"Magic Nights", the disillusions of young Italian screenwriters

12

Magical nights *

from Paolo Virzi

Italian movie, 2:05

Summer 1990: Rome vibrates with the same fervor as all Italy for a place of the national team in final in World Cup. While supporters gather on the terraces of cafes to watch a crucial football match, the police find in the Tiber a car where the body of Leandro Saponardo, a famous film producer, lies.

The main suspects are three aspiring writers. For a whole night, they tell the captain of the carabinieri their relationship with the victim as well as with the Italian cinema where they have just taken their first steps.

Finalists for a prize for the best first scenario, these young people have very different profiles. Antonino, a Sicilian, displays great ambition and academic rigor. Coming from the working class of Tuscany, Luciano refuses anyone who prevents him from biting his life to the fullest. Eugenia, daughter of austere bourgeois of Rome, seeks the area where she can finally assert her sensibility.

A tribute to Italian cinema

For a few weeks, they are immersed behind the scenes of the 7th Italian art, with its great glories, its maestri who make the rain and the weather, its arrogant producers. Seduced and enthusiastic, the trio hopes to find a place in the Roman maelstrom. But they gradually discover the pretense of a pitiless environment where success and decay can succeed one another quickly, where cruelty and machismo reign without even bothering to save appearances.

"Opportunists", focus on envious human nature

By its subject and its abundant form, Magic nights appears as a tribute to Italian cinema of the great hours. But the multiplication of characters and secondary intrigue ends up confusing the story. The red thread falls here in the braid of the journey of the young protagonists, more than the police investigation which is more of the vague alibi narrative. But these three apprentice writers are not very nice. Antonino displays an erudition that sinks into pedantry until ridicule. Luciano is akin to a sexual predator (others, better known than him, have the same behavior). In the grip of tireless torment, Eugenia drags an exhausting pain of living. Yet it is the most endearing and, by asking the boys to support it, it forms the link of this disassembled trio and the link in a film too scattered.

(tagsToTranslate) theatrical criticism (t) Cinema (t) disillusions (t) magical (t) magician (t) italian (t) young (t) Nights

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