Crítica: L’ombra del giorno
por Camillo De Marco
- La nueva película de Giuseppe Piccioni es un melodrama ambientado durante el fascismo que dialoga con el presente y se nutre del talento de Riccardo Scamarcio y Benedetta Porcaroli
Este artículo está disponible en inglés.
With Light of My Eyes [+lee también:
ficha de la película], which won the Volpi Cup for its two lead actors Luigi Lo Cascio and Sandra Ceccarelli at the 2001 Venice Film Festival, and which followed the resounding success of Fuori dal mondo, Giuseppe Piccioni proved that he had a gift for portraying rootless and isolated human couples who don’t know how to adapt to modern-day rules. In his new work L’ombra del giorno, which is hitting Italian cinemas today, 24 February, via 01 Distribution, and which comes a few years after his “experimental” movie Questi giorni [+lee también:
ficha de la película], Piccioni is once again homing in on two characters, played by experienced actor Riccardo Scamarcio, with whom he also worked to make Il rosso e il blu [+lee también:
ficha de la película] in 2012, and fresh-faced, talented actress Benedetta Porcaroli (The Catholic School [+lee también:
entrevista: Stefano Mordini
ficha de la película]), whose star is most definitely on the rise within the Italian film market.
Piccioni has returned to Ascoli Piceno to shoot this latest movie of his, where he also shot his autobiographically-tinged debut film Il grande Blek, positioning it within one the most popular historical eras for Italian filmmakers: the time of Fascism. Luciano (Scamarcio) is a First World War survivor who returned slightly crippled and decorated with various medals for acts of bravery against the Austrian enemy. He observes the world through the window of his restaurant in the main town square (the historic Caffè Meletti which looks out onto the majestic Piazza del Popolo). On the other side of the glass, the Italian people’s support for the regime’s rhetoric is nigh-on unanimous, a consensus which he half-heartedly goes along with, nonetheless admonishing his chef (Vincenzo Nemolato) over his dangerous jokes about the Duke. One day, a young woman called Anna turns up looking for work. Luciano hires her on a trial basis, but Anna quickly proves herself not only capable of table service, but also of managing the accounts. Slowly but surely, our reserved and surly Luciano, who has built up an emotional wall, over time, to protect himself from pain, is won over by this woman’s grace and energy. But she’s hiding a secret, and the situation escalates when the country’s race laws are introduced and Mussolini announces Italy’s entry into the war. Luciano’s old comrade in arms Osvaldo (Lino Musella), who has since become a Fascist official, becomes a dangerous enemy for the couple, but also for the man they’re now concealing in their cellar (Waël Sersoub).
Based on a screenplay penned by the director alongside Gualtiero Rosella and Annick Emdin, L’ombra del giorno is a melodrama offering a nod to past masterpieces, such as Ettore Scola’s A Special Day (here, too, Hitler’s historic visit to Rome gets a mention), but underpinned by modern writing which foregrounds - perhaps excessively - references to the female condition as seen through modern-day eyes. When presenting the film to the press, the director even referred to the pandemic, which created an atmosphere of control and isolation that would also have fed into the making of L’ombra del giorno. As it stands, the film’s romantic aspect dominates its reflections on Fascism, which mostly speak of the present-day distance between those controlling and making decisions over restrictions and wars, and those who feel human emotions and passions. Riccardo Scamarcio also produced the film, which sees him carving out one of the most important roles in his career.
L’ombra del giorno is produced by Lebowski and RAI Cinema, in collaboration with the Italian Ministry for Culture’s Film and Audiovisual Department.
(Traducción del italiano)
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