"" | Photo: Studiocanal

Nanni Moretti has been called many (nice) things, but Woody Allen he ain't. He's taller and rides a Vespa and makes movies about himself. He is an Italian filmmaker, not a wisecracker, who has a problem with decisions. His girlfriend is having a baby. He dreams of making a musical about a pastry cook, but when it comes to it, has screenfright and walks off the set. Essentially, he's wrapped up in himself. This is a film about a man who talks a lot.

After the pastry funk, he and his long-suffering crew attempt a documentary about the post-Berlusconi elections. They rush off here and there to film crowds, usually in the rain, and interview self-important politicians.

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Moretti's style is the diary form. He treats his son like a crawly toy, spends hours cutting out articles from magazines and sticking them together in vast sheets. He discusses everything with anyone, as if time is infinite and work is what other people do. Who, you wonder, is paying for this comfortable, chaotic, non-productive existence?

The film gives a lopsided view of the creative process, celebrating confusion and making no apology for selfishness. If everyone was like Moretti, nothing would ever get done. Except something has - "Aprile". Nanni is impossible, opinionated, contradictory and childish, almost certainly not the real Moretti, but a character in a film about a man making a film.

Reviewed on: 19 Jan 2001
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A documentary that is more about the documentary-maker than its subject.
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Robert Munro ***

Director: Nanni Moretti

Writer: Nanni Moretti

Starring: Nanni Moretti, Silvio Orlando, Silvia Nono, Pietro Moretti

Year: 1998

Runtime: 78 minutes

BBFC: PG - Parental Guidance

Country: Italy


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