Another excellent film I saw at the Europa! Europa Film Festival was this film about a young woman who doesn’t care to take part in society (which is a good and convenient characteristic to have when you’re presumably filming during a pandemic, but I think says a bit more generationally and as a response to the world).
The thing I’ve found in tending to go only to films by women directors in any given selection of film festival films (for want of any other way of narrowing down a list of films I’ve never heard of and may never see again), is that you get to see a range of responses to familiar genres. The subgenre of films about young women who just don’t give a f*ck, often deploying deadpan humour and absurdist premises, is thankfully expanding, and this film reminded me a little of the Spanish film El Planeta or the Korean film Heart, both with “unlikeable” protagonists who are actually compelling in their resistance to narrative expectations. Perhaps there’s also a slight hint of Wes Anderson too in the frontal shooting style and shot-reverse shot dialogue sequences that are so striking and can’t help but imbue a certain humour just in their style, even if the characters are undemonstrative. It makes a nice change, too, from a lot of Italian cinema that I’ve seen that tends towards operatic melodrama, and while there’s certainly a fair bit of shouting and bad behaviour here, I’m left with the sense of disconnectedness from society, a sadness or depression even that its title character is trying to resist. It’s an ongoing process for her, so the film just sort of stops mid-shot, which makes some sense; I hope Amanda is doing well, though it probably doesn’t hurt that she looks a bit like Alison Brie (everyone is rich and glamorous here, and her friend’s home is a terrifying palace to brutalist modernity).
Director/Writer Carolina Cavalli; Cinematographer Lorenzo Levrini; Starring Benedetta Porcaroli, Galatéa Bellugi; Length 94 minutes.
Seen at the Lido, Melbourne, Friday 17 February 2022.