Nothing Left to Do But Cry

Nothing Left to Do But Cry (Non ci resta che piangere) is a film that has written the history of comedy. Some of its dialogues will be with us forever and will always make us laugh.

vitellozzo

Starring Roberto Benigni and Massimo Troisi, who are also directors and writers of the movie, this 1984 Italian comedy film, has been restored and after 30 years will be screened in cinemas on March. I decided to write about this film because someone asked me “What is you favorite film?”. Impossible to answer, but I had to take a decision and I chose my favorite comedy: Nothing Left to Do But Cry. The fact that it has now been restored and will soon be screening in cinemas again (only in Italy, unfortunately) was another reason for me to share my thoughts about this film.

The film is shaped around the lives of school janitor Mario (Massimo Troisi) and teacher Saverio (Roberto Benigni). Travelling in a car across the Tuscan countryside, they get lost and despite their attempts to change route they suddenly find themselves in 1492. At the beginning they are disbelieving and frightened but they quickly end up adapting to the times. They will live this “time travel” as a way to change the future of humanity, anticipating science discoveries with Leonardo Da Vinci, dissuading the radical catholic bishop Girolamo Savonarola, trying to stop the departure of Cristoforo Colombo from Spain, avoiding the discovery of America and the turmoil of human’s history.
Obviously they won’t be able to realise their plans but their attempts will have a sort of consequence in our contemporary world: the creation of a locomotive by Leonardo Da Vinci.

Non_ci_resta_che_piangere2

The spectator will be taken on this incredible trip where every single scene, metaphor, mention is able to make you laugh thanks to the spontaneity and talent of two actors, who are able to create a comedy veiled of melancholy.

Both eclectics and brilliant, Troisi and Benigni are the ideal couple, a perfect fusion of spirits and sublime minds, able to be great individually and outstanding together.

Nothing Left to Do But Cry is certainly not the first movie where a couple of comedians become, for the collective imaginary, the “immortal comedy”, but contrary to other films it has a unique style where the laugh is mixed up with blues and this is, in my opinion, the key that make this film superb. If you are in Italy don’t miss it on the big screen. If you are anywhere else try to find it. Here’s one of my favorite scenes:

Capturing Film on a Single Image: The Art of Movie Posters

One of the many advantages of living close to one of Melbourne’s oldest cinemas is the experience of simply walking in front of it, just to find yourself staring at the many posters that adorn its entrance.

Movie posters were perhaps the first mean used to advertise films to an audience. They were work of arts that tried to capture the essence of a film in a beautifully composed image. And while they are still with us, most of them today look more like an afterthought. When we have all seen countless trailers, read interviews and early reviews before we even get out into the theatre what’s the purpose of a movie poster? Why attempt to trap the soul of a film within a single image when we can feed the audience teaser trailer after teaser trailer? Yet, movie posters continue to thrive and they hold a special place in the memory of film-lovers.

After finding myself yet again frozen in front of a cinema looking at an old poster for “The Dark Crystal” I thought I’d share some of my favourite movie posters in no particular order. What are yours? Let me know in the comments.

Possession (1981)

Possession - Poster

Continue reading

120 Years under imperfect screens

Nuovo Cinema Paradiso

In one of Cinema Paradiso (Giuseppe Tornatore, 1988) most iconic scenes, the only cinema of the small Italian village is so packed with people that its doors have to be shut, leaving an angry mob of moviegoers outside. Alfredo, the old projectionist then proceeds to open the window behind the projection room and adjusts the glass mirror to split the projection beam, moving the film outside of the cinema and on the façade of a house in the city square. The whole crowd thanks Alfredo and quickly gathers beneath the new improvised outdoor screen. They watch the movie while standing, the audio comes from a small crackling speaker and the image quality is of course abysmal. Yet, everyone is smiling and laughing out loud, enthralled by the film and oblivious of everything else.

The 28th of December 2015 will mark the 120th anniversary of what the Lumière brothers had called “an invention without future”. To celebrate this anniversary the guys at Tàndem Entertainment have put together a great montage that pays tribute to the place where we sit to lose ourselves amongst the stories and images of the “dream factory”: the Cinema.

120 years watching movies together from Tàndem Entertainment on Vimeo.

Continue reading

Ten films to look forward to in 2015

2014 was a great year for films and 2015 looks to be even more interesting, with lots of exciting movies coming out in the upcoming months. We selected five films each from the ones we can’t wait to watch next year. What are your suggestions for 2015? Let us know in the comments and we’ll add them to our personal “To Watch” list.

Matteo D. Films – Of prayers, silences, revolutions, desert storms and crossguards.

1. Words with Gods (Guillermo Arriaga)

Based on a concept by Guillermo Arriaga, “Words with Gods” is an anthology film featuring shorts that explores world religions and personal spirituality by  an all-star ensemble of directors that features: Hector Babenco, Bahman Ghobadi, Amos Gitai, Emir Kusturica, Mira Nair, Hideo Nakata, Alex de la Iglesia and Warwick Thornton. Curated by acclaimed author Mario Vargas Llosa, “Words with Gods” is the first instalment in a series of four feature films produced under the label Heartbeat of the World project. Each one revolves around a common theme:  religion, sexuality, politics and drug addiction.

The film was first screened at Venice 2014 and is likely to be released globally later this year. I have always been a fan of anthology films and this looks like a really promising one. Just the idea of seeing Thornton, Kusturica and Nakata in the same anthology is enough for me to hope it will find its way to Australia soon.

Continue reading