After ten intense days watching all kinds of films, the vast majority of them dramatic, it is a delight to come across such a fun and eclectic proposal as Nanni Moretti's new work, which aspires to its second Palme d' Gold in this 76th edition of the Cannes Film Festival with El sol del futuro.
The Italian actor and director won the highest award in 2001 for The Son's Room and seven years earlier won the award for best director for Caro diario. Only two years ago he again participated in the competition of the official section with the family drama Tres pisos and now he presents himself fully unleashed in a work of optimistic spirit that is a song to the cinema, peace and love in which Moretti lets loose as she dances to Franco Battiato's Voglio vederti danzare and other Italian songs, while letting loose singing Aretha Franklin's unforgettable Think.
Deliciously contagious and funny, Moretti moves like a fish in water in the skin of a paranoid filmmaker who is preparing, with many problems, a film that places us in 1956, with the arrival of a Hungarian circus in a neighborhood of Rome convened by the local section of the Italian Communist Party (PCI). The action takes place on the same dates when Stalin's tanks enter Hungary to end the revolution against the pro-Soviet communist dictatorship.
A story of the cinema within the cinema in which Moretti has fun playing a character twinned with Woody Allen, very neurotic, fond of classic cinema and ice cream. He once again has his fetish actress Margherita Buy, who plays his wife, a film producer who doesn't see the right time to end 40 years of marriage.
The director had wanted to launch a film set in 1956 for some time, although he abandoned the idea in favor of Tres pisos. "Then I called the screenwriter and told her that I wanted to go back to that time, but also talking about the director who shot that film. He needed to talk about his love life, his hopes, his particularities", he said to the press. The Italian Communist Party looms large in the narrative, as do the internal divisions of Western communists in a time of war like the one currently occupying Ukraine. "We wrote the script before the Russian aggression against Ukraine. When this invasion took place I was very impressed, it was like a coincidence with the events we were showing in the cinema", he said. A staunch supporter of cinema in theaters, he had words for streaming platforms, especially Netflix, which he ironically criticizes in the film. "I don't like that so many filmmakers, producers and screenwriters have surrendered so meekly to the platforms." “When I think of making a film I don't think of a 13-year-old boy who will watch it on his cell phone in the subway. I think of a dark cinema where the spectators will see images much bigger than themselves”.
Images like that of a Juliette Binoche turned into a meticulous cook in La passion de Dodin Bouffant, the other film in competition yesterday in which the Vietnamese Trans Anh Hung shows a love story through food set at the end of nineteenth century The protagonists are Dodin Bouffant, a rich man who loves sophisticated dishes, and his cook, Eugénie. Binoche is accompanied on this gastronomic adventure by her ex, Benoit Magimel. The French interpreter confessed that she usually cooks very quickly and that here she had to learn how to do it "in a conscious and special way". A tribute to the art of cooking and good food served on a tray and on screen a feast that falls short.