An Italian movie to get you started
How long? 1 minute
Are you an Erasmus student here in Italy? Or maybe you are here because you are fascinated by the Italian culture.
‘But where to begin?’ I hear you ask. If you are interested in movies then I have something to suggest. Now, I’m going to take my chances and not mention the so-called classics (La Dolce Vita, An American in Rome etc) since those are fairly old movies.
In fact, I believe it’s best to start with movies that one can actually appreciate.
So, not going too far back in time we have Carlo Verdone, a celebrated Italian actor and director, who brought laughter to many people on screen. If you’ve seen an American in Rome or know Alberto Sordi, whether Verdone is Sordi’s ‘successor’ is a topic that is still not agreed upon to this day.
The first Italian movie I saw with Carlo Verdone is Borotalco (1982) which translates to ‘Talcum Powder’ in English. I have to say I do recall moments of laughter. Without giving too much away, it’s a story about a ‘shy’ man, Sergio Benvenuti, who seizes an opportunity to be somebody else who is literally caught up playing the role, though not an original storyline what I do find interesting in the movie is the location. There are scenes where you find yourself looking twice because it looks exactly like the Rome you see.
Another unique comedic effect is the character of Sergio’s fiancés father, Augusto. His role might be small but is far from being the least memorable. Augusto depicts a ‘typical Romano’ (common stereotype in more than one Italian movie) from the way he narrates with such exaggeration, it’s hard not to laugh.
To get an idea of Verdone’s ability to portray different roles I recommend seeing Viaggi di nozze (1995), in English: ‘Honeymoon’.
Let us know what you think of the movie! If you liked it, we can suggest the next Italian movie to see
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