Pupi Avati and the marriage of convenience
by Camillo De Marco
09/09/2005 - La seconda notte di nozze [trailer] is the final film in competition at this year’s Festival. Pupi Avati has not been present at the Lido since 1996, when his Festival was selected out of competition. He has, however, taken part in the Mostra with six other films, often in competition. Today he is making his come-back after 37 years directing films.
The story of La seconda notte di nozze takes place in 1945, after the Second World War. Italy is devastated. In the ruins of Bologna, the American tanks are still prowling the streets. Nino and his mother Liliana, left widow by her husband, have lost everything. The handsome boy, who dreams of making movies, does his best to survive, by stealing here and cheating there. One day they receive a letter which will send southwards, to Puglia, in order to find Liliana's brother-in-law, Giordano, who has always been in love with her. Performed by the comic actor Antonio Albanese, Giordano is "the most gentle man cinema has ever made", as said the filmmaker. Living with two bad-tempered aunts and in spite of being well-off, he chose to become a bomb disposal expert after he saw a little girl killed by a mine blast ("it made a great lightning", sighs Giordano). After spending years in a mental hospital, everyone believes he is mad, and yet he is in fact a genius.
"The story is based on people's primary needs, needs which are fortunately satisfied today", says Avati. Liliana and Nino are making a trip in the opposite direction. A few years later the massive exodus of young Italian people began as they headed north in order to find work". Besides the historical context, Avati is a making a new tribute to the cinema of the past, considered as a liberation exercise. Avati wants to discover new talents: La seconda notte di nozze is supported by a cast as unusual as it is excellent: the lyrical singer Katia Ricciarelli, who is making her debut as an actress, expresses very well the dignity of a woman who has no longer has anything to lose, the two "comic" actors, Albanese and Neri Marcorè move in a casual way and are very funny, and the two "monsters", Angela Luce and Marisa Merlini play the two obstinate aunts.
La seconda notte di nozze is produced by Antonio Avati for Duea Filmin co-production with Rai Cinema, and is distributed by 01 Distribution (the international sales are handled by RaiTrade). The film is to be released on Italian screens on November, 11th.
(Translated from Italian)