Review: Piano Piano – Cineuropa

– Nicola Prosatore’s debut is a Paolo Virzì-style coming-of-age tale that lacks bite and tells a story we’ve already heard over and over again.

Review: Piano Piano

Dominique Donnarumma in PianoPiano

We are in Naples between 1986 and 1987. Diego Armando Maradona is making the Neapolitan city dream with his sporting exploits, and even the last “rogue” dreams of winning the league. Nicola Prosatore It has been established PianoPiano [+see also:
film profile
– his first feature film to be screened in the Piazza Grande section of the Locarno Film Festival – in an unspecified suburb of the city. Here he recounts the torments and first sexual impulses of a preadolescent girl named Anna (Dominique Donnarumma), nicknamed the “princess”. Anna lives with her mother Susi (antony truppo) in a small apartment from which they will soon be evicted. His house overlooks a large patio, which is the main setting of the film, populated by poor souls addicted to drugs and alcohol and mixed with the Camorra.

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Everything changes for Anna when she meets Peppino (giuseppe pirozzi), who struggles with the delicate task of hiding and feeding a fugitive known simply as the “scoundrel” (Antonio de Matteo). Meanwhile, the eyes of a much larger “street kid” Ciro (Massimiliano Caiazzo) and the local chief Don Gennaro (lello sand) are firmly trained on it.

Prosatore attempts to explore a typical preteen journey of self-discovery, incorporating it into a highly problematic social context that is vastly over-represented on television and in film. Unfortunately, the film often feels forced in terms of its storytelling and there is no lack of technical flaws either. For example, the scene where Anna and the scoundrel first meet is staged rather strangely, and we find it hard to believe that a girl raised in such a challenging environment would embark on anything, or find herself alone, with a man over forty years old. so nonchalantly On the technical front, some overly risky sound design and editing decisions have been made, and these are especially evident in the film’s autoerotic scenes and in various intervals between scenes shot simultaneously in different locations. Other decisions are too didactic, as with the long bird’s-eye view followed by a shot of a bird in a cage. The dynamics involved in the final showdown between Ciro, the rascal, and Peppino, meanwhile, are unconvincing and fail to elevate the story in any way.

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Unfortunately, it takes more than Raf’s self control, warm-toned photography, flashy clothing, and Commodore-64-style opening and closing credits to recreate the 1980s. erotic love and exploring their own bodies, parents who don’t understand them, the “beautiful and the damned”, twists that unfold over the phone, and soccer above all else. The cast, however, does a decent job, despite the film’s lackluster script and direction.

There’s just one little aside: at a time when Italian cinema is struggling to attract audiences to theaters and our films are failing to stimulate debate and turn a profit in this post-pandemic era, Piano Piano is a clear example of why This could be. To be clear, it’s not the worst movie out there, but it speaks to an industry that’s short on ideas and unsure of the choices to make. To be specific, it reflects quite well the exhausted state of Italian cinema and the critical juncture it currently finds itself in because, like many other titles, it invests too much in tropes and artistic visions, which might have been enjoyable or even captivating ten or so years ago. twenty years, but at this stage it is too little: as viewers, we definitely can and should ask for more.

PianoPiano is a Briciolafilm production co-produced by Eskimo and RAI Cinema. Rai Com handles international sales.

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(Translated from Italian)

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