Here’s an interesting looking new Italian film, Ruggine, directed by Daniele Gaglianone. Gaglianone has picked up a number of awards over the years for films such as Nemmeno il destino and Pietro. His work generally seems to deal with young characters who live on the very edges of urban Italian society, and Ruggine is no different. The plot follows:
The difficult pre-adolescence of a “gang” of kids, immigrants in a desolte district called Alveari, on the outskirts of a big city. In this no man’s land between city and countryside, there’s a large wasteground – a huge “monster” of rusty scrap metal – which is the place where they play. But suddenly a real monster emerges: two girls are raped and killed, and suddenly everything changes. The following, fearful summer is marked by skirmishes between gangs as the young characters come to grips with their own timid feelings and grow up quickly, as remembered by three people – Sandro, Carmine, Cynthia -who are still indelibly marked by their experiences.
This was based on a novel by Stefano Massaron, who’s better known in Italy as a translator of novels by JG Ballard and Jonathan Coe (which shows he has good taste, at any rate). It sounds like a cross between, well, The Big Chill, It and The Reflecting Skin, but that’s pure guesswork.
The reviews have been positive, and it received a lengthy ovation at Venice. According to CineClandestino, it’s a: “Pessimistic work which is entirely alien to Italian cinema, as alwasy for Gaglianone, who again proves unwilling to compromise.” Reppublica, meanwhile, calls the director “one of the best kept secrets of Italian cinema… The hope, inevitably, is that with Ruggine Gaglianone may finally able to be seen and appreciated outside the circle of those who follow his work for years.”
The cast includes the busy Filippo Timi (Vincere, The Solitude of Prime Numbers, Vallanzasca), Valeria Mastandrea (Night Bus, the Caiman) and Valeria Solarino (Holy Money). I want to see this one!
Here’s the trailer: