7.6/10
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Vicino al Colosseo c'è Monti (2008)

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31 August 2008 (Italy)  »

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That's it?
8 November 2008 | by (Italy) – See all my reviews

Apparently, there's an area of Rome, near the Colosseum, called Monti. Given famous Italian director Mario Monicelli, though born in Tuscany, has lived there for years and wanted to show the world age has yet to cripple him (he was 93 when he made this), he filmed hours of footage which were eventually turned into a 22-minute documentary that was screened Out of Competition at the 2008 Venice Film Festival. The effort itself is laudable, but next to the latest works of another European filmmaker pushing 100 (Manoel de Oliveira), the logical question is: why did Monicelli bother doing this in the first place?

Don't get me wrong: the 22-minute tour of Monti isn't exactly boring, but it doesn't provide much information either. Since he lives there, one would expect the director to record a voice-over explaining what's so special about the area. Alas, that never happens, as the short proceeds narration-free and pretty much without any direct contributions by Monicelli, who shows up only a couple of times to crack jokes with his neighbors or things like that. As such, the "film" is really nothing more than a celluloid postcard.

Why does it get a 6, then? Well, partly because Monicelli's original idea wasn't probably that bad, and also because the editor, whom the director himself cited as the real maker of the finished product, has done a pretty decent job piecing the unrelated bits together. Overall, though, even die-hard Monicelli fans will find very little to chew on.


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