Piove is one of those films that can save Italian cinema

Piove is one of those films that can save Italian cinema

Is there still hope for Italian cinema? For his definitive creative rebirth? Piove by Paolo Strippoli is the answer, it is another small ounce of hope in a sea of ​​offers that are often of little value, repetitive, dull. Presented in Alice nella Città at the last Rome Film Fest and at the Trieste Science + Fiction Festival, this profound, very topical, fascinating horror film finally arrives in Italian cinemas. Unfortunately, it does so with the ballast of a senseless ban on minors under the age of 18 decided by the Commission for the classification of works of the Ministry of Culture and then confirmed by the Directorate General for Cinema and Audiovisual.

The hope is that this does not involve losses such as to damage a film of enormous quality, a horror of great conception and charm, as well as the path of a director who can and has already given a lot in just two films at our cinema.

A family broken by grief in a nightmarish Rome

It's raining guides us into the life of Thomas Morel (Fabrizio Rongione), a once happy father and husband, whose His existence was destroyed by the death of his wife Cristina (Cristiana Dell'Anna), who within a year left him and his son Enrico (Francesco Gheghi) prey to a very heavy and unstable family situation. Feelings of guilt, misunderstandings, anger, a very strong tension, poison those four walls, and the dialogue between the two is now essentially non-existent, it is also Barbara (Aurora Menenti), the youngest of the family, who pays the price, forced on the chair to wheels. In the meantime, however, in a Rome enveloped in an oppressive and dark rain, a mysterious disease is advancing from the sewers, a sort of fog that seems to infect anyone who comes into contact with it and drive them to a homicidal frenzy that will quickly become uncontrollable.

The horror films of 2022 that have yet to arrive in Italy Gallery 6 Images by Lorenza Negri

Look at the gallery

Paolo Strippoli returns to genre cinema in strong colors, after that A Classic Horror Story on Netflix created together with Roberto De Feo , which had rightly drawn to him the attention of anyone looking for a trace of creativity and originality in the desolate Italian landscape.

Genre cinema is making a comeback in our country, we have all understood it by now, but this recovery does not always take place in the right way and above all artistic caliber as in the beautiful Freaks Out by Mainetti. We often find ourselves faced with highly avoidable works, just think of the sad result obtained with Rapiniamo il Duce or the two Diabolik films by the Manetti Bros. Piove, on the other hand, is one of those products that we would like to see much more pushed and valued, by virtue of a caliber notable in substantially every department. It is a horror film that winks at the great masters of the overseas genre, those capable decades ago of going beyond mere visual narration and of creating metaphorical processes that still influence the seventh art today.

In Trieste, at this year's Science + Fiction Festival , the jury in awarding Strippoli's film with Rai4's Wonderland called into question heavy names such as those of Romero or Carpenter, but then the list could easily get longer, including Boyle, as well as the increasingly fertile and convincing modern oriental trend, with films by, for example, Yeon Sang-ho and Cho Il-hyung. Especially the last two may come to mind, given Strippoli's ultimate purpose of guiding us through a cinematic journey clearly connected to the pandemic, to the effects it has had. And by effects we don't just mean those on our personal psyche, but more generally on our our society, on human relationships, in a present in which the concept of tolerance of the other has been substantially erased.

A horror film that knows how to go to unexplored shores

Piove is actually not the only Italian film that has recently tried to talk to us about the pandemic in a creative way, stroking the strings of creativity that transfigures our everyday life in a metaphorical sense. Ultimately, in Venice it is not that Siccità by Paolo Virzì had different purposes, although more connected to comedy, but here the question of how Covid-19 has profoundly changed us, but more generally of how our society is dominated in absolute sense from a growing anger, is tackled in a much more direct way.

The screenplay edited by Strippoli himself together with Gustavo Fernandez and Jacopo Del Giudice, has the great advantage of combining the micro dimension with the macro, but above all not she remains a slave to the narrative pillars of classic horror in a sterile way, but uses them to create something hybrid. This is a film with a mainly visual narrative, but not only that, it thrives on contrast: light and dark, high and low, above and below, inside and outside and of course that of the characters.

