Lunedì, 24 Settembre 2018
ROME

Caesar Must Die gets Italy's Oscar nod

English
© ANSA

(ANSA) - Rome, September 26 - 'Cesare Deve Morire' (Caesar
Must Die), an unusual take on Shakespeare's Julius Caesar acted
by real mobsters in a notorious Rome high-security prison, has
been picked as Italy's candidate for the 2013 best foreign film
Oscar.
The movie, by the veteran Italian filmmaking brothers Paolo
and Vittorio Taviani, is a stark but sometimes humorous study of
mafiosi, some of them serving life for multiple murder, getting
to grips with the Bard.
'We're happy, and it's only the start of a beautiful
journey,' the octogenarian directors told reporters after the
announcement.
'There's a long way to go,' they said as they boarded a
flight to the New York Film Festival.
In a 60-year career the Tavianis, aged 81 and 82, have
gained critical acclaim with films like Padrone Padrone (Father
And Master), which won the Palme d'Or at Cannes in 1977, La
Notte di San Lorenzo (The Night of The Shooting Stars), which
claimed second prize at Cannes in 1982, Kaos (1984), Good
Morning Babylon (1987) and Fiorile (1993).
The Tavianis beat out nine other candidates on the short
list, including Cannes Jury Prize winner Reality by Matteo
Garrone and euthanasia drama Bella Addormentata (Sleeping
Beauty) by veteran auteur Marco Bellocchio, which was
rapturously received by Italian critics in Venice but snubbed by
the jury that saw the right-to-die polemic as possessing a
provincial rather than universal message.
In Cesare Deve Morire, the Tavianis coaxed strong
performances from the inmates according to their unorthodox
style in which the brothers direct alternate scenes.
The film has got a generally favourable critical reception,
although it has not been widely reviewed.
Screen International critic Lee Marshall said 'what gives
Caesar Must Die real heft and resonance is the way the directors
use the Shakespearian text, the prison setting, and the
rehearsal process to blur the boundaries between drama and
reality and to turn the Bard's political tragedy into a film
that makes resonant points about brotherhood, longing, regret
and the pain of incarceration'.
Slant magazine's Chris Adam said: 'the film has an unerring
interest in faces, skin and bodies, from the hardened pudginess
of Giovanni Arcuri, as Caesar, to the melancholic, scruffy, yet
alert visage of Salvatore Striano, as Brutus.
'In Striano's performance especially, the Tavianis strike at
the very heart of the cathartic, possessing passion that art and
artifice can stir in even the most forgotten and regretful of
citizens'.
Time Out London's Chris Cabin said: 'The film is entirely
characteristic of the Tavianis in that it is a witty cautionary
tale of failed idealism, revolutionary communal action, endless
cyclical Utopianism and the value and concomitant cost of a
commitment to art. As one inmate confides upon returning to his
routine existence after the exhilaration of a rapturously
received performance, 'Ever since I discovered art, this cell
has truly become a prison'.
'Even at this stage in their lives and careers, the Tavianis
remain deeply aware of such contradictions and paradoxes, and
it's this that makes 'Caesar Must Die' so humane, intelligent
and affecting'.
Over the years, a total of 27 Italian films have been
officially nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film, second
only to France.
With 13 winners, Italy has taken home the award more than
any other country, though it has not won it since 1999, when
Roberto Benigni's La Vita E' Bella (Life Is Beautiful) won the
prize.
The last time an Italian film was selected as a finalist
was in 2005, when La bestia nel cuore (The Beast in the Heart)
by Cristina Comencini was picked. Tsotsi by South Africa's Gavin
Hood won.
Countries are required to submit their candidates by October
1 and the Oscar ceremony is scheduled for February 24.
The Tavianis will be up against stiff competition.
In Europe alone, candidates include: from Austria, Michael
Haneke's Amour, which won the Palme d'Or this year; from
Belgium, A perdre la raison by Joachim Lafosse; from
Bosnia-Herzegovina, Children of Sarajevo by Aida Begic;
from Denmark, A Royal Affair di Nikolaj Arcel; from France, the
crowd-pleasing Intouchables by Olivier Nakache; from Germany,
Barbara by Christian Petzold, which won the Silver Bear in
Berlin); from Norway, Kon-Tiki by Espen Sandberg and Joachim
Rnning; from Poland, 80 Million by Waldemar Krzystek; from
Portugal, Sangue do meu Sangue by Joo Canijo; from Romania,
Beyond the Hills by Cristian Mungiu, which won screenplay and
best actress awards at Cannes; from Sweden, The Hypnotist by
Lasse Hallstroem; and from Switzerland, Sister by Ursula Meier.
Spain is set to decide Thursday from a short list of three:
Grupo 7; El artista y la modelo and Blancanieves.
Iran, which won the award last year with A Separation, is
boycotting the Oscars because of the recent US-made film mocking
the Prophet Mohammed.
Chile has put forward No by Pablo Larrain, starring Gael
Garcia Bernal, which depicts the 1988 referendum that decided
whether former dictator Augusto Pinochet would continue in
office or not.

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