Friday, December 8 2023

Choosing a film 2010
. Armando Fumagalli and Luisa Cotta Ramosino. Ares, Milano 2010

By Enrique Fuster

This book, which contains reviews of over 150 Italian films released in
theaters in the 2009-10 season, disproves the famous saying that defines a
film as “something that is written in two years, shown in theaters for in
two months, seen in two hours and is forgotten in two minutes.”

The best characteristic about this book is that it draws the reader to
reflect on movies. So besides being a useful guide to choosing a film, is a
great resource to go back once you’ve seen the film, in order to study and
discuss the film, or enjoy it all over again, remembering the scenes, the
actors, the details of the plot, and the hidden symbolism that was perhaps
overlooked in the first viewing.

The authors of the reviews are experts in cinematography and many of them
are also screenwriters. Thus, they merit the privilege of analyzing the
film’s plot, in terms of the quality, the internal coherence and the
representation of the characters. The work also has an educational purpose
– to be a reference point for the whole family or for use in a film club.
Therefore the overall judgment of the movie takes into consideration not
only the aesthetic elements, but above all, the values and vision of life
that are conveyed through the film. The guide is rooted in Christian
anthropology. At the end of each review, there is very helpful information,
summarized in just one or two lines, that indicates any morally problematic
elements, due to scenes of violence, sex, etc.

The reader will also find in this book, in addition to the alphabetical
list of directors and films, a list of the 50 highest-grossing films of the
season, a selection of films appropriate for all audiences, and an index of
merit, in which the films are grouped according to their quality (i.e. the
number of stars received, from one to five). The interesting introduction
signed by the editors includes a summary of the films produced in 2010 that
focuses on the most salient moments (such as the success of 3D, with Avatar and others), the disappointments, and the surprises. Among
delusions about the major Hollywood titles, the authors find “a weakening
in the ability to create compelling stories beyond technical excellence”.
Among the outstanding films coming from the US, we find Up made by
the well renowned Pixar, Clint Eastwood’s Invictus, Up in the Air and Sherlock Holmes. In Europe, hats are
tipped to the co-production The Concert, the French films,Little Nicolas and Welcome, and Polish film Popieluszko: Freedom is Within Us. For Italy in particular, the
five stars were awarded to The Man Who Will Come, directed by
Giorgio Diritti and winner of the “David di Donatello” movie award.


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