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Monday, 19 October 2015

A Barrie Pattison Postcard from Milan

Anything after Pordenone was going to be an anti-climax but Milan was an abrupt return to movie goer reality. The DVD businerss, which was a major incentive to hit Italy, has shrunken out of all recognition. Ricordi Galleria, which had the best selection I ever saw, have sold out to Feltrinelli who have filled the space with (!) books. There was one shelf of familiar titles. Feltrinelli did have a more substantial selection in their store in the Stazione Ferroviere but all the rare and unexpected material has vanished along with most of the outlets.

Going to the movies is losing it's zest too. My beloved Odeon Space Cinema has gone back to the old Primo Tempo routine, inserting a sales interval arbitrarily into the middle of their movies. The pick of what I saw was an Italian film SUBURRA (Stefano Sollima, Italy, 2015), playing a pre-9/11 plot in a scenario of excesses - naked B girls OD'ing on smack (I think) and a victim hit by vehicles in opposite traffic lanes - name stars and elaborate production. L'Arlecchino around the block is also a beautifully appointed auditorium despite it's unassuming foyer and they didn't feel the need to flog Pop Corn and Coke in the middle of the movie but in both theaters. I found myself sitting next to people who were texting through the show and couldn't be persuaded to stop.

They were doing a red carpet gala while I was in Odeon. I left a movie early and found my only way out was UP the red carpet among the glittering celebrities. I wonder whether I made it into the TV coverage

Milan is all high fashion and pizza. I did spot a film crew at work on the city fringe and hopped out of the tram to check them out. Turned out to be a Bollywood unit with half a dozen dancers in skimpy outfits shivering between their bits of playback performance.  I couldn't figure out who one film crew was because no one uses clapper boards now. I miss clapper boards.

Whether movie enthusiasm has gone away or shifted into the internet ether I can't tell.

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