A sanitary battalion of Italian Army is sent to Sorman oasis in Lybia during the Africa campaign in 1940. Soon an Italian missionary, living nearby, succeed to transform the occupation by ... See full summary »
It probably should count as a spoiler that I left "Gas" before the end. It was at the point a neighbor lady barges in on the nicely furnished apartment of a young woman I'm not sure I recognize from previous episodes to ask if she can use the oven to bake her lasagna, but only if the oven doesn't smell of fish. If this is satire of the bourgeoisie it's pretty flat (as it's been at other moments), and it's just as flat if as a result the young woman is enraged into the sorts of nihilist behavior that have already been going on. As experimental theatre this might survive its hour and a half without intermission as decadence for ticket holders and a darkly lit set (but fewer candles). As cinema at 110 minutes it has to be cut, reedited so a scar is there or not there for reasons that are clear (think "Memento"), and rescripted so characters are taken seriously. The younger characters may want to be goths and blast the world with adolescent despair (not that these well-dressed youths would join a wide-spread cult), but that too deserves serious attention--thank you, Eminem--and not, when a young man feels "time is ending," to be offered the reassurance that he's "depressed." I was led astray by a review that said the movie was set in the outskirts of Rome, because I started expecting Pasolini.
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