Here’s a new one from the Manetti Brothers, Antonio and Marco, a pair of former music video directors who are doing their best to revive genre cinema in Italy. They’ve already tackled the crime (The 17th Floor) and horror (Human Test) genres and L’arrivo di Wang is an intriguing sounding sci fi effort. According to Variety, the plot goes like this:
Rome resident Gaia (Francesca Cuttica) is summoned by government agent Curti (Ennio Fantastichini) to translate Mandarin into Italian at a location so secret she’s blindfolded en route. Once there, she’s not even allowed to see Wang (voiced by Li Yong), the person she’s interpreting for, which makes the job doubly difficult. Turns out Wang’s actually an alien from another planet, who sensibly learned Mandarin after ascertaining it was the most widely spoken language on Earth. Disgusted at the rough treatment Curti and Co. dish out, Gaia tries to free Wang, but there’s another twist in store.
The reviews have been broadly positive, with Variety concluding that it “should turn a modest profit locally [and]… could garner a minor cult following in ancillary”, while EyeForFilm concludes “Wang’s Arrival is a deadpan socio-political chamber piece that was conceptualized as a special effects showcase but has blossomed into something more substantial; its ambition might outstretch its budget but the Mannettis skillfully steer their stripped-down story through a variety of tones”. Some reviewers also see it as a representation of the growing distrust / fear of China in the West. Whatever the case, it looks interesting.
Here’s the trailer: