Il primo giorno d’inverno, The First day of Winter

by Marianne Wi

Directed by Mirko Locatelli, this full length film is his first, a courages attempt with a difficult subject. Locatelli  is a director who does not go for the easy option, he is not known in Italy and as all Independent Film-makers has found it a struggle to get this charming film released nationwide. It has been shown at film festivals in Italy and also appeared at festivals in the Czech Republic, Denmark and France, it was recently shown on-line on . Sending love to the good people of mymovies.

Cast:  Mattia De Gasperis,  Michela Cova,  Andrea Semeghini, Teresa Patrignani,  Alberto Gerundo, Giseppe Cederna,

Trailer: I do not normally find the need to comment on trailers however I do find this one annoying and misleading. For 1 minute and 29 seconds a man walks along corridors interrupted only by unknown names appearing on the screen, it would not have made me rush out to the local cinema handing over  10 to 15 pounds, dollars or Euros. The trailer does not give any indication as to what the film is about.

Best moment: Michela baptising her pet rabbit with holy water from a Madonna statue. The final scene where Valerio asked for help at last.

Worst moment: Valerio spends time with Michela starting his bike (never actually driving off) cuts without warning to a scene where the family are cleaning out  the grand mothers room after her death, certainly some editing issues.

Synopsis: Valerio is a loner living with his mother and younger sister in a male-less family unit, outside what appear to be a small Italian village.  It becomes clear early in the film the he may be gay or that there will be gay issues (leaving the cap on the tooth-brush may be an accident or a deliberate clue) he is being bullied a very competitive sports environment. Valerio spies on his contemporaries and see  on one occasion a gay sexual encounter between two of his male school friends, the story follow his empowerment and growths from being a weak loner to being a bully with increasing demands of the two culprits. There are little conversation in this film, the swimming coach being the most vocal , he was also the most authoritative male in the film.

As with these stories there can only ever be one end and I was expecting a violate blood bath Tarantino style ever time he turned a corner, while walking through the long white corridors . I misunderstood the end of the film as I thought Daniele was unconscious, he was quite clearly helping Valerio getting  out of the water.  Valerios cry for help although late was touching, it was not before  the chat-room afterwards with Locantelli that it was made clear that Daniele was dead. It is a really good effort from this first time Director, it is now out on DVD so do check it out, the trailer does not do it justice.



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