Friday, 7 June 2019

The Current Cinema - Barrie Pattison recommends HAPPY AS LAZZARO (Alice Rohrwacher, Italy)

A quick thumbs up on Alice Rohrwacher’s Lazzaro felice/Happy as Lazzaro.This one kicks off with Tobacco Marquise Nicoletta Braschi’s impoverished sharecroppers who have to make do with the one light bulb in the hut where families sleep together - been there, seen that. However unexpectedly there comes a switch which introduces Rohrwacher’s movie star sister Alba and, even more heavily disguised, Sergi Lopez, the latter not featured in the film's publicity. They get to dominate their scenes though debuting Adriano Tardiolo is the lead. 

Commentators are talking about Holy Fools and Magic Realism but what is going on here we saw in De Sica’s Miracolo a Milano/Miracle in Milan seventy years back. 

I won’t go into detail both because even when I heard Marco Bellochio explain his  Sangue del mio sangue, also with Alba Rohrwacher, I was still totally baffled, and because any description would dissipate the new film’s great impact.

Palace gets points for putting something as far out as this into release even if it is in only in one cinema, their most fringe outlet, and during the Sydney Film Festival, which could be expected to sop up the audience. 

Let me point out that it costs half as much as a festival movie and offers a much more certain reward.

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