Thursday, September 15, 2011

Up-Coming: Passione

This week I saw a preview screening of Passione, John Turturro's sunny survey of the leading edge of the Neapolitan music scene. It's a compilation of over 20 performances, each staged for the camera in a different setting. Singers might be swaggering down graffiti-covered streets or acting out romantic dramas. One goofy scenario shows Gennaro Cosmo Parlato as a man wearing mascara having an emotional breakdown on a crowded beach. Go-go dancers figure prominently in another. In a classier sequence, guitarist Fausto Cigliano performs in a church with Caravaggio's The Seven Acts of Mercy in the background. In contrast to all this artificial theatricality, James Senese sings the title song in the blue light of a nightclub setting & provides the most authentic moments in the film.

I did not recognize any of the songs or musicians, except for "O Sole Mio," in an exotic rendition by M’Barka Ben Taleb. Spanish & North African influences are evident in many of the performances. The songs are interspersed with interviews, archival footage & commentary from Mr. Turturro, though I found the small bits of information presented to be confusing. Passione will play at New People Cinema for 2 weeks starting September 30th. Mr. Turturro is anticipated to be at the opening.

§ Passione
Directed by John Turturro
91 min. In Italian, English, Neapolitan and Arabic with subtitles.

Spakka-Neapolis 55
Avion Travel
Pietra Montecorvino
Massimo Ranieri
Lina Sastri
M’Barka Ben Taleb
Gennaro Cosmo Parlato
Peppe Barra
Angela Luce
Max Casella
James Senese
Fausto Cigliano
Fiorenza Calogero
Daniela Fiorentino
Lorena Tamaggio
Enzo Avitabile
Pino Daniele

1 comment:

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