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Il Divo (Paolo Sorrentino)

Old 10-21-08, 03:08 AM
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Il Divo (Paolo Sorrentino)



Set to be released in Italy on November 19th. Winner of the Jury Prize at this year's Cannes Film Festival. Directed by Paolo Sorrentino (The Consequences of Love). The DVD will be English-friendly (available as a 2SE and a single edition).

Will Sloan:
Paolo Sorrentino’s Il Divo begins with an “Italian glossary” that defines several key Italian political terms from the early ’90s. I appreciate that the glossary was trying to make the experience easier for viewers but I was left with more questions than answers. Questions like, “Wait, hang on… could you say all that again, a little slower?”

Well, the movie doesn’t slow down. Seemingly dozens of true-life characters are introduced, corrupted, killed, elected, rejected and put on trial throughout Il Divo’s 110 minutes, and it is with considerable embarrassment that I report I had trouble following this film. I know nothing about Italian politics and would have greatly appreciated non-stop commentary by historians with graphs and pie charts to help keep me oriented.

I did gather, however, that the film is about Giulio Andreotti (nicely played by Toni Servillo), leader of Italy’s Christian Democrat party, which ruled virtually unopposed for 44 years. Of course, absolute power corrupts absolutely and the party crumbled in the early ’90s as mob connections and other corruption became public knowledge. The film is a whirlwind look at the Christian Democrats’ last months of power, with every murder, suicide, investigation and scandal accounted for.

Sorrentino’s aggressive directorial virtuosity recalls Goodfellas- and Casino-era Martin Scorsese, with lots of long tracking shots, fast cutting, roving camerawork and a general atmosphere of hyperactivity. Il Divo is reminiscent of Goodfellas also in its heavy violence quotient and its operatic fall-from-grace story structure.

Sorrentino’s style is entertaining but never engrossing. There is something coolly distancing about his flair for the ostentatious. But look: at Cannes, Il Divo took home the Jury Prize (or, basically, third place), so it has its defenders.

I suspect this film will improve upon repeat viewings when the labyrinthine intricacy of its plot will become a little clearer.
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Old 10-21-08, 06:13 AM
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This does look interesting. I may be seeing this at the London Film Festival later this week, but if this doesn't work out it's good to know an English-friendly DVD is around the corner. Thanks for the info, Pro-B

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Old 03-17-09, 02:12 AM
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Re: Il Divo (Paolo Sorrentino)

CNN:

http://www.cnn.com/2009/SHOWBIZ/Movi...ino/index.html

LONDON, England (CNN) -- A man walks around the side of a building, footsteps falling in time to the heartbeat of a driving pop soundtrack, pulls out a pistol and guns down another man. Tony Servillo as arch-manipulator and seven time Italian Prime Minister, Guilio Andreotti, in Paolo Sorrentino's "Il Divo."

A montage of grisly murders follows, all with the same infectious pop song pounding in the background.

It's edge-of-the-seat stuff and it's only the opening sequence of gifted Italian director Paolo Sorrentino's biopic of Italian politician Giulio Andreotti, "Il Divo."

Sorrentino's film chronicles the career of probably the most important and controversial politico in Italy's recent history.

But, more than that, it pins Andreotti to the specimen board and dissects his character without mercy.

The film caught the eye of the judges at Cannes Film Festival last year where it picked up the Jury Prize.

Predictably, Andreotti didn't react well to the film. "He was very angry," recalls Sorrentino.

Now 91 years-old, Andreotti has been Prime Minister of Italy seven times. His Christian Democrat Party was the leading force in Italian politics as a one-party system for four decades.

The rules of the game were shattered in the early 1990s by "Tangentopoli" or Bribesville -- a corruption scandal that laid bare some of the government's unsavory practices, ruining careers and resulting in the suicides of some leading politicians.

Andreotti himself was implicated in illegal activities, including connections to the Mafia, but was finally acquitted of all charges. Today, he is a senator for life.

Something of the man's influence in all spheres of Italian public life becomes clear when Sorrentino -- who says he is not a political director, "only in this case" -- explains how hard he found it to fund the film.

"In Italy nobody wanted to finance the film because everybody was scared," Sorrentino told CNN. "He has been a very powerful man for many years."

Sorrentino managed eventually to secure funding from a private source.

"It is not easy for Italian companies to put money in this project, so we did it with the private money of very courageous individuals," he said.

Sorrentino picks up the Andreotti story at the beginning of the 1990s, just prior to his implication in the scandal, as he is about to assume power for the seventh time.

