Apparitions of freedom: Paolo Sorrentino’s films
In Sorrentino’s film everything is an obsessive game of contrast between self-control and transgression. In the specific search for moral security there are obvious influences by Kieślowski
Sorrentino was born in Naples in 1970 and began his new artistic life as a successful screenwriter of a splendid biography. Soon it was time for his first feature film, L’uomo in piu’ /One Man Up/ (Italia 2001), which tells a story about two parallel disasters in Naples during 1980s.
Singer, Tony Pisapia (Servillo) and soccer player, Antonio Pisapia (Renzi) are both victims of illusions: the first because of cocaine and a love of young girls, who chases after eternal youth; the other unwilling to accept his bad physical health, looking for existential redemption in his futile attempt to become a coach. Shared last names, similar lives, symbolic parallels, and bursts into fantasy cinema. This is a portrait of a dirty reality which is too polished from all sides to seem moral or even just banal. Kieślowski’s influence is obvious: whether in style or in a sort of a tension towards moral coercions.
Three years passed and Sorrentino changed genre and style in his next film, Le conseguenze dell’amore/The Consequences of Love/ (Italy, 2004), starring the faithful Toni Servillo, Olivia Magnani, Andriano Gannini and Raffaele Pisu, and achieved great success with audiences and critics.
Titta Di Girtolamo (Servillo), a mafia accountant, falls in love with a barista (Magnani) in the hotel in which he lives. Soon, he makes an error against his employers and decides to passively take the punishment. Once again the director’s attention is focused on the painful state of a mental prison in which the main character has enclosed himself. “I like non-places, such as the hotel in which Titta enclosed himself, as well as filming the invisible mental prisons in which we live”, said Sorrentino. Once again in a film everything is an obsessive game of contrast between self-control and transgression. In the specific search for moral security there are obvious influences by Kieślowski.
(Gabriele Barrera, journalist, film critic Sncci/Fipresci; collaborator in Duellanti, Best Movie, Maxim Italia, Nick Film TV, Cinecritica, author of books and essays: Da Umberto D a Europa 51, 2000, Mario Bava. La Bella è la Bestia, 2002, L’eccesso della visione, 2003).