Michele criticizes the film industry and its inhabitants and is particularly embattled with a Neapolitan director making a musical about the 1968 student demonstrations. At the same time, Michele has a creative block to finishing his film titled Freud’s Mother.
Nanni Moretti’s self-inquiry into filmmaking, political ennui, and men’s relations with their mothers. Sound familiar? Yet this film only expands on those which came before it with a more intimate confessional style aimed at the state of modern Italy.
Ma di questo film che gliene importa alla gente comune, semplice, che lavora? A un povero bracciante lucano, a un pastore abbruzzese, a una modesta casalinga di Treviso, che gliene importa di queste tematiche intellettualistiche, solitarie, masturbatorie?
Moretti followed up the success of 'Ecce Bombo' with this navel gazing and fully realized slice of eccentricity and surrealistic wanderings. Moretti plays Michelle a self obsessed filmmaker given to self delusion and immature imaginings equally. The film is often very humorous yet endearingly dramatic in turn. The earliest glimpse of Moretti's brilliance.
35mm, rewatched. There is his intelligent idiosyncrasy, but also the easy way with which criticism is established from real matrices, as in relation to television, for example. The cinephile drifts are, on the other hand, more gratifying, especially Moretti's mr. hyde, that comes from Renoir's "Dr. Cordelier".
Watched this because of 'The Son's Room'. Wildly unpleasant, he can't get out of his own head. It's one thing to complain about the state of moviemaking, and it's another thing to actually do something about it. This doesn't help, and you should never beat up your mother, even if it is fictional.
4.5 - People compare Moretti to Woody Allen, but I think he's more like Vincent Gallo... I like dialogue heavy films, so that wasn't as issue. This feels more fully realised than the other 'Michele' films before it, being an ark for Moretti's insecurities and regrets. Is it all a bad dream? Is it existential? Is he having us on?
It probably helps to have a prior familiarity with Moretti's work but if you do, this is an irresistible delight. Boundless energy, some choice gags and an admirable tendency to send up the pomposity of much political filmmaking (including his own). Very enjoyable stuff.