Tuesday, January 29, 2008

La meglio gioventu'- The Best of youth: review

It's been almost a week since I've posted. What have I been doing? Watching movies. I finally got a Netflix subscription. Actually, I'm still on my free trial. Two days after I started, they announced unlimited online instant watching for almost all plans but the cheapest. Why didn't I get a Netflix account sooner? I don't have a TV or DVD player. I've watched everything on my laptop, including DVD's sent by snail mail. Works out fine. TV sets are soooo twentieth century.

So. One of the things that was a priority for me was this 2-disk (almost six hours) work by director Marco Tullio Giordana, which came out in 2003. It is the history/story (in Italian the same word, storia) of Italy from the early sixties to 2003 as told through the perspective of the lives of two brothers, Matteo (the gorgeous creature in the photo, actor Alessio Boni), who becomes a cop, and Nicola, who becomes a psychiatrist.

This film has been called by some a "masterpiece." I don't think so. Far from it. And this further confirms my disheartened opinion that Italian cinema is in a bad way. This is not to say that it isn't an interesting and moving experience.

Back in the day, they were wont to say: the personal is political. The film seeks to illustrate this, with the policeman and the physician as two possible ways of dealing with the disarray of the world. One of them succumbs. Of course I'm not telling you who.

The problem is that at the end the movie achieves what we Americans like to call "closure." It is my view that there is no closure in life in general, and this is especially true of Italian life in particular. In this sense I think the film is ultimately a failure.

However... handsome Alessio beckons you... Come watch all six hours... See me, and what happens to me.