Thursday, November 11, 2004

Heart Elsewhere

(Pupi Avati, dir)

Another film in the festival, this one not quite so great as yesterday's. The outstanding feature was the architecture - the film is set in Rome and Bologna in the 1920's so there are all these great old buildings lovingly shot. Some of the interiors were pretty spectacular and all - the bedroom of the main female character was entirely painted with this pastoral mural, and the restaurants they went to seemed to feature high vaulted ceilings and a great quantity of luxurious fabrics.

Essentially, Nello is a dweeb. His father is so exasperated with the fact that his 35 year old son has had no intimate contact with women, and worried that he might be gay like his uncle, that he sends him of to Bolonga, which has a certain reputation for looseness of morals (I guess having the Pope sitting in your back yard might lead to a certain amount of restraint). Nello soon establishes he's not gay: his room mate jacks him up with a manicure, she only has to put her hand on his leg and talk nicely and he's hooked. Luckily, she has the good sense to back off.

Not so Angela. Nello's room-mate's next big idea is to introduce Nello to his girl-friend's sister, saying she's beautiful, getting on in years and "pure". She turns out to be great at spitting and blind: she is in fact locked up in some sort of horrible sanitorium for the blind - there is this wierd scene where all the blind women are lined up on one side of the room, the visitors on the other. the music starts - they find their partner and dance. It is by retreating from this scene that Nello meets Angela, a total beauty, but even her father warns Nello off: he's a decent fellow (we see this in the way he charms the kids he teaches) and Angela's only hobby seems to be breaking guys' hearts. But there's no stopping our Nello: even though most of their dating revolves around her attempts to get revenge on an ex. One night, she relents, lets him sleep with her, softens to him and they're engaged. Ha! For how long?


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