The audience was delighted. Mine Vaganti, the film: wonderful in every way, they said. And the actress: so beautiful. The theme? The discussion leader asked. Oh yes, the theme. So well treated, the whole thing, so true to life etc. At which point I left since I’d gone at the request of someone who feared no one would show up for the viewing of a film on the theme of homosexuality.
To my mind, the film was a piece of fluff with the feel of a made-for-television movie: actors (so handsome), actress (so beautiful), splendid views of the Italian town of Lecce, pasta, famiglia etc.
But the audience loved it. So easy on the eye. So All-You-Need-Is-Love, fabulous clothes and… suicide by overconsumption of pastries?? Eh. Follow your heart’s desire, I guess.
At any rate, the only tiny moment that rang true for me lasted less than a minute of screen time: at the family pasta factory, the second son works up the courage to tell his sister he’s gay. This is news, she answers, more or less. Somewhat crestfallen, he heads back to chewing on strands of pasta. So fresh, so raw. So lacking in something that grabs you by the hair or lays a quiet hand on your arm, and says: Pay attention.
Voilà for a not-so-fascinating evening at the cinema. Or, as Peter Brook would have it about theater in The Empty Space: “…it is not just a question of wooing an audience. It is an even harder matter of creating works that evoke in audiences an undeniable hunger and thirst.”
Which leaves the whole task of draft revision exactly where it stood when I left off last night: order of scenes, story arc, who the characters are in their own eyes and in those of others, what happens next and why.
Plus, in real life, going downtown to buy the small expensive bag of dog food since no one’s available to drive me out to the supermarket for the cheaper fifteen-kilo version of same. Eh.