Dominic Ambrose Blogblot

of words: narrative, film and non-fiction

Pappi Corsicato’s Il Seme della Discordia. Discord Indeed.

I wanted to like the film, I really did. All the hype about the Neapolitan Almodovar was enticing, and the look, décor and colors of the preview clips were very promising. And who could resist a director named Pappi? But I knew something was wrong when the lead actress, Caterina Murino started talking at the meet and greet before the viewing. She was sitting right next to the director, and still she had the nerve to say, (I’m paraphrasing):
“It was really difficult at first to work with Pappi, but then we got a working relationship and ended up loving each other. It was impossible to play the roles as Pappi wanted. All of these actors all of them with lots of experience, were asked to act in ways that they had never acted before. When I saw the final product, after Pappi’s editing, it was not the film that I had acted in, so radically had he changed it. No more questions, please, let’s watch the film. Then if you still have questions, I’m sure Pappi will be glad to answer them.”

Nominate at Venice for the Golden Lion. They wanted to like him too.

Nominated at Venice for the Golden Lion. They wanted to like the film too.

She was like her last name: murino, like a wall.

The basic problem with the script is that one crucial element in the story is a rape. There is no way to make a rape humorous. Pappi did his best to minimize it by never actually mentioning the fact. That helped, but it remained the 800 pound gorilla in the room whenever the story took a humorous turn. There were ways to write the rape out of the story, perhaps amnesia or mistaken identities. I have it all figured out. Pappi, please consult me before signing off on any more problematic scripts.

There was also an emphasis on the wrong characters. We see way too much of her mother, and not enough of the flirty salesgirl and the gayboys at the café bar. They are the lighthearted (and lightheaded) characters that could make the comedy soar. It would also be more interesting to see more of the husband, and to get more involved in his problematic position. However, it’s not too late: these characters can all be developed in other scripts.

Il seme della discordia. Hmmm, I wonder what exactly was this seed of discord. Was it the baby, the situation, the actress, the director or just the script?

Alas, things could be much, much, much better. Corsicato is a really fine director with a great sense of comic timing and the subtleties of la commedia all’italiana. Recently he delighted his fans with a short film, made under the sponsorship of the Garofalo pasta company, and distributed exclusively on the web. Questione di gusti, or A Question of Taste is a remake of a sketch from a Dino Risi film from 1971 “Noi donne siamo fatte così.” It is a satire on the fetishes and manias of the nouveau riche, as they try to present themselves as wildly uninhibited. The couple brags about their sexual exploits to the whole company of guests at their party, then have it out with screams and pistol shots as soon as the guests are out the door. Without subtitles, the visuals are a pleasure in themselves:

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October 14, 2009 - Posted by | cinema | , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] Pappi Corsicato: Il seme della discordia […]

    Pingback by Music and Naples and John Turturro. « Dominic Ambrose Blogblot | September 3, 2011 | Reply


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