Jump to content



Sign up for a free account to remove the pop-up ads

Signing up for an account is fast and free. As a member you can join in the conversation, enter contests and remove the pop-up ads that guests get. Click here to create your free account.

Photo
- - - - -

'The Best of Youth' (Italy) 2005


This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.
11 replies to this topic

#1 of 12 OFFLINE   Edwin Pereyra

Edwin Pereyra

    Producer



  • 3,501 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 26 1998

Posted March 13 2006 - 07:36 AM

'The Best of Youth' (Italy) 2005

Marco Tullio Giordana’s The Best of Youth is an epic drama that spans almost 40 years into the lives of two brothers and their immediate family. The two are the film’s centerpiece – the free-spirited Nicola (Luigi Lo Cascio) who later settles down and becomes a successful psychiatrist and the introverted Matteo (Alessio Boni), an idealist who later finds himself joining the Italian police force in the hopes of making a difference by righting society’s wrongs.

The narrative intertwines the lives of these two brothers along with the socio-political and historical backdrop of Italy, from the Florence flood in the fall of 1966, the state of Italy’s asylums and the politically charged student demonstrations of the 1970’s to the Mafia activities of the 1980’s that lead to the murder of Sicilian judge Giovanni Falcone. Some regard this 40-year span as the defining moment of post World War II Italy. But any symbolism Giordana tries to convey to the film’s underlying narrative on the lives of the two brothers is not readily apparent on me due to my unfamiliarity with the history of modern Italy. Still, the historical events are presented only in the periphery and the story is really more about the lives of Nicola and Matteo, and to some degree their two sisters and their parents.

The other characters these two meet in later years will provide the challenges and shape their ideology for the rest of their lives. These would include Giorgia (Jasmine Trinca) a mental health patient, Giulia (Sonia Bergamasco) a Red Brigade sympathizer, and Mirella (Maya Sansa) a photojournalist.

Never has a six-hour film seemed so short. Giordana does an incredible job of seamlessly weaving through the historical references that it never becomes the story nor is it forced on the audience. Those unfamiliar with Italy’s modern history will get some aspects of these but the film’s core is richly textured in family dynamics, idealism in the absence of self-righteousness, openness and unselfish love and giving. I’ll credit this to a beautifully crafted screenplay that provide unexpected turns but never judges the characters for the choices they make. The leads and supporting cast each evoke their respective character’s complexity with relative ease and simplicity.

The Best Of Youth is by far the best foreign language film I’ve seen thus far released in 2005. It will be a shame to miss it if only because of its 6-hour running time. Let not its length be an impediment as it actually becomes its virtue.

Youth won top honors at the David di Donatello Awards, Italy’s equivalent of the Oscars, taking Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Producer, Best Editing and Best Sound.

It rates Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image (out of four).

~Edwin
DVD Unwind: Paradise Now (Coming) • King Kong - - • KeaneThe Squid And The WhaleA History Of ViolenceHarry Potter and the Goblet of FireThe Best Of Youth (Italy) • Good Night And Good LuckHowl's Moving CastleWalk The Line - - • ZathuraNorth Country

#2 of 12 OFFLINE   Holadem

Holadem

    Lead Actor



  • 8,972 posts
  • Join Date: Nov 04 2000

Posted March 13 2006 - 07:58 AM

It played near me in 2 x 3 hours sessions last year. I wasn't willing to sit through that in the theater, but the DVD (netlfix) should be here in a week or so, looking forward to it.

Sounds a lot like Sunshine no? (never seen that either).

--
H

#3 of 12 OFFLINE   Edwin Pereyra

Edwin Pereyra

    Producer



  • 3,501 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 26 1998

Posted March 13 2006 - 08:09 AM

Holadem, I skipped Sunshine because of its mixed reviews so, unfortunately, I cannot compare. I might have to give that one though a try one of these days.

~Edwin
DVD Unwind: Paradise Now (Coming) • King Kong - - • KeaneThe Squid And The WhaleA History Of ViolenceHarry Potter and the Goblet of FireThe Best Of Youth (Italy) • Good Night And Good LuckHowl's Moving CastleWalk The Line - - • ZathuraNorth Country

#4 of 12 OFFLINE   Brook K

Brook K

    Lead Actor



  • 9,468 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 22 2000

Posted March 13 2006 - 08:12 AM

Having watched the 1st half yesterday, I echo Edwin's erudite endorsement emphatically. It's a movie even George might like. Posted Image

I haven't seen Sunshine either, but Best of Youth would make an interesting companion with Bertolucci's 1900.
2002 Sight & Sound Challenge: 321  Last Watched: L'enfance Nue
Last 8 Films Watched: In the Loop - A- / It Might Get Loud - B+ / What Just Happened? - B / Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs - C- / Drums Along the Mohawk - A- / Punisher War Zone - B+ / Moon - C+ / A Man For All Seasons - B+

#5 of 12 OFFLINE   Rich Malloy

Rich Malloy

    Producer



  • 3,999 posts
  • Join Date: Apr 09 2000

Posted March 13 2006 - 08:37 AM

Yes, this is a fascinating, endearing, totally engaging movie (actually Italian television miniseries). And while it seems that it might have all the hallmarks of those cheesy, horrible "historical miniseries" that we get on network TV in the states that weaves a family or collection of characters thru the Big Historical Events of the era in question ("The 60s" anyone? no? don't blame ya!), it completely transcends that Gumpish template. It's as wonderful as any theatrical film I've seen this year, and hard to believe it's "only" a TV production (though so were "Fannie and Alexander", "Berlin Alexanderplatz", and other great works of "the cinema").

