Remember the old Saturday Night Live skit with Chris Farley interviewing people Paul McCartney and asking questions like, “Remember when you were with the Beatles?” And then saying, “That was awesome. Remember that rumor that you were dead? That was a hoax, right?”
That was kind of like me interviewing Alessandro Aronadio about his cool, funny, and kind of mind-blowing comedy Orecchie (Ears). Listening to the tape I made of our conversation was really embarrassing; I really didn’t let him talk very much and I asked a bunch of questions that he didn’t know how to answer, because they were goofy questions.
It was just me, saying things like, “Your protagonist seems post-modern to me; that was awesome”, and “Are you a nihilist? You seem like a nihilist to me. That’s pretty cool.“
I wish I had a video of Alessandro listening to me. I’m pretty sure he was looking at me like, “This lady is nuts”, but IN MY DEFENSE, Orecchie is such a great movie it’s hard to review, and hard to ask questions. I watched the film a half dozen times and thought of something different every single time. It’s mind-blowing, but not particularly esoteric. I can’t imagine anyone watching it and not coming away with something.
Orecchie (Ears) was written and directed by Aronadio, a Fulbright scholar (for life, he told me. Once a Fulbright scholar, always a Fulbright scholar), studied in Los Angeles, and is fluent in English.
The movie’s star, Daniele Parisi, bears a striking resemblance to Aronadio, who says that everyone thinks this is on purpose, but he insists is a coincidence. I’ve thought about this a lot and I’m not so sure. He doesn’t give the character a name, so I remain unconvinced…
” ‘ You’re not more intelligent. You’re just unhappier’ is Nietzsche; right”, I asked Alessandro.
“Right…” he said, with an amused smile that meant, “Good girl! You took Philosophy 101!”
But I think I really did make him happy when I told him that the ending of Orecchie made me feel hopeful, and asked if that was a normal reaction.
“The ending of Orecchie is kind of a Rorschach test”, he laughed. “It’s interesting to see the different people react to it. Some people are really depressed.”
I’m sorry, Alessandro. This may be the absolute worst job interviewing someone about one of the most absolutely brilliant comedies I have ever seen. It’s funny, but comedy might not be the right word. For me, it’s kind of an epiphany. And that’s pretty awesome.