Moonspins between Land and Sea


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27°INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL ROTTERDAM

Directed by Giuseppe M. Gaudino  / feature film / prod. Gaundri, Rai Radiotelevisione Italiana, ZDF Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen, Ministry of Culture / 1h 40 min / 35 mm. / 1997-98 / Italy / distribution Istituto Luce

“The ambitious ‘Giro di Lune tra Terra e Mare’ is very intelligent in its structure. The viewer gets to see a geographical area of Italy that is inculcated with an age-old tradition. The film even has to be subtitled in Italy, because of the much Neapolitan and Latin spoken. Gaudino evokes the past by scratching images and manipulating their speed, which works to alienate but is also very natural. A true ‘tour de force’ that works very effectively without any international-looking.”
I Claudius-BBC Aesthetics

“Giuseppe Gaudino sets his mysterious and beautiful film in the unstable, precarious town of Pozzuoli, situated beneath a volcano and alongside the ocean near Naples. After a series of earthquakes and aftershocks, the home of the fisherman family of Don Salvatore is condemned; they pack their meager belongings and relocate, like many families before them. Perhaps it is the continuous temblors from the area’s long-buried past that also dislodge other refugees. Mythical and historical figures from Sibyl to the musician Pergolesi and the martyred Artema are fluidly intercut with the contemporary story. The body of Agrippina, murdered by her son Nero, slips from the past into the present; no one rests in this shaken landscape. These haunting, ancient stories of longing and disappointment are related by Gennarino, the son of Don Salvatore, as he wanders through the old parts of the town. They are echoed in the growing animosity between Gennaino’s older siblings and their father as the family’s unity slowly breaks apart. The pieces of the family’s life and memories of the city’s troubled past are complexly layered, often separated by impressionistic lyrical sequences of superimposed, ‘trembling’ images. Throughout, the camera is handheld, its searching gaze seeking a resting point. But the town’s restless figures move on, yearning after their dreams.”
Kathy Geritz - “San Francisco International Film Festival”

Synopsis

The film relates the history of Pozzuoli, at the center of the Phlegraean Fields, on the same gulf as the towns of Baia and Miseno, in a span of time that goes from 538 B.C. to 1984. There is no separation between the times, between historical dates that alternate not by progression but by digression. The most ancient of the images center upon the drama of the killing of Agrippina by her son Nero, on the mad interweaving of the oracles of the Sibyl of Cumae, on the disquieting presence of the young martyr Artema, killed because of the intolerance of his schoolmates, on the hard wanderings of Maria the Mad, the warrior-heroine who will save the city. Events of the story closer in time are superimposed upon the past. We are in the early 1970s and the land along the gulf is affected, cyclically, by the rising and lowering of the soil. It is a phase of rupture in the relationship between man and his land. The Gioias, a family of fishermen, are forced to abandon their home, eroded by the slow earthquake.  The house, its abandonment, the repeated exoduses, and the new settlement where the city is being rebuilt are the emblematic steps of the story of this family in the attempt to rebuild a life. 

Credits

Story  Giuseppe M. Gaudino

Screenplay  Giuseppe M. Gaudino, Isabella Sandri, Heidrun Schleef

Photography  Tarek Ben Abdallah

Editing  Giuseppe M. Gaudino, Roberto Perpignani

Sound editor  Mike Billingsley

Music  Epsilon Indi

Set designer  Alessandro Marrazzo

Costume designer  Paola Marchesin

Producer Isabella Sandri  for Gaundri Film

Distribution Istituto Luce

Cast

Aldo Bufi Landi

Tina Femiano

Salvatore Grasso

Vincenza Modica

Antonio Pennarella

Olimpia Carlisi

Angelica Ippolito

Sebastiano Colla

Antonella Stefanucci

Roberta Spagnuolo

Antonella Romano

Luciano Zazzera

Lucio De Cicco

Livio Cirillo

Angelo Montella

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