Wednesday, May 07, 2014

2014 Cannes Check #9: Alice Rohrwacher

The other female filmmaker in competition that with her second film -competes for the Camera d'Or- La Meraviglie comes to Cannes for the second time after her first feature film, Corpo Celeste, was screened in the 2011 Directors' Fortnight. A very short filmography and a very successful story with Cannes as only with her second feature she made it to the competition that counts. Great!!!

Her filmmaking background is mainly working as an editor and cinematographer of documentaries and short documentaries, which in a way is a style you can still see in her first film and image will still be in the second; but her developing style is a mix of documentarian realism with symbolic magic done with great compositions and some extraordinary visual/magic imagery.

As her first film, the second also seems to have some autobiographical touches, which to me only means that she really knows what she is talking about in story, as she is the daughter of a German father that worked as a beekeeper in Castel Giorgio where she spend her childhood along her older sister, renown Italian actress Alba Rohrwacher. So I do expect another story that will play with lots of symbols, will not face directly themes that are sensitive for her and why not, also for viewers, just as she did in Corpo Celeste.

No idea if this movie -the only Italian film in competition- will bring la Palme d'Or to Rohrwacher and absolutely refuse to even think that just because the jury president is a woman, women filmmakers will have an advantage -as many news are speculating. Prefer to believe the betting odds that give the film a 14/1 odds which is in the middle just after Mr. Turner by Mike Leigh and before the Dardenne brothers movie. Not bad at all to be in the middle of two master filmmakers. Definitively Alice Rohrwacher is a filmmaker that I am following and look forward to see her films and how she develops more her particular cinematic style.

Basic Info about La Meraviglie (The Wonders)
Director: Alice Rohrwacher
Scriptwriter: Alice Rohrwacher
Language: Italian
Runtime: 110 min
Production countries: Italy, Switzerland and Germany
Production companies: Tempesta, Amka Films Productions, Rai Cinema, arte, ZDF, Pola Pandora Filmproduktions, RSI-Radiotelevision Svizzera and more.
Starring: Monica Bellucci, Alba Rohrwacher

Plot Summary
Fourteen-year-old Gelsomina lives in the Umbrian countryside with her sweetly dysfunctional family. Her secluded microcosm is shattered by the arrival of Martin, a young German criminal on a rehab program. Le meraviglie tells a small but cruel love story between a father and daughter, their torments, jealousy and shyness. They give abundantly, and betray each other painfully. It tells of the ties that bind one family together, and a land undergoing a profound transformation. It is also the story of a great failure, through which they all gather strength.

If you wish to explore the movie site and read a very long summary go here, available in English and Italian.

The Trailer

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