The Travelling Salesman

The Travelling Salesman


Reviewed by: Keith Hennessey Brown

Travelling salesman Michele has it all - a loving wife, two young children and a nice home filled with consumer durables. But his long hours on the road are getting to him. He worries that his children are going to be the victims of a terrible accident and starts to believe that someone is after him. Eventually Michele snaps...

The Travelling Salesman is David Lynch directing Arthur Miller. It's the sort of film that gets called hypnotic and oneric in Festspeak and pretentious wank in anyone else's language.

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Admittedly it's not all bad. There are unquestionably some stunning black and white images here, while the atmospheric soundtrack suggests that Franco Maurina could well be/come Italy's answer to Angelo Badalamenti. (Is Badalamenti the question?)

But the story is slight and obvious and could reasonably have been told in a fraction of the time. The slow pacing isn't helped when sequences like the one that opens the film - a roadway, winding on and on and on - go on for so long they almost become self-parodies. Hell, check out the cover of Black Flag's Family Man album and you basically get The Travelling Salesman in a single image. All the visual imagination in the world - and filmmakers Francesco Dal Bosco and Daniele Costantini clearly have a lot; maybe even too much - cannot compensate for this.

There might be a great short film in here, but many are likely to walk out of The Travelling Salesman before he and his feature reach their destination.

Reviewed on: 16 Aug 2001
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This weird Italian effort takes far too long to reach its destination.

Director: Francesco Dal Bosco

Writer: Francesco Dal Bosco, Daniele Costantini

Starring: Claudio Bigagli, Maddalena Crippa, Giovanni Visentin, Carlo Croccolo, Martina de Salve, Valentina Emeri, Katia Pietrobelli, Keke Vannoli, Alessandro Zigrossi

Year: 1999

Runtime: 97 minutes

Country: Italy


EIFF 2001

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