Turin at the end of the fifties: two brothers have emigrated there from Sicily and the older works very hard to let the younger study and free himself from poverty through culture. The boy ... See full summary »
Tommaso Scalia is a man who commits three murders: he killed his superior who sacked him, he kills the man who replaced him, and he kills his own wife. He wants a quick trial and an early ... See full summary »
Gian Maria Volonté,
The shepherd Gombo lives with his wife, three children and grandmother in a tent on the Mongolian steppe. They are pleased with their rustic conditions, until a Russian truck driver, ... See full summary »
A young man who struggles through life by earning some money with his bicycle-taxi in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh city) gets contact to a group of criminals. They introduce him to the mafia-world ... See full summary »
Tran Anh Hung
Le Van Loc,
Tony Chiu Wai Leung,
Tran Nu Yên-Khê
In a remote mountain village, the teacher must leave for a month, and the mayor can find only a 13-year old girl, Wei Minzhi, to substitute. The teacher leaves one stick of chalk for each ... See full summary »
Nello Balocchi, a 35-year-old teacher of Greek and Latin, is invited to Bologna by his father, the owner of the Papal tailor's shop in Rome. His father hopes Nello will find a soul mate in ... See full summary »
The film focuses on three city folks who unknowingly share the same apartment: Mei, a real estate agent who uses it for her sexual affairs; Ah-jung, her current lover; and Hsiao-ang, who's ... See full summary »
Palermo in the 1970s. The Ciraulos are modest scrap dealers whose uneventful lives are turned upside down the day their youngest daughter is accidentally killed by clumsy killers. Their ... See full summary »
Italian Revolution, 1968. Police officer, Nicolas, wants to become an actor. He goes out in plain clothes and meets Laura who is among students against the government, Vietnam War and who ... See full summary »
Turin at the end of the fifties: two brothers have emigrated there from Sicily and the older works very hard to let the younger study and free himself from poverty through culture. The boy however is not keen on school and would like to begin to work. When after some time he gets his degree however things take a violent and dramatic turn...... Written by
Salvatore santangelo <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The title refers to the back page of a popular 1950s Italian magazine which had a section devoted to old jokes that were no longer funny but still evoked a sense of nostalgia. One such joke is repeated throughout the film: "How do you get four elephants in a Fiat?" The answer: "Two in front and two in back". See more »
You think your children are your own, then they learn to walk and they leave you. Know what they say back home? "Raise hogs, 'cause then you can eat them"
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Watched on Italian DVD (using the standard-Italian subtitles for the hearing-impaired to decode the Sicilian dialect) for the first time March 2005. Winner of the top prize "Leone d'Oro" at Venice. Actually available as of 2004 on a US code DVD.
The title, referring to an old joke column, is ironic. The film's review of Italian post-war economic miracle years is deeply tinged with sadness and a sense of the price paid in innocence lost to gain security and status. The whole focus is on the love between two Sicilian brothers, Giovanni and Pietro. The angel-faced Pietro (Francesco Giuffrida) from the first appears devious. When his brother arrives at the station, he slinks off and hides from him. He's lazy, a dandy, a liar, a faker, a bad seed. Yet he's worshiped by the innocent, muscular, illiterate Giovanni (Enrico Lo Verso), who has turned up with other southern immigrants at the Turin railway station intending just to visit his baby brother as the film opens and then stays on in the North to support him.
The mise-en-scène is visually beautiful but conventionalizes the period into a kind of grimy poetry more worthy of twenty or thirty years earlier, no doubt consciously echoing Italian neorealist films (Amelio has been called the new De Sica) or becoming a glossier color version of Visconti's mournful epic tragedy of southern Italians in Milan, "Rocco and His Brothers" (1960). My DVD's Italian jacket copy translates a paragraph from Stephen Holden's 2001 NYTimes review expanding one of its key ideas: "'Così rideveno'has the power to keep its own secrets," this Italian version reads. "Without ever being moralistic, by the end it becomes the metaphor for a whole society that makes a kind of tacit pact with itself never to look too deeply into the hidden effects social processes have on individuals and their destinies." The interest -- and yet the frustration -- of the film is that its sequences each appear revelatory, but shed little light on the intervening periods of time. It is organized in a "rather elegant" manner (Rosenbaum) into a structure of microscopic views of single days out of each year from 1959 through 1964, each day designated by a key word: "arrivals," "deceptions," "money", "letters, "blood," and "families." This neat structure masks a surrounding mystery in the relationship between the two brothers, and we deduce for ourselves from the way they seek out and avoid each other how alike and interdependent they are. Each cherishes illusions about the other; one is proud, the other ashamed. Vivid and touching as the film is, it's also highly artificial, notably in how little of the two characters' lives is made clear, how little the world outside their relationship is explored.
Metaphorical indeed, "Così ridevano" explores an inseparable (and ultimately false) dichotomy between innocence and experience, naiveté and sophistication that may go to the heart not only of North-South relations but of the Italian soul. Both actors, Amelio regular Lo Verso and newcomer Giuffreda, are remarkable, and the scenes between them are heartbreaking.
So far the only other Amelio film I've seen is "The Housekeys" ("Le chiavi di casa," 2004), which being a documentary-like chronicle of a short stretch of contemporary time, seems so different, and yet on reflection is so similar in feeling. Obviously Amelio is an extraordinary director and I must see "Lamarica" and "Stolen Children" ("Il ladro di bambini"), both also starring the intense, soulful Lo Verso, which have received the highest praise of any of Amelio's films.
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