Welcome to Lampedusa, a Mediterranean island that is simultaneously impoverished andparadisical. The central character is Grazia (Valeria Golino), a mother of three. Her neighboursthink she is insane, seeing her mood swings from extreme happiness to extreme depression asunhealthy. Is she insane? Or is she simply far more in tune with the natural world than everyoneelse?
The atmosphere conjured by the film is very peculiarly its own. You can almost feel thescorchin… heat of the sun as it bakes the blinding white architecture. There is nothing romanticabout the hand-to-mouth existence most of the inhabitants seem to be living, and yet there is abreath of mystery and the fabulous about even the most mundane activities (such as little kidsscooping up small fish to use as currency). There are echoes of Never on Sunday here,particularly in Golino’s character, but these echoes are filtered through a harsher sense ofreality.
A fine 5.1 soundtrack. The environmental effects kick in from the opening seconds of thefilm, as wind blows through front and rear speakers. The sensitive placement of soundscontinues, and the effects contribute to the sense of heat and dessication on the island, which arethen contrasted with the cool sounds of running water. The music is well handled too, and thereis no distortion on the dialogue.
Wonderful stark contrasts. I was almost blinded by the sunlight. The colours are strong too,and the blacks are solid. No grain issues, but there is some edge enhancement, though it isn’tsevere. The image isn’t perfectly sharp, however, and this is most noticeable in the characters’faces. The aspect ratio is 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen.
Nothing here except trailers for Respiro, The Cuckoo and The ManWithout a Past. There is also a DVD-ROM link to a website for Respiro.
Gorgeously shot, yet with a hard edge of reality, and this speaks to the tone of the filmitself.
Special Features List
- DVD-ROM Link