Presented first at the Locarno Film Festival, and then in Alice in the City, Prosatore’s debut feature film (he records, among other things, the Wanda docuseries on Netflix) is a coming-of-age story that plays with the fairy tale, overturns the stereotypes, and does not flatten on the vintage of the eighties setting.
Anna puts on her make-up, stares at us. “How am I?” she asks. She then she moves what we could have thought to be the camera, or a mobile phone with which she filmed herself, and instead it is a mirror. “You are too beautiful”, replies the mirror, mirror of my desires, Anna replies to herself.
The notes of a classical piano sonata are transformed into those of “Self Control”, while Anna, “‘a princess”, looks out to look at the courtyard of her castle, which is an isolated block of flats on the northern outskirts of Naples inhabited by a handful of families which is about to be demolished. The works for theMedian axis. The boys play football, conjure Maradona dreaming of the first Scudetto for their favorite team, adults become adults: there are those who traffic, those who make ends meet, those who take care of Anna: her mother, who dreams of a better future for her, far from that world that he deserves his daughter, a daughter who deserves more.
It looks like a fairy tale Very quietly. In his way, it is. That isolated, suspended, yet very real world. A secret castle, full of beauty and intrigue, and with an access point (covered by un poster di Samantha Fox in topless) to an even more secret world, to a kind of natural Eden where for Anna there is a sort of forbidden apple. A Mariuolo is hiding there, placed there by the boss of Lello Arenaa boss of small cabotage and few words.
Anna is fascinated by Mariuolo, as she is, in a healthier and safer way, by her peer Peppino, while her mother would like to protect her ending up isolating her, and the other boys – and above all girls – dislike her for this his involuntary haughtiness.
It looks like a fairy tale, but it’s a coming-of-age story, the film by Nicola Prosatore, who follows the trajectories of gazes and desires with a mobile and fluid camera. Those of Anna, first of all the others, of course, but also of those around her, who love her, desire her, want to protect her. Anna runs, she is in a hurry to run, to grow up, but the world of adults can be ugly, dirty and mean.
But let’s forget the usual, classic, stereotyped rhetoric about Naples, the Camorra, the criminals, the street kids. Slowly he abstracts, imagines, projects. The of him is a hyperrealism at times dreamlike, the world it tells is made up of concrete and real feelings and actions and characters, yet observed as in an aquarium, to record their behaviors and actions. Especially the reactions.
Always straddling dream and reality, Prose writer pawn, outline, dare. With the camera, with editing, on the strength of a script (written by him and starting from childhood memories of Antonia TruppoAnna’s mother) that it is lawful and perhaps right to betray with images.
There is all the passion, the restlessness, the curiosity of adolescence, in the story, in the words and in the images of Piano piano. And there is also the often bitter awareness of adulthood. There is responsibility. The desire to do and to protect, to dare and to teach. Anna has her mother, she will discover another, unlikely mentor along the way, and she will learn to love those who deserve it and deserve it.
While the music plays, Anna slowly touches each other, Maradona scores, Samantha Fox and her bare breasts act as an improbable threshold and the story ends, or maybe not, with a hoped-for and imperfect happily ever after.
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