In Rebibbia Prison in Italy, its inmate theatre program puts on a well received production of William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. The film goes back several months earlier as the coordinators announces the play as the program's production of the year. With that project set, we see its creation as the cast is auditioned and selected for this artistic challenge. As they rehearse, the prisoners, many of whom are long termers and lifers for serious crimes, find that the classic play has both a striking resonance and contrast to their confined lives.Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Taviani Brothers'2012 Golden Berlin Bear winner, saw the screening in this year's KVIFF, an intensely conceptual piece which recounts a play of "Julius Caesar"done by all-male prisoners. Shot entirely in Black & White, the film generates a certain art form extremity of blurring the boundary between play and film, and takes advantages of the indoor settings (which almost encompasses the entire film except for a few shots), the final result is gratifyingly diverting, both the film and the play-in-the-film.
I have only watched one Taviani Brothers' film before, ALLONSANFAN (1974, a 5/10). So I need to do more homework to comment on their style or expound on their near 60 years long walk- of-life. Simply single out this film, its artistic frontier has transcended other peers and condensed into a puristic absorption on the material itself, namely, the characters of the play and the individual prisoners who take on the roles, and strikingly their distinctions and similarities are undone in a yet refrained way. There are affluent theatrical nuisances in the film, although it only runs a scant 76 minutes, the film successfully conveys its ethos and every second counts.
Salvatore Striano stars the leading role as Bruto, his rough-edged dedication is imperfect but authentic, other supporters, the stand-outs are Cosimo Rega's Cassio and Juan Dario Bonetti's Decio, but by and large the amateur antics are put into the right place, and the absorbing original score by Giuliano Taviani and Carmelo Travia also lifts the film into a great adaption from Shakespeare's cannon. It's a true blessing to justify the fact that directors could surpass themselves even at their octogenarian years.
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