Allesandro Aronadio's "Ears" at 73rd Venice Film Festival

By Moira Sullivan

The Venice Film Festival which runs from Aug 31 to Sept 10 features films in several sections in addition to the main competition. Biennale College was created in 2012 – a laboratory for advanced training dedicated to the production of low cost films. This year one of the three films chosen for college is "Ears "by Alessandro Aronadio with its world premiere Sept 1.
Allesandro Aronadio
The characters don’t have names. A man, played Daniele Parisi, a doctor of philosophy who is a substitute teacher, wakes up one day with ringing in the ear and his entire day is filled with occurrences surrounding this event. Despite the number of characters, Aronadio keeps them in place and in focus. 

From beginning to end there are images of the heavy influence of Catholicism on Italian daily life. Two nuns (Silvano Sosi and Masaria Collucci) ring the doorbell of his girlfriend where the man has spent the night (Silvia D’Amico) and inadvertently alert the neighbor (Sonia Gessner). The nuns tell the man that a photograph he has taken with his girlfriend reveals that she is not happy, which they claim is visible through the corners of her mouth.

The man visits the county medical clinic and takes a white card, meaning hours of waiting handed to him by the receptionist (Francesca Antonelli) who is texting during the entire operation. But he decides to see a specialist played by (Andrea Purgatori –you have to love his last name) who smokes during the entire consultation and who refers him to a gastroenterologist (Massimo Wertmuller ). He tells the man he is a hermaphrodite and actually pregnant, a joke he has been wanting to play on hypochondriacs for years. After losing money in the ATM he looks up one of his students that owes him money, a rap artist (Re Salvador) who he admonishes to go back to school.

The young musician’s message that life needs simplicity falls on ringing ears. A meeting with his mother played by the brilliant Pamela Villoresi and her Russian boyfriend who reassembles IKEA furniture into artworks and does an engaging street show is counterproductive to his immediate needs. 

Two appointments are on his calendar this day – a meeting with an editor in chief of a magazine who wishes to employ him but is frightened by his accounts of the day’s medical findings (Piera Degli Esposti) and the funeral service at 7pm for his friend Luigi, a service in which the church is covered in plastic, including the coffin due to repairs.

The multiplicity of characters in Ears creates a momentum in the film that leaves you in anticipation for the next event, so successful is the timing of the interactions. Add to this the fact that you can count on some reference to Roman Catholicism in Italian humor. There are references to gender that are not always particularly funny, in this care the specialist that makes a joke about his two gender physiology. The film is shot in black and white and the acting is excellent with a talented pool of actors that are veterans in Italian cinema.

© 2016 - Moira Sullivan - Air Date: 09/07/16
Movie Magazine International