1960 -- Film Review
EmptyVENICE -- Working only with archive images, from a story he co-wrote with Michele Astori and Massimo Fiocchi, Gabriele Salvatores paints a black and white picture of the sweet, and not-so-sweet, life in Italy over 1960.
References to specific events abound, and take for granted that you know of what they speak, which makes audiences for this nostalgic and interesting documentary limited to Italians. This kind of film is good for cultural institutions but has no foreign theatrical potential.
The film begins in a small village in the winter of 1960, in which the narrator (an unidentified "I") informs us he is a young boy who worships his older brother, who leaves their impoverished Sicilian village for Milan. The family eventually sets out after him, passing first through Rome, then Rimini and finally Milan and Turin, where all does not glitter with gold as the brother's letters had them believing.
The search for the brother (who is actually a series of images of strapping young men form the period and not one man in particular) is just a pretense for the Italian journey, and not a very effective one. More interesting is the archive material itself, from a year at the beginning of the industrial boom, which was filled with music, sports (the Rome Olympics) and rampant misogyny.
Moments that get most laughs are street interviews of men earnestly explaining why women shouldn't be allowed to drive and why men are natural adulterers.
Venue: Venice International Film Festival (Out of Competition)
Production companies: RAI Cinema, RAI Teche
Sales: RAI Trade
Director: Gabriele Salvatores
Screenwriters: Michele Astori, Massimo Fiocchi, Gabriele Salvatores
Producer: Mario Gianani
Narrator: Giuseppe Cederna
Production designer: Tonino Zera
Music: Federico De Robertis
Editor: Massimo Fiocchi
No rating, 79 minutes