Italian Rarities

While I should actually work on a paper about ethics I can’t stop thinking about this crazy movie experience I had this weekend. It was at a squatted building where a film academy used to be situated. Nowadays it is a nestling place for artistic creativity, cheap beer and vegan food.

Jack Frost has arrived in town and so the side walk can no longer be distinguished from the rest of the street, people have wrapped themselves in thick layers of knitted garments and birds leave their traces on everything they touch, for the city is covered under a thick layer of snow. It made the trip down the screening venue an interesting one which one of my friends rightly described as ‘a north pole expedition’. Not all of us made it to the finish line, one friend had to leave the expedition, defeated by Jack Frost and his blizzardous tricks.

After the five of us who were left founded refugee in the gritty bar, and we had tasted the fine Belgium beer, it was time to enter the screening room. For no more than four euros (FYI: an average movie ticket cost around 9 euros around here) we got not one but two Italian rarities served to us on a silver plate. The first was the beautifully shot Toto Who Lived Twice by Daniele Cipri (1998). This black and white ‘crazy art house cult film’ was banned in its home country for being blasphemous. Though this didn’t gave me the crazy movie experience I was referring to, not that it wasn’t crazy or weird, but it seemed like a proper piece of film art to me. It was the second film of the evening that made my day.

The English dubbed Italian film was an eclectic piece of cinema. Sometimes the English version was interrupted by a short Italian dubbed part to fill the gaps of missing scenes, the subtitles offered their own version of the movie for they totally mistranslated some parts or would appear at moments when no-one spoke, and the film got stuck in the machine so we had to watch a scene a couple of times before it was decided by the operator to completely skip it and move on to the next reel. The screening of Footprints (Luigi Bazzoni, 1975) showed film at its best!

But even better was perhaps the final scene in which the heroine got chased after by astronauts on a beach. I love cinema! It has won my heart forever.


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