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Quale Amore (Italy)

Old 03-30-07, 03:57 PM
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Quale Amore (Italy)




Only one new announcement in the mail today...

Italian distrib 01 Distribution are set to release Maurizio Sciarra's latest effort Quale Amore (2006) screened during the Locarno Iternational Film Festival, the Rome Film Fest, and Sofia Film Fest last year. The film unites Giorgo Pasotti (Doppo Mezzanotte a.k.a After Midnight) with beautiful Vanessa Incontrada (Incantato). Street date is May 3rd. I am afraid I can not provide technical specs at the moment but will be confirming them (disc will be added to the library).

Review courtesy of Boyd van Hoeij:

Italian director Maurizio Sciarra delivers a near-perfect film with his third outing Quale amore (The Kreutzer Sonata - What Is Love), based on the uxoricide-themed Tolstoy novella but set in present-day Lugano, Switzerland. Almost entirely without fat, Quale amore’s 97 minutes pack a mean emotional punch despite the known outcome and features a revelatory performance from young actor Giorgio Pasotti, who shows hidden depths not previously suspected in a manner that is reminiscent of Heath Ledger's work on Brokeback Mountain. The film’s difficult theme, literary and classical music-inspirations and unknown names might make Quale amore a tough sell abroad, though Sciarra’s film very much deserves to be seen beyond festival screens as it is one of the best of the year.

Pasotti was charming in many of his previous films, including Davide Ferrario’s ode to cinema called Dopo mezzanotte (After Midnight) and Gabriele Muccino’s much praised over-30 trauma drama L’ultimo bacio (The Last Kiss; recently remade with Zach Braff). In the first scenes of Quale amore, nothing of the affable-but-flawed characters he played in these films has remained; as Andrea, who has just been released from prison where he was held for uxoricide, the unforgiving weight of sin hangs over his face like an indelible thundercloud. Late in the film Andrea explains why, according to him, all murderers are unhappy people: because their sins could only be forgiven by the victims whose life they have taken, thus having condemned themselves de facto to eternal moral limbo.

What makes Quale amore stand out from the crowd is that the film not only niftily updates the Tolstoy story to modern times and a modern setting, but that it is told briskly yet appears to have the depth of a novel (Tolstoy's novella has likewise become a classic at least partly because of its economical storytelling yet epic breadth and scope.) Much of this can be credited to the excellent screenplay, written by the director with Claudio Piersanti (L'amore ritrovato/An Italian Romance), but equally if not more important is the work of film editor Marco Spoletini, whose brilliantly condensed structure allows the story to develop speedily but never hastily and whose work is vital in drawing together Tolstoy’s and Sciarra’s themes.

Three short, brilliantly directed scenes just after the marriage of Pasotti's Swiss financial wizard Andrea with a beautiful Italian concert pianist Antonia (Vanessa Incontrada, from Il cuore altrove/The Heart Elsewhere) show how incompatible the two partners, who have known each other for just one week, really are and also sow the seed of all the trouble ahead in a concert sequence that relies solely on glances and implication for its devastating effect. Sciarra uses a similar approach in several other key scenes, including a heartbreaking, wordless close-up of Pasotti as he looks at his wife, who has given up her musical career in favour of their offspring, accompanying herself on the piano as she sings a lollaby for one of their children. Likewise, all the scenes involving the Spanish violinst Daniel (Basque actor Andoni Gracia, from Camarón), who fuels Andrea's suspicions of an extramarital affair (and who plays Beethoven's Kreutzer Sonata with Antonia on her birthday in a crucial scene) are seen strictly from Andrea's point of view and are based on assumptions and conclusions without real visual evidence, ever further fuelling suspicion in Andrea's mind.

As in the novella, Pasotti's character recounts his story to a stranger (veteran actor Arnoldo Foà), turning their one-way conversation into something of a confessional. This choice also helps the audience take some much-needed distance from the events, with Foà essentially a stand-in as well as a first filter for the audience. But the film really belongs to Pasotti, a former martial arts champion whose first films were Chinese wuxia spectacles but who has since grown into an actor of extraordinary subtlety and power. Andrea is a hard character to like (he does not even like himself, proclaiming at one point that he "hates the world and himself in it") and, seen his crime, an even harder character to turn into a full-bodied person rather than a caricature of evil, but Pasotti really makes it work. With this magnificent performance as its beating heart, Quale amore is one of the best films of the year.


Vanessa's official site:
http://www.vanessaincontrada.it/

Ciao,
Pro-B

Last edited by pro-bassoonist; 03-30-07 at 04:02 PM.
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Old 05-10-07, 03:50 AM
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...confirmed French and English subs for the main feature!

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