Notizie degli scavi, News of the excavations (Possible English Title)

by Marianne Wi

Nothing in the title prepares you for this wonderful dialogue driven film, the synopsis given by could put you of all together. Man living in a brothel doing odd jobs, goes to a hospital visiting a prostitute, who has one failed suicide behind her. It was with some trepidation that I walked down the virtual red carpet, settling in row A 14 with my equally virtual lightly salted popcorn.

Director:  Emidio Greco, this 72 year old director has in the past won the prestigious Nastro d’argento for Best Screenplay in 1991 with “Una storia simplice”, “A Simple Story”. Greco directed and wrote the screenplay for “L’uomo privato” in 2007 however it never made the International market. I have very high hopes for  Notizie degli scavi, News of the Excavations  it is certainly one of my favorite Italian films seen in 2011.

Cast : Giuseppe Battiston, Ambra Angiolini, Iaia Forte, Giorgia Salari, Anna Paola Vellaccio, Francesca Fava

Synobsis : The Professor (Giuseppe Battiston) is working  as a live-in handyman in a brothel, sleeping on a foldout bed in the kitchen, he is not the sharpest tool in the box, there are psychological issues and his interpersonal skills are lacking, he wears white socks and brown sandals, nuf said. The Professor receives a call from a friend at another brothel asking him to visit The Marquise (Ambra Angiolini) in hospital telling her not to come back once released. The Marquise is recovering from a failed suicide attempt and had previously worked in The Professors current workplace, we follow a budding friendship between two fragile lonely people. The scene between The Professor and The Marquise on the hospital bed, when she ask him to visit again and his realisation that she actually wants him for himself, not because she has an errand for him to run is emotional and heartwarming. Battiston is simply awesome throughout and should be nominated for another David di Donatello next year, in fact he deserves a better award he really is in a class of his own, Ambra Angiolini’s portrayal of The Marquise was marvelous too. The scenes shot in Hadrian’s Villa, Tivoli are stunning, excellent cinematography and music makes great viewing. I loved this beautiful understated film that is Notizie degli scavi, News of the Excavations Italian cinema at its best.
08.06.2011 Update
So very pleased to hear that this film is being released back into the Italian Cinemas again, 26 copies to be exact. Whoop Whoop, it is a film not to be missed and it is beginning to win awards. 

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