Chris Knipp Writing: Movies, Politics, Art


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2011 8:48 pm 
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MATTEO PETRINI AND EUGENIA COSTANTINI IN THIS WORLD IS FOR YOU

A young man's airy journey

This pleasant new film, Falaschi's third feature, set in northern Italy, along the Tuscan coast, is as buoyant and directionless as its protagonist, but also as charming. This World Is for You and its protagonist, Matteo (Matteo Petrini) both have the quality Italo Calvino listed in his "Six Memos For The Next Millennium" as one of the essentials of writing: Leggerezza, lightness. The film floats along as light as a feather. Only see if you can remember it after.

The subject is another handsome young man, this one, Matteo, 19. (Petrini is a natural, a sort of Italian Joseph Gordon-Levitt.) Matteo is just passing his exams and definitely not wanting to go into the fish business of his father Paulo (Paolo Sassanelli), with whom he lives, but otherwise without a definite plan. Teo's mom (Cecilia Dazzi) lives elsewhere, and she's light too, a bit of an airhead, and both parents are on the young side. Teo wants to be a writer, and to pursue this interest he has applied to a certain Carver school, which costs 7000 euros a year.

Teo's interview project with old men leads him frequently to the cenetary. There he meets his future girlfriend, Chiara (Eugenia Costantini, lovely). Meanwhile his father's minor accident in his truck leads him to a hospital stay and the diagnosis of leukemia. The result: Teo must work. Using a phone at a collection call center doesn't appeal much, so he shifts to the project of a floating outdoor movie theater. From there he moves to being a waiter at a restaurant overlooking the sea. We follow Teo's job hunt and alongside that we watch his relationship with Chiara develop. It's light -- leggerezza prevails in both story lines. Chiara's an independent and smart girl. Her self-assurance intimidates Teo a bit, but also perhaps attracts him. She's studying viniculture, and threatens to transfer to Armenia to track down the first grapes used by man to make wine. She wants Teo to come with her. He doesn't commit. Eventually, though they work something out.

Those qualities Calvino listed are hard to pin down. How well does Falaschi capture the other five, quickness, exactitude, visibility, and multiplicity? Well, there certainly is quickness -- things movie along breezily enough -- and one hopes there is some degree of exactitude. As for visibility I'm not sure what that means (though almost all the action is filmed out of doors), and multiplicity may be asking too much of such a modest, and modestly budgeted, movie. Teo narrates, and pay attention to the letters he writes to Chiara. They turn out to be more useful than he had originally planned.

Italians today may have more lightness than they need. It's not exactly like Calvino was challenging his countrymen to become Germans.

The San Francisco Film Society presented Questo mondo è per te in its international Premiere at its 2011 New Italian Cinema series, Nov. 13-20, at Landmarkk's Embarcadero Cinema.Italy 2011, 82 min. Written by Filippo Bologna, Francesco Falaschi, Stefano Ruzzante. Photographed by Gianni Giannelli. With Matteo Petrini, Eugenia Costantini, Fabrizia Sacchi, Massimiliano Bruno. Videofactory. The film was released in Italy April 1.

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