Friday, February 23, 2024

I don’t believe in anything, the review: if the night of Rome becomes a moody film

I don't believe in anything, the review: if the night of Rome becomes a moody film

We need to take steps to tell you what it really is I don’t believe in anything. We have to go around wide, like when there is traffic on the Eastern Ring Road, and then it’s better to pass inside San Lorenzo, being careful of the ZTL. Why thedirectorial debut of Alessandro Marzullo it is material to be handled with care, like a sausage sandwich, at 3 in the morning, devoured by the “dirty” of Porta Maggiore (pure ecstasy, nothing but starred chefs!). Non-random references, because the writing of the film seems to arise following the emotional, erratic and analogical flow of the Roman nights. Those faceless nights, all the same and yet different, decisive in their ephemeral philosophy of life. The inspiration for the interesting film by Marzullo from Modena is therefore clear: plays with aesthetics, with noises, with extreme conceptsand then seen again through the shining gaze of a boy from abroad, who arrived in the Suburra to study, naturally remaining enchanted by its eternal, dirty, twilight charm.

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I Don’t Believe in Anything: A scene from the movie

I don’t believe in anything, then, shot in less than fifteen days, is explosive in its evident “pleasure”, which functions in the attractive evolution of the characters, inserted in a sort of aquarium without water (a concept that returns, in the film, to that of the aquarium and of fish). To summarize, and opening the review, I don’t believe in anything it is the emblem of postmodern cinema expressed by a debutant who already demonstrates familiarity and mastery (because skill is skill, age doesn’t matter), playing with flashes and following the sacrosanct desire to demonstrate, to be there. Among the obvious merits, the suggestions and the inevitable excess of hand, which leads to piercing the sheet (or rather, the film) with a decisive but perhaps too trodden line.

I don’t believe in anything, a flow that follows the Roman nights

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I don’t believe in anything: a moment from the film

Strange, forgotten characters, scoundrels, pirates, ghosts. Rome at night and a generation in pieces, at the mercy of expectations, of repressed talent, of dreams chewed to the point of vomiting. A whimsical painting, which seems evanescent, almost expressionist, in a beginning that cannot fail to leave one speechless. The distorted, elongated images, the close-ups that become monstrous, repellent. Little by little, however, the deliberate schizophrenia of I Don’t Believe in Nothing becomes a structured journey linked to a choral story, making the protagonists sizzle without ever having them meet. Almost. Because the only thing they have in common is a sandwich maker with a simple philosophy (Lorenzo Lazzarini), who keeps the truth on the counter, linking Mozart to tartar sauce.

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I don’t believe in anything: a photo

Here is a stewardess, played by Demetra Bellina, looking for a definitive pied-à-terre; there is an aspiring actor, called Centocelle (how wonderful!), with the face of Giuseppe Cristiano; and there are Cara and Jonio, a couple of musicians but also a couple of exploited workers (all illegally, of course) in a restaurant kitchen (they are Renata Malinconico and Mario Russo). Around them, and their stories, the darkness of the night that knows no end, lit by buzzing neon. No romance, however, just the dodgy habit of a life to be invented.

Free cinema, great aesthetics, the anxieties of thirty-year-olds

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I don’t believe in anything: an image

Behind the thick blanket of smoke, which immediately declares that it does not allow any points of reference, making us advance almost with our eyes closed, Alessandro Marzullo leaps into the darkness – without ever giving up on his characters – translating the anxieties, fears and psychodramas of contemporary thirty-year-olds, considered too young but already largely expired. Caught between the encumbrance of two egocentric generations and the dramatic awareness of having run out of time available. A union of intentions, and the frame that takes over, directing the scene, the tones, the moods. By the way: it may be “popular”, but it is irresistible the rough sensation given by the dirtying of the filmcrumpled and developed before it should be (also because there is an aesthetic idea behind it).

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I don’t believe in anything: a sequence

A dreamlike, alienating sensation, incredibly effective in translating the night of Rome (the emphasis already in pronouncing it), made tangible by Kacper Zieba’s photography (how true it is that the Slavs know how to “listen” to images) and by Riccardo Amorese’s music, a true narrative protagonist and not a mere frill. Here you are, there is no doubt that Alessandro Marzullo knows how to do it, despite leading to excess a storyline that was probably too long, which should have dried up in time. It doesn’t matter, one might say. It doesn’t matter why I don’t believe in anything, right from the title, demonstrates the state of the art of Italian collateral cinema, free from patterns, streamlined in production, heterogeneous in vision irremediably influenced by independent authors (and here we find, with due proportions, Wong Kar Wai, John Cassavetes, the Safdie Brothers), as well as hooked on the need to leave their mark. Acting on multiple levels, living with contrasts, dissonances, frugal unexpected events.


Alessandro Marzullo knows how to do it, and he demonstrates it – although perhaps exaggerating in duration, in relation to the story – in I don’t believe in anything. As written in our review, the film plays on aesthetics, on noise, on the blue of Roman nights, transforming the dreams of a broken generation into ungainly and urban cinema. Successful in its own way.

Because we like it

  • The aesthetics.
  • Rome, and the night of Rome.
  • The protagonists, all good.
  • The soundtrack.

What’s wrong

  • Perhaps too long, in relation to the narrative.
  • The first part was a little confusing.