"Dottore" Joe Moretti travels round Sicily doing screen tests for the big Roman studios. He's a conman and takes money or favours for his efforts. Beata, a young illiterate convent girl desperately wants to change her life and falls for him, belatedly he realises his feelings for her. Their love affair is doomed when he's arrested.Written by
David Morgans <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In Guiseppe Tornatore's 'The Starmaker', Dr. Morelli travels around post-war Sicily offering to turn people into movie stars. He is, of course, a con-man, but in giving the people a space to vent their dreams, he actually performs a kind of public service. It's a nice idea, and there are some charming details in the film, but as a whole, this movie is somewhat contrived and it runs of the risk of representing the Sicilian peasantry as little more than idiots. Some of the same themes (the death of traditional but impoverished societies, the desire of their inhabitants to escape to a new life, the semi-racist superiority of money-making outsiders) are dealt with more obliquely, but also more cleverly and in a broader context, by Guilo Amelio's breathtaking 'Lamerica', another Italian film made at about the same time, which I would heartily recommend.
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