Casanova and Armageddon at the Temporary Cinema of Palazzo della Corgna
“The return of Casanova” by Gabriele Salvatores is the first-run novelty proposed over the weekend at the Temporary Cinema in Palazzo della Corgna in Castiglione del Lago. But from Friday 31 March to Sunday 2 April Lagodarte Impresa Sociale, which manages the temporary cinema waiting to inaugurate the Nuovo Cinema Caporali, also offers the replica of “Armageddon time” by James Gray, with Anne Hathaway, Anthony Hopkins, Jeremy Strong, Banks Repeta and Jaylin Webb (114 min., USA-Brazil 2022, Universal), a drama about friendship, growing up, privilege, inequality and the racism.
«A film with a suspended atmosphere, full of a painful grace given by Servillo’s intense and naked performance»: “The return of Casanova” by Gabriele Salvatores, with Toni Servillo, Fabrizio Bentivoglio, Sara Serraiocco, Natalino Balasso and Alessandro Besentini (dramatic, 95 min. Italy 2023, 01 Distribution) is the story of a director, Leo Bernardi, played by Toni Servillo, who cannot to complete his latest film on Giacomo Casanova, about to participate in competition at the Venice Film Festival. His editor Gianni tries to get him out of the impasse and an incipient depression, while Leo is consumed between two feelings that seem unsuitable to his 63 years: the competitiveness with a young director, Lorenzo Marino, acclaimed by the critics and also in predicated for the Venetian competition, and his love for Silvia, a strong-willed and independent peasant girl, much younger than him: Leo stalls, procrastinates, is nervous and distracted, agitated by dreams and visions, dusty like the Casanova he tells, to whom everything appears “senseless and repugnant”, starting with the inexorable passage of his time of life.
With “The Return of Casanova”, loosely based on the novel of the same name by Arthur Schnitzler (the same author of “Double Dream” from which Stanley Kubrick drew his latest film “Eyes Wide Shut”), Gabriele Salvatores is confronted both with the inevitable passing of time, the theme of his “film-in-film-in-film” (there are countless Chinese technological boxes in which Bernardi’s work is caged, which is in colour, while the director’s life wearily drags on in black and white), than with a gigantic cinematographic ghost, the Federico Fellini of “8 ½” and “Il Casanova”. This suspended atmosphere, like a painting by Magritte, is the strength of “The Return of Casanova”, together with the intense and naked interpretation of Toni Servillo, very fragile behind the mask of the great author and man of the world, elusive and inadequate in front of the violence of the attraction he feels towards Silvia, another ghost, this time of Leopardi’s youth. Fabrizio Bentivoglio, especially in the context of Salvatores’ filmography, is an inspired casting: a beautiful ex who has faded with time, but whose past irresistibility is well imprinted in our collective imagination. If Casanova wanders around the Venetian lagoons that have witnessed his glory, Leo Bernardi moves in an unrecognizable Milan, populated by skyscrapers and ambitious bloggers, torn between the professional need to decide and the personal one to desire. Salvatores tells it in a cerebral but never icy way, like a man whose “central system” is quietly going haywire: one who, as Schnitzler’s prose says, “is sought and cannot be found”, loses pieces (and teeth) and mirrors himself in his own loneliness, without confiding in anyone and without telling Silvia what he really feels, with the fear that she will only see him as “an old man: since she has” so much life ahead of her and all the time to fall in love again” , while he has nothing (any more) in his hands. But “The Return of Casanova” is also a reflection on cinema and its impermanence “if there isn’t an audience who wants to see it”, as well as on directors who don’t know how to live outside the set, on gossipy journalists, on editors who never celebrated and instead co-authors of the films of their directors. A film full of painful grace to which Servillo abandons himself without resistance, with a “que sera sera” that belongs to Alfred Hitchcock more than to Livingston & Evans or Doris Day.
“Armageddon time” is scheduled for Saturday 1 April at 18:30 and Sunday 2 April at 21:15; “The return of Casanova” will be screened on Friday 31 March at 6.30pm and 9.15pm, Saturday 1st April at 9.15pm and Sunday 2 April at 6.30pm. Single entry a 5 € with the possibility of buying directly at the box office or in presale on www.liveticket.it/