Released in theaters on March 30, the Italian film Freaks Out tells the story of people endowed with supernatural powers. To prolong the pleasure, here are 5 feature films by our transalpine friends to discover absolutely!
Freaks Out takes us to Rome in 1943. Under Nazi occupation, the Eternal City is home to the circus where Matilde, Cencio, Fulvio and Mario work as freak freaks.
Israel, the owner of the circus and father figure of this small family, tries to organize their escape to America, but he disappears. Deprived of a home and protection, in a society where they no longer have a place, the four “Freaks” will try to survive in a world at war.
This story, halfway between the worlds of Guillermo del Toro, Albert Dupontel and the X-Men, was directed by Gabriele Mainetti. This Italian filmmaker, a great admirer of superheroic popular culture, made a name for himself in 2017 with Jeeg Robot, his first feature film.
He is not the only small prodigy of transalpine cinema, which does not lack nuggets released in recent years. To prolong the pleasure provided by Freaks Out, here is a selection of 5 Italian films to see urgently!
WE CALLED IT JEEG ROBOT
Jeeg Robot is the first film directed by Gabriele Mainetti. It tells the story of Enzo, a little thug. Pursued by the police in the streets of Rome, he plunges into the waters of the Tiber and comes into contact with a radioactive substance which contaminates him. He soon realizes that he has supernatural powers: a superhuman strength and capacity for regeneration that he decides to use for his criminal activities. The director managed to stage a superhero film without a Hollywood budget but with a lot of heart and mastery. A nugget to see absolutely! Available on DVD and VOD.
Released on Netflix on December 15, The Hand of God transports us to Naples in the 80s. Fabietto Schisa, an ill-tempered teenager, lives with his eccentric and colorful family. But his daily life is suddenly turned upside down when Diego Maradona, planetary football legend, arrives in Naples and miraculously saves him from a terrible accident. This unexpected meeting with the football star will be decisive for the future of the young man. With this feature film, Paolo Sorrentino returns to his hometown to make his most personal film, which combines destiny and family, sport and cinema, love and lost illusions. Carried by the sacred monster Toni Servillo, this film is of incomparable beauty, at the same time funny, touching and captivating.
Directed by Matteo Garrone, author of Gomorrah, Dogman is set in an underprivileged suburb of Rome. We follow Marcello, a discreet dog groomer appreciated by all. He sees his friend Simoncino, a former boxer addicted to cocaine, returning from prison who very quickly rackets and brutalizes the neighborhood. Confident at first, Marcello lets himself be dragged into a criminal spiral despite himself. He then learns about betrayal and abandonment, before imagining a fierce revenge. Harsh and uncompromising, Dogman is a punchy film that pulls off the feat of grabbing our guts as much as it touches our hearts. Marcello Fonte, Best Interpretation Prize at Cannes 2018 for his performance, is masterful. Available on DVD and VOD.
Blood Brothers, released in November 2018, introduces us to Manolo and Mirko, inseparable friends. They go to high school and do odd jobs in the suburbs of Rome. One evening Mirko, driving, knocks down a pedestrian and Manolo makes him flee. The opportunity of their life! The man was wanted by a mafia clan that hires them. Their criminal career begins. Between gangster film and social work, Blood Brothers takes the opposite view of a certain glamorization of the environment, not hesitating to show it to us in a hyper-realistic way, like Matteo Garrone’s Gomorrah. It’s not surprising knowing that the director duo, Damiano and Fabio D’Innocenzo, are close to the Italian filmmaker, with whom they collaborated on Dogman.
ON MY SKIN
Released on the sly on Netflix in September 2018, On my skin is nevertheless a real nugget to see urgently! Based on a terrible real event, the work tells the story of Stefano Cucchi in a raw and poignant way. After an arrest, the latter finds himself mistreated by the Italian police and a broken judicial system. Carried by one of the most talented actors in Italy, Alessandro Borghi (Suburra), On my skin will leave you knocked out with its sticky atmosphere and its cruel outcome, based on a news item that scandalized an entire country. For his performance, the artist was awarded the David di Donatello for best actor, the equivalent of our Césars in the land of Dante.
As a bonus, a bit of good feelings with a beautiful love story in Pure Hearts. Agnese and Stefano live in Rome in two worlds that everything opposes. She, 18, is fostered by a believing mother who asks her to take a vow of chastity until marriage. He, 25, grew up between trafficking and occasional thefts, and wants to free himself from his environment by accepting a job as a security guard. When they meet, the hope of a new life emerges. This very nice feature film, between romantic comedy and social film, is superbly interpreted by two young actors in a state of grace, Selene Caramazza and Simone Liberati. Available on DVD and VOD.