Mini Review: The Last Earthling (L’ultimo terrestre)
The Last Earthling (aka The Last Man On Earth) is a truly remarkable debut feature from writer/director Gian Alfonso Pacinotti. This was based on the graphic novel by Giacomo Monti, I am not sure how faithful it is but the film on its own merits is quite an accomplishment. This is a rather quirky film, and something quite unique for Italian cinema, I really don’t recall seeing anything quite like this before. This is a true blend of many genres, including sci-fi, drama, and comedy with an aura of arthouse.
The film was a genuine surprise, and I was even more surprised to hear when the film was ready to debut originally, an Orson Wells type War Of The Worlds panic actually happened, as aliens coming to Earth reports were broadcast on the radio. While this event in the film is second fiddle to things, I have to say that is a brave bit of marketing.
The story is one I don’t care to reveal too much on, it is told through the eyes of Luca (Gabriele Spinelli), living a lonely life as a cynic. Things change as the Earth expects the arrival of aliens, and Luca’s life also begins to change with some serious life lessons. This is a dark, comedic and meaningful film, with a man so alienated by the world that it takes these aliens arriving for that to finally change.
The performances are fantastic, Spinelli is quite amazing and he really embodied so much with the character of Luca, every little movement and the look in his eyes were so expressive. It is extremely well directed and written, and a very striking looking film. As odd as it is, it really is engaging and such an interesting satire on the human condition. This is one not to be missed in my humble opinion.
Mini Review: One Day More (Il giorno in più)
I really have to hand it to One Day More; this is one of the most enjoyable romantic-comedies I have seen for quite some time. This film is based on the bestselling novel that was written by Fabio Volo who actually stars as our main character Giacomo. This is a classic style of film, very charming and witty with a lot of heart, something that I just don’t find Hollywood can do much of anymore with the genre. I actually found myself smiling and laughing often, and even screaming at the screen during the third act because it had engaged me so well.
The story here is of Giacomo, a man in his 40’s who has had a string of failed relationships and not many chances in his professional life. He invents a fake girlfriend based on a woman he sees on the tram every day and things start to change for him. Work improves, and he finally feels kind of happy, then he actually meets the woman on the tram and falls instantly for her. The pair shares a connection, but it gets complicated quickly that day as she tells him she is jetting off to New York the next day. It doesn’t end there, and you’ll have to check this one to find out what happens!
This is a feel good film; it is naturally funny and very enjoyable. The characters are really well written, engaging and I really did care for them. This is a journey, and it’s one that isn’t really that new in cinema but this does have a fresh flavour. Massimo Venier has done a great job directing this piece; these films just don’t come along that often. Fabio Volo is great as the lead, and this something that can be enjoyed at any time with anyone.
For more information about the Italian Film Festival, please visit the official site at italianfilmfestival.com.au