Nunzio works in a paint factory and spends his life pushing with his colleagues a wrecked car which never drives off. Pino, on the contrary, is always traveling: every time he comes back home with a bag full of fresh fish he starts one of his “journeys.”
The guys live together, nevertheless, they communicate very little with the outside and with each other; they speak exclusively Messinese dialect.
Their relationship consists of the repetition of paradoxical dialogues. Nunzio’s rigorous logicality demolishes the daily banalities, and Pino’s abrupt responses annihilate whatever communication.
This particular balance will be undermined by two events: Nunzio’s dismissal and his contemporaneous encounter with Maria, a young cleaner who makes him fall in love instantly.
Additionally, Pino is getting closer to his friend and things seem to get better, nevertheless, everything gets out of control, of course. Nunzio’s love illusion nullifies and even Pino discovers that giving up his “journeys” to devoting himself to Nunzio could even put his life in danger.
Why Pino’s “journeys” cause the mysterious murder of a fish merchant? Why Nunzio is threatened?
Back from an adventure with a prostitute, the friends talk openly and Pino confesses his occupation.
The future is uncertain and only one solace will sustain them: their friendship.
Of course, we didn’t want to realize the film version of the stage drama, which we played under Carlo Cecchi’s direction, one of the most preeminent personalities of the contemporary Italian theatre. Well then, why a movie?
Sometimes, it’s necessary to risk and, artistically, we’d always like to do just what’s necessary, that’s why we decided to transpose our stage drama in a movie… because of necessity. The necessity to discover what theatre and cinema both share and part; that was our most important goal.
The first confrontation came with the thoughtful screenwriting phase, when we started to love and hate the stage text of “Nunzio” at the same time; this conflict allowed us to write a screenplay which differed from the stage drama, nevertheless consistent with its fundamental nature.
On this subject, the advices and the great experience of Giuseppe Tornatore were crucial.
The film pre-production started when the definitive screenplay version was almost ready with a lot of enthusiasm from our producer Francesco Tornatore. Thereafter, we met the director of photography Blasco Giurato, with whom we had a sudden understanding and an extraordinary empathy, then we met the cast.
The casting process was quite easy, because we didn’t have to leaf through the actors portfolios. We knew already the actors, and we esteemed them artistically, since we’ve had previous stage collaborations with most of them.
In our opinion, there’s no difference between screen and stage actors, we consider them basically actors! They’re the kind of actors who are able to connect with their colleagues, who listen and who don’t just pretend to play.
During our meetings with the cast, before discussing together the characters, we reminded them of a L. Jouvet’s quotation: “it’s easy to identify with the character and to represent him the way we could meet him, it’s possible to reproduce the actions, recreating moments of false reality on stage: all this is human, too much human. It’s necessary to get through it…”
Cast & Crew
Directed by: Spiro Scimone, Francesco Sframeli
Written by: Spiro Scimone
Cinematography: Blasco Giurato
Editing: Massimo Quaglia
Production Design: Eleonora Ponzoni
Costume Design: Carolina Olcese
Original Score: Andrea Morricone
Sound Design: Marco Tidu, Vito Martinetti
Main Cast: Francesco Sframeli (Nunzio), Spiro Scimone (Pino), Felice Andreasi (Landlord), Sara Bertelà (Angela (prostitute)), Valerio Binasco (Andrea (bartender)), Francesco Chiara (Factory worker), Tano Cimarosa (Pensioner)
Nominations and Awards
- European Discovery of the Year - Fassbinder Award 2002