The reason why those two days are in the same post is that my experience with both movies are involved by the same feeling of extreme discomfort. They're different stories entirely, but something anguishing put them on the same picture for me.
I wanted to see La Messa è Finita for years - it was, indeed, the movie that called my attention to Nanni Moretti. The first film I watched by the Italian filmmaker was Caro Diario (1993), that I loved at the time, carrying it with me in a fog of delicate memory. When I told a friend that lives in Firenze that I would see it soon, she told me about another of Moretti's movies that I should see.
So, on day 348, I reached Bianca, a 1984 movie. Moretti, as usual, has the main role here. He is so young, it was even funny. And kind of beautiful. However, his Michele Apicella is so terribly annoying that I suffered through this until the surprising end, which transformed this film in an immediate masterpiece. There's a reason for Michele being the way he is, but throughout this story I was trying to make him another persons entirely.
People living their lives by others is not uncommom. They want to know every tiny detail, they judge what they think is wrong, they try to control others while their own lives remain drifting around. Because of that, I was struggling with Michelle the whole time. I had a permanent sense of discomfort even. All that is justified at the end, though, and i couldn't stop to marvel how Moretti managed to present such a simple and modern story about human relations in a really surprising manner
Oh, and that big jar of Nutella was for real. Crazy Moretti, lucky crew.
|Bianca. Directed by Nanni Moretti. Cast: Nanni Moretti, Laura Morante,|
Roberto Remotti. Writers: Nanni Moretti, Sandro Petraglia. Italy, 1984,
96 min., Mono, Color (DVD).
Two days after, I finally saw the movie that started my interest in Moretti, La Messa è Finita, from 1985. One year only, but he is different here already. Don Giulio is similar to Michelle at some moments, under different reasons. He is judgmental, nosy, snapping at people that he thinks are wrongful. He is a priest, and his faith doesn't answer to his troubles, preventing him of doing his job. Or even finding some sense on it.
The discomfort was still with me, and I struggled throughout this movie also. It presents a sweeter tone, a sense of losing something in modern days that is more like Moretti's subsequent works, an impending melancholy, a careful look at his surroundings and the changes happening there. It is more delicate and introspective. However, I was still annoyed with Michelle, and Don Giulio could wasn't able to win my affection or understanding. At that point, I was a bit angry with Moretti himself.
For a simple reason, that apparently insignificant aspect about a movie, the said personal experience, a film is not something objective. There's no way to be an outside object of appreciation and analysis. We can talk about camera movements, long shots, lightning, sound design, performances, directing... But those are not the whole of a movie. And those two Moretti's earlier movies proved that in a very anguishing way.
|La Messa è Finita. Directed by Nanni Moretti. Cast: Nanni Moretti, Marco|
Messeri, Ferruccio de Ceresa. Writers: Nanni Moretti, Sandro Petraglia.
Italy, 1985, 94 min., Mono, Color (DVD).