The epic length makes this perfect for DVD. It's divided into two halves on the discs, with the break occurring after a wedding ceremony that reunites many of the characters. It's a good break point to divide up your viewing. I'd recommend watching it in two 3 hour chunks corresponding to the disc break if you can (or watch the whole thing!). Also,there's nothing like the obvious "breakaway to commercials" moments like one has to deal with in conventional made-for-TV fare. And the quality of the DVD (by Sony Pictures Classics?) is superb though lacking in any meaningful special features.

I can't quite remember my 10 favorites list from last year, but I think "The Best of Youth" squeezed in at no. 9 or 10. Suffice to say, definitely recommended!
"Only one is a wanderer;
Two together are always going somewhere."

#6 of 12 OFFLINE   andrew markworthy

andrew markworthy

    Producer



  • 4,766 posts
  • Join Date: Sep 30 1999

Posted March 13 2006 - 08:38 AM

A better comparison would probably be Heimat.

#7 of 12 OFFLINE   Brook K

Brook K

    Lead Actor



  • 9,468 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 22 2000

Posted March 13 2006 - 10:27 AM

The DVD is from Miramax. Thankfully Harvey was too busy dealing with other matters to chop it up. Posted Image

I guess the TV origins explains why this is presented in 2.0 rather than 5.1...not that the soundtrack really needs it or anything.

Haven't seen Heimat Andrew, my thinking was that 1900's early 20th century Italian setting along with the communist elements and worker unrest included in both storylines would make for a century spanning look at those elements of Italian history.
2002 Sight & Sound Challenge: 321  Last Watched: L'enfance Nue
Last 8 Films Watched: In the Loop - A- / It Might Get Loud - B+ / What Just Happened? - B / Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs - C- / Drums Along the Mohawk - A- / Punisher War Zone - B+ / Moon - C+ / A Man For All Seasons - B+

#8 of 12 OFFLINE   Joel C

Joel C

    Screenwriter



  • 1,635 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 23 1999

Posted March 13 2006 - 10:44 AM

From what I read, it was produced for TV but ended up premiering at a film festival and was so well-received, it became a theatrical movie instead.
Joel
woemcats@hotmail.com
"Why I laugh?"

#9 of 12 OFFLINE   Edwin Pereyra

Edwin Pereyra

    Producer



  • 3,501 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 26 1998

Posted March 13 2006 - 11:02 AM

I didn't pay attention to the soundtrack but it looks like the Hong Kong release got the better audio treatment:

http://www.viipillar....u/feature2.htm

Quote:
From what I read, it was produced for TV but ended up premiering at a film festival and was so well-received, it became a theatrical movie instead.

I've read the same and I was wondering if it was ever released on Italian TV. In a post I read elsewhere it said that it aired in four 90 minute segments on Italian TV. Maybe someone here can actually verify this. My impression is that it went directly to a theatrical release and that the intended TV airing was scrapped.

Still, the anamorphic widescreen presentation was very good.

~Edwin
DVD Unwind: Paradise Now (Coming) • King Kong - - • KeaneThe Squid And The WhaleA History Of ViolenceHarry Potter and the Goblet of FireThe Best Of Youth (Italy) • Good Night And Good LuckHowl's Moving CastleWalk The Line - - • ZathuraNorth Country

#10 of 12 OFFLINE   Edwin Pereyra

Edwin Pereyra

    Producer



  • 3,501 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 26 1998

Posted March 13 2006 - 04:45 PM

Quote:
Thankfully Harvey was too busy dealing with other matters to chop it up.

Posted Image Ain't that the truth.

~Edwin
DVD Unwind: Paradise Now (Coming) • King Kong - - • KeaneThe Squid And The WhaleA History Of ViolenceHarry Potter and the Goblet of FireThe Best Of Youth (Italy) • Good Night And Good LuckHowl's Moving CastleWalk The Line - - • ZathuraNorth Country

#11 of 12 OFFLINE   andrew markworthy

andrew markworthy

    Producer



  • 4,766 posts
  • Join Date: Sep 30 1999

Posted March 13 2006 - 06:56 PM

Quote:
Haven't seen Heimat Andrew,


Heimat is well worth seeing. It follows a group of families living in the same German village from the 1920s onwards. The original series finished in the 1960s. There were then two further series - the second concentrated on the 1960s through to the 90s and the last one brought things up to date. Praise for the first series was universal. If you ever want to see how ordinary, non-sadistic and decent Germans came to accept Naziism, this is the series to watch. The last two series were IMHO less satisfactory (I think they were too self-indulgent possibly because they lacked the historical sweep of the first series and so concentrated more on details), but a lot of the critics think the standard was just as high throughout.

#12 of 12 OFFLINE   Oliver K

Oliver K

    Auditioning



  • 8 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 12 2006

Posted March 13 2006 - 08:53 PM

I've read the same and I was wondering if it was ever released on Italian TV. In a post I read elsewhere it said that it aired in four 90 minute segments on Italian TV. Maybe someone here can actually verify this. My impression is that it went directly to a theatrical release and that the intended TV airing was scrapped.

Hello there. This is my first post on HTF, so forgive me if this reply looks a bit confusing because it misses the 'Quote' thing.

'La meglio gioventú'/'The best of youth' was conceived as a mini-series and actually expanded into two feature-length episodes while still in the writing process. The series as it stands was aired on Italian television, but got released theatrically in Italy and abroad because of considerable film festival success outside of Italy. One of those showings was at the Rotterdam International Film Festival in The Netherlands - the series was then released as a two-part cinema feature. 'The best of youth' has been a huge success over here and played in one Amsterdam arthouse cinema for over a year straight. Bizarrely, it was shown on late night public television here in four parts, because the broadcasters deemed it too lengthy and complicated for PBS viewers. The irony...
The Dutch/Belgian dvd has a great interview with the director and leading players. Are there any significant extras on the Miramax disc?





Forum Nav Content I Follow