Rai 1: An uncomfortable legacy and the healing power of Italian comedy1

Rai 1: An uncomfortable legacy and the healing power of Italian comedy1

Rai 1

There is no miraculous cream that holds: you can very well guess the age of a person by submitting him to the simple test of the trailer of Monday Film of Rai 1

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If a tear of emotion falls in front of that film that takes flight, then it is not necessary to show an identity card. Rai prime time is something that, starting from Generation X and looking back, we carry in our DNA as much as cooking pasta al dente.

As long as it ends well, it is a cycle of films for television broadcast on Rai 1 since 2014 and which brings back the atmosphere of prime time in the living room. Each film is a stand-alone episode that retraces, with the light tones of the Italian comedy, the hardships and difficulties of our country. “They are extremely accurate productions” explains Agostino Saccà, sole director of Pepito Produzioni “they have long shooting times and higher costs. But all this is paid off with the success of the format. They are replicated several times and always win the evening. On Rai Premium they have an average of 1.7% and also on RaiPlay they are always appreciated and reviewed. The genre, the romantic comedy, has a large social component and elements taken from fairy tales that facilitate its replicability". Costa with Chiara Francini, Euridice Axén, Cristiano Caccamo, Cesare Bocci. The film, explains Saccà, starts from a fundamental element of classic comedy, recognition, or rather the unexpected recognition of the identity of the characters, which determines a decisive turning point in the story. We don't want to make too many spoilers, but in this case we are dealing with two young women, a clandestine love story, a funeral and a villa left as an inheritance.

The starting point of the story will give the characters the opportunity to bring out all their fears, their anxieties, in a light-hearted story that however addresses universal issues. “ The very clear perception is that the public, in these difficult years, needs consolation and manifests it in many ways ” explains Saccà “ They love stories that end well, brilliant and romantic comedies that are crossed by dramatic stories, but always with lightness. The crime that dominated productions for years has now stepped aside. The social element is also toned down and sweetened. Longing veers more and more towards pure comedy with light sentimental elements ”.

How has film production changed in recent years? “ The crisis in cinemas has caused fiction to be loaded with types of story once reserved only for films. With more massive and expensive productions. Also to keep up with streaming platforms. Not only that: the demand for storytelling and narration has increased and will continue to increase more and more in the western world, which goes in the direction of a greater availability of free time from work” Saccà says again “There is an anthropological need for narration and stories that they also help to make sense of what is happening around us, of life ”.

The feeling is that Italian productions are struggling to emerge on international platforms and according to Saccà it is certainly not a language problem. “ Italy has stopped telling itself with simplicity and truth. As happened instead in the cinema of the fifties and sixties. And there is also a structural problem: in those years, productions entered into an impressive investment system under the guidance of Cinecittà and the schools that trained film professionals. Not only that, the financing system was supported directly by the cinema exhibitors, who invested directly in the films they thought they could bet on. Thus Italy was able to explore all genres, but especially comedy. Masterpieces such as Divorzio all'Italiana which told the profound truth of a country. So local as to become universal. An example of recent success is that of Favolacce by Damiano and Fabio D'Innocenzo. A story that narrates the reality of a very specific place, the terraced houses of the small Roman suburbs, but which at the same time feeds on the wound of the whole Western world, the void that we try to fill with consumption. And that's why he managed to cross national borders and conquer the United States as well".

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