Another ERMANNO OLMI’s masterpiece

This strange, atmospheric and brilliant film was unknown to me although it had been screened twice at the French Cinematheque earlier this year. Recently showed on RAI3 in FUORI ORARIO in a scratched copy (!), this film is indisputably another gem of Italian cinema. Its unpredictable story unfolds in a true cinematic way (Ermanno Olmi signs the very energetic cinematography – which looks like a documentary – AND the editing) with unknown actors (the lead Renato Paracchi has the role of his lifetime – what became of him ?…) perfectly cast and directed, with a successful sound and music atmosphere (by Bruno Lauzi). The originality of the film lies in so many small and clever surprises full of mystery (the sound of a plane, a central Skyscraper in Milan, picturesque friends, a comic scene in a public garden during a rose competition, a painful strain cured by a fine caretaker…) among which the meeting of a « princess » will reveal the best out of the main character (« more than a mere count » for whom « the color is the expression of things »). The film never judges but sympathetically follows its dreaming lead character who will have to face his double life…

21 August 2015

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