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The Unusual Subjects
8.5
/10
46 Ratings

Spettacolo

United States, 2017
Documentary
  • Italian
  • English
The Unusual Subjects

Synopsis

Once upon a time there was a tiny hill town in Tuscany that found a remarkable way to confront their issues—they turned their lives into a play. Spettacolo is a portrait of this 50-year-old tradition, where their piazza becomes their stage and every villager from 6 to 90 plays a part.

Our take

Jeff Malmberg, director of the beloved doc Marwencol, returns with another uncanny venture into the world of storytelling. Entirely immersed in the culture of the remote town of Monticchiello, Spettacolo slowly unfurls the many curative possibilities performance holds for this moribund community.

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Critics reviews

That story can be so poignant and is so intelligently told that it feels wrong, almost insulting, to call “Spettacolo” charming, even if the movie is often delightful.
September 05, 2017
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Theater is one of the most fleeting of arts — it’s performed in the moment, and then it’s gone — but these citizens have long, deep memories. The transitory nature of a staged piece of drama cannot compete with the enduring sense of accomplishment it leaves in its wake. Maybe that, ultimately, is what will be lost — and what is being lost — as Monticchiello’s summer plays threaten to come to an end.
September 05, 2017
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The film’s more conventional suspense derives from Cresti’s frustration with his actors, who seem bored and unfocused in the run-up to the Teatro Povero’s annual performance. Though some of Spettacolo’s tension is superficial, the stuff of any let’s-put-on-a-show narrative, its latent anxieties are myriad and profoundly resonant.
September 02, 2017
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