Fallen Heroes

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Venice International Film Festival

VENICE, Italy -- Italian director Paolo Franchi's brittle little story of male angst tells of a man named Bruno (Bruno Todeschini) who spends all his time looking glum and wandering off on his own.

Something is happening to Bruno, and it may be the result of learning that he is sterile or that his company is in financial trouble and the bank manager has given him a week to settle his debts. Perhaps it's just that he hasn't told his wife anything about it and given that the radiantly perfect Irene Jacob plays his loving spouse Anne, perhaps he's simply off his nut.

Cryptic but not engaging, and with a painfully loud and ugly sound mix, the film, which screened In Competition at the Venice International Film Festival, is unlikely to travel far beyond its home market.

Not very much becomes clear in the murky screenplay, which Franchi cowrote, especially when it introduces a suicidal stalker named Luca (Elio Germano) who turns out to be the son of Bruno's banker Mr. Neri (Paolo Graziosi), who has gone missing. Luca has panic attacks, is cruel to his patient girlfriend Elisa (Mimosa Campironi) and has sexual fantasies about Bruno's wife.

Unlike Bruno, who becomes increasingly detached from everyone including Luca after the boy tells him he has murdered his father. Ordinarily, that would lead to some tension in a movie but not in this one.

FALLEN HEROES
Fallen Heroes (Nessuna qualita agli eroi)
An ITC Movie production
Director: Paolo Franchi
Writers: Paol Franchi, Daniela Ceselli, Michele Pellegrini
Producers: Beppe Caschetto, Anastasia Michelagnoli
Director of photography: Cesare Accetta
Production designer: Gianmaria Cau
Music: Martin Wheeler
Co-producers: Donatella Botti, Elda Guidinetti, Andres Pfaeffli;
Costume designer: Grazia Colombini
Editor: Alessio Doglione.
Cast:
Bruno: Bruno Todeschini
Luca: Elio Germano
Anne: Irene Jacob
Cecile: Maria DeMedeiros
Giorgio Neri: Paolo Graziosi
Elisa: Mimosa Campironi
Bruno's mother: Alexandra Stewart
Exhibition lecturer: Rinaldo Rocco
Running time -- 102 minutes
No MPAA rating
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