen major awards.
Starring Luca Marinelli (Tutti I Santi Giorni) and Alessandro Borghi (Suburra), Non Essere Cattivo is just plain REAL, funny (in parts) as well as tragic, and it requires us to open our hearts and relate to these “losers”. Yes, it would be better to do as Vittorio (Borghi) tries to do, search for stability and contribute to society, but how does one do that in the absence of opportunity?
This film is an attack on the senses, with a discomforting realism in the streets, the homes, and the dialogue of these ’90s thugs, obviously harder to recreate than it looks or more filmmakers would get it right.
And without the brilliant casting of Marinelli and Borghi, none of this would work at all. Without a hint of overacting, hyperbole, or superfluous emotion, these two young actors out-acted the best Hollywood has to offer.
Non Essere Cattivo’s screenplay was written by Caligari, Francesca Serafini and Giordano Meacci, and also stars Roberta Mattei and Silvia D’Amico.