The horror and science fiction films of the Trieste Science + Fiction Festival not to be missed Gallery 7 Images Look at the gallery

The rage that Enrico and his father Thomas share without brakes, which blinds them and makes us unable to start living again, it is the same that soon takes possession of the other inhabitants, of this Rome at times truly unsustainable, which Cristiano Di Nicola's photography perhaps makes almost more similar to the world of crime. Meanwhile, however, it never stops raining, and the water that descends without ever stopping claims in the narrative process the double meaning of rebirth and sinister satanic rite, of spectral instability and salvation. Divided into acts always connected to the water cycle, Piove has the extraordinary quality of knowing how to keep the viewer on their toes, of giving an atmosphere of continuous, unhealthy, oppressive tension, as well as visually connected in a proud way to an authentic, true horror , of those that our cinema for a long time has practically given up on offering to its audience. And to think that once we were masters of auteur fear, then we lost the train, abandoned any authentic will to measure ourselves against such a beloved genre.

Of course, perhaps from the middle onwards the screenplay creaks a bit, or at least stops being as creative as we hoped, perhaps out of prudence it slips a bit towards deja vu. However, we must recognize the authenticity of the whole, the coherence in trying to offer something different to the public. The way in which he decides to connect also to the wide world of zombie movies is certainly guessed, winking above all at what Danny Boyle did at the time with 28 Days Later , compared to which, however, one can recognize him as more topical and aesthetic grace. Yes, because Piove is above all the story of an everyday life, of our present, in which the pandemic has made us enemies of each other, unable to face any issue with dialogue, and it is an extremes that in the end was applied to all fields of our life, eventually spilling over into politics as predictably.

A film penalized by an absurd ban

However, it should also be emphasized that Piove, especially with the character of Enrico, also addresses the issue of the difficult situation of today's youth, but more generally becomes almost a coming-of-age film, albeit in a broader sense. It is also very nice how the conflictual relationship with the father guides us towards rather singular but therefore very interesting encounters and turning points, because they are also different from the way in which Italian cinema continues to describe youth on the big screen in a very superficial way, in particular that of the suburbs. Obviously the situation of our recent television series is different with a series of great quality such as Skam or Prisma, to which this film winks, precisely because of the depth and modernity of its gaze. But then it is also singular that in the end the whole reminds us above all of the world of the least, of the forgotten, the one where often in the end violence (both before and after the pandemic) has broken out in a terrible way in families, among the four domestic walls, in the most ferocious and even impressive ways. Just take a look at the newspapers and the news to realize it.

Are we expecting a triple epidemic this winter? It is possible that in the coming months a more aggressive flu will meet a rise in Covid infections and an increase in RSV cases, after years in which we have been less exposed to common respiratory viruses

Here then Piove ceases to be simply a horror film, but becomes a transversal genre work, above all the symbol of a general malaise, a film that knows how to be intimate and at the same time full of a look of civil and perhaps even political commitment, but without ceasing to be an incredibly successful horror, with some sequences of great impact.

All this suggests how today's humanity, also trapped due to an increasingly alienating and dominant technology, is no longer able to create a concept of community, not even within the world of family affections, and has completely forgotten dialogue and mediation skills. However, it should be noted that Strippoli's film addresses all of this but indirectly, it never makes the mistake of being a moralist work or of claiming some purpose that goes beyond entertainment that does not want to be simply an end in itself.

The goodness of Piove's final evaluation, in the final analysis, only increases the regret for the decision to prohibit the viewing of this film to minors under 18 years of age. A political stance that ultimately confirms how much our cinema has its own younger and more innovative driving forces, those that can get it going again, always blocked by a sort of obscurantist paternalism out of time. The same had happened, with reasons objectively beyond any logic, even with the unsuccessful La Scuola Cattolica, the film about the Circeo massacre presented at Venice last year. There, however, there was talk of a sort of sin in the representation of religious symbols. Stuff to mess with. Now once again we intervene to damage the possible success of a film, which in any other country would have been resting on its laurels. As if today's teen audience can't fix it for themselves on Netflix, on any platform, genre products or even horror incredibly stronger and more extreme than this. Films that often have none of the richness of content and topicality that Strippoli has been able to create.

Powered by Blogger.