A good deal of "Il Divo's" success lies in a stunning portrayal of Andreotti by Naples-born actor Toni Servillo, who is a veteran of three of Sorrentino's other films including 2006's "The Consequences of Love."

Servillo's Andreotti is a stiff, impassive tortoise of a man. With a hunched back, skinny sloping shoulders and strange drooping ears, Andreotti appears physically frail.

He is beset by headaches -- indeed, the opening scene of the film shows him with a head full of acupuncture needles trying to get rid of one -- a taste of the mix of drama and humor that informs the rest of the film.

But where the body is weak the will is strong and in Andreotti's wit and cunning intelligence -- "I know I'm an average man, but looking around I don't see any giants" -- there is a sense of a man who can and will do anything to stay in power.

"I have always wanted to make a film about Andreotti," says Sorrentino. "He is so psychologically complex that everyone has been intrigued by him over the years.

"It's a political film but at the same time a film about a complex character from a psychological point of view."

For a long time, though, Sorrentino was convinced that the vast amounts of literature written about the man could never be distilled into a structure that would work on film -- "It made my head spin," he remembers.

While Sorrentino almost had too much material to mine while researching Andreotti's public life, it was impossible to get access to details of his home life.

Sorrentino had to go on instinct and imagine life behind the scenes for the great man. Something that made aspects of Andreotti's response to the film very puzzling.

"He told everything was false, a lie, about his public life and at the same time he said the film was very precise about his private life," recalls Sorrentino.

"But all the public things in the film are documented. It's on record that the events took place.

"The trials, the letters, the diary of Aldo Moro, the Prime Minister who was kidnapped by the Red Brigade and held in captivity for 55 days. (Andreotti was Prime Minister at the time and decided not to negotiate with the terrorists and they killed him.)

"And about the private life I invented everything."

One of the most surprising things about the 39-year-old director's film is the soundtrack.

Full of rock, pop, electronica -- "Nux Vomica" by The Veils an indie band from New Zealand and "Toop Toop" by French electro artists Cassius -- mixed in with classical music like Vivaldi and Sibelius.

It's incongruous but it delivers a hefty emotional punch.

"The idea was to make a rock opera about a man very far from rock," says Sorrentino. "I didn't want to do a traditional biopic."
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Old 03-17-09, 07:34 PM
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Re: Il Divo (Paolo Sorrentino)

I can't wait to see this. I am waiting for my copy to arrive along with Gelosia. Unfortunately, nobody seems to have the BD Gomorra anymore...
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Old 03-17-09, 08:35 PM
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Re: Il Divo (Paolo Sorrentino)

Originally Posted by AmonTwin View Post
Unfortunately, nobody seems to have the BD Gomorra anymore...


http://www.dvdsat.it/php/prodotto.php?art_code=30380

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Last edited by pro-bassoonist; 03-17-09 at 08:39 PM.
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Old 03-18-09, 01:15 AM
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Re: Il Divo (Paolo Sorrentino)

Thanks Pro-B! I have never used them before but I just placed my order with no problems. As usual, I appreciate the help....
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Old 03-18-09, 02:11 AM
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Re: Il Divo (Paolo Sorrentino)



Pro-B
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Old 03-18-09, 05:09 PM
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Re: Il Divo (Paolo Sorrentino)

Pro-B,

Is the Italian version of Gomorra BD discontinued, since it seems to be disappearing from online retailers? I ask because I plan to pick it up in Florence next month and would like an idea of my chances of finding it.

Thanks,
Ted
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Old 03-18-09, 11:00 PM
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Re: Il Divo (Paolo Sorrentino)

Originally Posted by Ted Kontos View Post
Pro-B,

Is the Italian version of Gomorra BD discontinued, since it seems to be disappearing from online retailers?

Thanks,
Ted
It sold very well and it is heading towards OOP. This being said, you should be able to find it in B&M stores when you get there.

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Old 03-19-09, 09:06 AM
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Re: Il Divo (Paolo Sorrentino)

Pro-B, you ROCK. I've been away from the dvdtalk forums for a while, and started coming back when I got a Blu-Ray player 2 months ago. I'm also an American that's a junkie for foreign TV and movies. Who woulda thunk that there would be someone on these forums that had the inside scoop on not only foreign movies, but foreign movies in Blu?? Thank you!
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Old 03-19-09, 01:51 PM
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Re: Il Divo (Paolo Sorrentino)

Hello westvillage31,

Well, I don't spend too much time here anymore but if there is anything I could help you or anyone else with in the future, please do not hesitate to PM me. Particularly in regard to overseas BDs, I keep track on most everything.

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