Laguna (2001)

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What will you do for “family”?
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vt Segreti di Famiglia; vt Hotel Laguna; vt Vendetta
UK, Italy, France / 92 minutes / color / Metropolitan, Davis, Caimano, ReteItalia, FDC (Laguna) Dir: Dennis Berry Pr: Augusto Caminito, Samuel Hadida, Alan Latham Scr: Augusto Caminito, Claude Harz, David Linter Story: Augusto Caminito Cine: Roberto D’Ettorre Piazzoli Cast: Joe Mantegna, Emmanuelle Seigner, Sergio Castellitto, Henry Cavill, Daniela Alviani, Charles Aznavour, Davide Bozzato, Sam Douglas, Gustavo Frigerio, Francesco Fichera, Paolo Paoloni, Karin Proia, Terry Serpico.

Many years ago, when Thomas Aprea (Fichera) was just a child, his father Terenzio (Serpico) was the saxophonist in a musical trio with singer Nicola “Nico” Pianon (Mantegna) and violinist Joe Sollazzo (Castellitto). As we discover much later in the movie, Terenzio soon decided to supplement his musical income by working as a bagman for mobster Tony Castellano (Aznavour)—so-named in the credits but throughout called Tony Castell.

Terry Serpico as Terenzio

Sergio Castellitto as Joe.

Unfortunately, Terenzio then decided to supplement his musical income yet further by skimming a bit off the top. The result was that one day Terenzio’s car blew up, killing Terenzio, his wife and Thomas’s two siblings—Thomas himself escaped solely because he’d run back into the house to fetch a forgotten present. Since then, “Uncle” Joe Sollazzo has raised the boy on his own in New York City, even putting him through college.

Joe Mantegna as Nico.

Now that Thomas (Cavill) has graduated, Joe sends him off to Venice, to be Continue reading

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Take Five (2013)

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A tale of dishonor among thieves!
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Italy / 93 minutes / color / Minerva, Eskimo, Figli del Bronx, Rai Dir & Scr: Guido Lombardi Pr: Gaetano di Vaio, Gianluca Curti, Dario Formisano Story: Guido Lombardi, Gaetano di Vaio Cine: Francesca Amitrano Cast: Peppe Lanzetta, Salvatore Striano, Salvatore Ruocco, Carmine Paternoster, Gaetano di Vaio, Antonio Pennarella, Antonio Buonomo, Vittoria Schisano, Alan De Luca, Marco Mario de Notaris, Emanuele Abbate, Esther Elisha, Giancarlo Gallo.

Naples sanitation employee Carmine (Paternoster) is called by the snooty manager (De Luca) to the HQ of the Banca Partenope, where there’s a sewage leak behind the wall of the antechamber to the bank’s vault. Some while later Carmine, a compulsive gambler, is painfully reminded by local Camorra enforcer Antonio (Buonomo) that he owes money to the organization. So Carmine goes to fence Gaetano (di Vaio) and tells him about a cunning plan he’s had . . . Continue reading

Moglie, La (2007)

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If she isn’t his wife, who is she?
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Italy / 23 minutes / color / Imperium, Lupin Dir: Andrea Zaccariello Pr: Riccardo Neri, Emiliano Bellini, Gianluca Mainquà Scr: Paolo Rossi, Andrea Zaccariello Cine: Fabio Zamarion Cast: Valeria Solarino, Enrico Silvestrin, Remo Remotti, Stefano Mondini (voice).

La Moglie - 0

In a pseudish modern art gallery a young man whom we’ll learn to call Valerio (Silvestrin) takes a phonecall. We hear only his side of the conversation, but it’s immediately apparent that he’s talking about a hit on his wife:

“Who, my wife? No—I’ll pick her up. Look, it’s not easy for me to pay that sort of money. . . . Whatever happens, I never want to see her again. See you on Monday.”

That evening he picks her up in his car, and hardly has Simona (Solarino) climbed aboard than she’s started kvetching at him: she was unfairly passed over for a promotion at the office, the buses are too crowded, she’s going to have to get a driving license whatever he says, and why aren’t they going straight home? Eventually he tells her: “Will you shut up?” It’s all pretty standard domestic bickering, underlain by obvious affection; it’s hard to relate this to the notion that he’s taken out a hit on her.

La Moglie - 1 Simona looks round to find Valerio waiting for her

Simona (Valeria Solarino) looks round to find Valerio waiting for her.

He takes her not home but to a beach house that we assume he’s rented for the weekend—a beach house that we recognize because we saw it earlier illustrating a newspaper story about a man who killed his wife. He tells her that Continue reading

Ragazza del Lago, La (2007)

vt The Girl by the Lake
Italy / 96 minutes / color / Medusa, Indigo, Sky Dir: Andrea Molaioli Pr: Nicola Giuliano, Francesca Cima Scr: Sandro Petraglia, Ludovica Rampoldi Story: Se Deg ikke Tilbake! (1996; vt Don’t Look Back 2002) by Karin Fossum Cine: Ramiro Civita Cast: Toni Servillo, Denis Fasolo, Nello Mascia, Giulia Michelini, Marco Baliani, Fausto Maria Sciarappa, Franco Ravera, Sara D’Amario, Heidi Caldart, Alessia Piovan, Nicole Perrone, Anna Bonaiuto, Omero Antonutti, Fabrizio Gifuni, Valeria Golino, Enrico Cavallero.

Ragazza del Lago 00 - Anna

In a small town in the mountains, a little girl called Marta (Perrone) accepts a lift from a simpleton called Mario (Ravera), and spends some hours with him, playing with the rabbits that he and his father (Antonutti) keep and exploring the local high-pass lake. Local cop Ispettore Lorenzo Siboldi (Sciarappa) calls in Commissario Sanzio (Servillo) from the Big City to lead the hunt for the missing girl but, even before Sanzio arrives, Marta has been returned home safe and sound by Mario. Disturbingly, she reports that the pair of them found a naked woman lying by the lake .

Ragazza del Lago 01 - Sanzio and Siboldi discover Anna's body

Sanzio (Toni Servillo) and Siboldi (Fausto Maria Sciarappa) discover Anna’s body.

Sanzio and Siboldi investigate, discovering Continue reading