JWR Articles: Film/DVD - The Italian Boys (Directors: Ludovico Di Martino, David Di Viesto, Renato Muro, Lorenzo Caprroni) - October 21, 2020

The Italian Boys

4.5 4.5
92 min.

A quintet of lavender shorts that are long on storytelling

23 minutes
Ludovico Di Martino
Four stars

Deadly secrets revealed

In a small town, where everybody knows everybody else, it’s almost impossible to keep a secret. Relationships can be strained, hurt or aborted if the truth comes out—especially regarding sexuality.

Petty thieves and buddies Claudio (Alesandro Marverti shows a wide range of looks and emotions), and Domenico (the fuzzy-cheeked Andrea Orano is ideally cast in a role where looks speak louder than words) work well together, no matter what the caper.

Everything comes to a deadly head on both sides of the equation when a private, intimate encounter in the woods, turns into a scene of intolerance and betrayal. JWR

Tidal Time
24 minutes
David Di Viesto
Four and one half stars

The most selfish dad in the world

Losing a mother at childbirth is a bitter pill to swallow for the father (stoically, at times cruelly portrayed by Fabrizio Ferracane as required), but only much later a horrific event for the child (in this case, Flavio, played in his teen years with quiet determination by Antonio De Franco).

A failed sea-diving lesson when just a boy of nine, egged on by his semi-successful fisherman dad, very nearly ends a beautiful life.

10 years later, Flavio is spotted frolicking in the ocean with ex-seminarian Lorenzo (Vincenzo Desario, much-loved by the camera), who—quite understandably has abandoned a church that purposely scorns the different amongst us.

The choral interventions marvellously link the worlds of devotion to a higher entity and compassion for those suffering on Earth.

The imagery/metaphor of an octopus knowing when to change his/her skin to survive (and the unchanging Flavio being beaten by the same tool that flattens the captured eight-limbed mollusc), is used to good advantage by Di Viesto. The semi-happy ending seems the best choice of a bad lot. A sequel of the two lovers would be welcome. JWR

Il Manichino (The Mannequin)
12 minutes
Renato Muro
Four and one half stars

Of flower parts and mannequins

An inquisitive, young boy (Alessandro Berti steals the film without ever saying a word), begins to understand his burgeoning sexuality after a few thugs defile a naked, male mannequin in full view in the middle of a country field.

Marvellously coming to rescue of a sex worker whom he will never meet, the world seems like a nicer, safer place if more males knew how to dress their counterparts (gay or straight!). JWR

Lazarus Come Out
12 minutes
Lorenzo Caprroni
Three and one half stars

Being uninhibited

A church pageant overseen by Father Walter, threatens to expose more than the liturgy by the actors and their spiritual leader. Sadly the curtain never goes up. JWR

Colla (Glue)
27 minutes
Renato Muro
Two and one half stars

Everyone is abandoned

This set ends with weakest film of the lot. Abandoned on an island by mom, Domenico (Giuseppe Orsillo) finds further rejection from Marcello but not 14-year-old Lallo (Domenico Nappa who steals all of his scenes).

You know that when the water photography is the highlight, the narrative needs a few waves of work. JWR

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