Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Lavazza Italian Film Festival Review: The Interval

L’Intervallo [The Interval] is the debut feature from documentary filmmaker Leonard di Constanzo, and is an understated and good-looking little film that takes advantage of a terrific Neapolitan location and tells the story of two entrapped youths who bond over a shared uncertain future. It has been picking up number of International awards – 2013 David di Donatello, Best New Director for example – and is an insightful, authentic-feeling coming-of-age story that manages to maintain a level of tension even when it is pleasant. It poses some intriguing questions before patiently revealing them, and I was left content with the message entwined within this unlikely connection.

Salvatore (Alessio Gallo) is a portly 17-year-old kid whose dull Neapolitan life predominantly revolves around his father’s business – selling lemon crushed-ice from a street cart. On what appears to be an ordinary day, Salvatore finds himself ordered by the local Camorra boss, Bernardino (Carmine Paternoster), to keep watch over a pretty, rebellious 15-year-old, Veronica (Francesco Riso), who they are holding captive in an abandoned institutional building. We are not sure, for quite some time, what Veronica has done and what fate lies in store for her, or what Salvatore is set to lose if he doesn’t comply with his ill-suited duty.

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