Saturday, October 20, 2012
Gianni Di Gregorio wrote the screenplay to Gomorrah. He also wrote/acted/directed and probably sewed the costumes, cooked the pasta, and did everyone’s make-up in Mid-August Lunch.
One movie is an epic and ungodfatherly look at how the Camorra and gang wars have infiltrated most aspects of daily life in Naples and beyond.
The other film is a picaresque tale about a trustworthy, unambitious, middle-aged mama's boy ne’er-do-well, and his day in the company of four 80+ year old women. Shot, by the way, on a $400,000 budget.
See the first one if you’re a fan of Pasolini, Rossellini neo-realism.
But whatever your taste, see the second film. Trust me on this.
Mid-August Lunch (Pranzo di ferragosto) is a comedy about boundaries, ceding personal space to make room for each other. Grudgingly or willingly. Or grudgingly, then willingly.
We're going to rub shoulders in this life, that's inevitable. The only choice we have in the matter is whether to feel irritated or enriched by the experience.
The movie also features age – great age – women in their 80’s and 90’s. That's rare enough; rarer still, the women are characters for sure, but never cartoons, or dotty old fools. At a certain point, Di Gregorio pretty much turns the movie over to them. Actually, he has no choice.
After territorial wars over the kitchen and the television set, a great summit takes place around the table. So it’s also a movie about food. Ok, wait, maybe it’s a movie about hunger in all its manifestations, and nourishment.
Nothing much to offer via youtube, just this trailer (and skip the ad). The movie streams on Netflix.