Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Italian title is better than the translation. Buoni a nulla.

Good for Nothings.

Incorrectly rendered in the Filmhouse programme as Good For Nothing

(Pedant in my old age.)

The film was as good as its title.

I trotted along heart full of irritation. It was too early (6:10pm). I'd had to flee from work. Didn't really want to see a film. Too much to do. Hungry. Grumble grumble.

I watched the first fifteen minutes with impatient eyes. Long lingering shots. People walking. Not much happening. Typical European cinema. Where were the car chases and bruised and bloodied children being hurled about car boots?

But then, like the little snickety thing on a gate, something happened and my mind re-opened to the loveliness of gentle observational tales of people going about their lives experiencing small set backs and I was sucked in. 

The film tells of a man who, six months off retirement, is told that his pension no longer exists and he must work another three years before he stops anyway. He gets despatched to a shiny head office beside a motorway, a harsh and hideous contrast to his previous rural idyll. 

On arrival at the palace of chrome, it quickly becomes clear that he can't actually do anything. He has no work skills. Previously hidden in arcadia, his incompetence is now on the verge of being revealed.

Except a dentist turned psychotherapist and new partner of our protagonist's ex wife (who was eerily like B S Neill's ex-wife if she were Italian) intervenes and our man seizes the day. With funny and surprising and charmingly observed consequences.

I don't know if it'll ever be on again as this was a Filmhouse Italian Film Festival special. But it's a lovely frothy sweet and endearing treat.



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