Winners of a “Digital 2000” contest were each given 50 million lira ($25,000), a digital camera, a professional crew and actors to shoot their proposed short films, which taken together form “the first Italian movie totally shot in digital.” The results, released as an anthology of six stories unrelated in theme, tone or genre, are competent but underwhelming. Cable play may be in the cards for certain individual shorts, though it’s unlikely for compilation as a whole.
Horror entry “Spacious, Bright, Close to Subway” is set in an empty apartment that’s up for sale. Apartment was once the site of a gruesome murder, according to the rumor spread by a middle-aged man to dissuade a woman from buying the home he covets. Once she leaves, however, the tale takes on a life of its own in the man’s mind, now starring the woman who stalks him with an ax through the desolate rooms and elongated and distorted hallways.
In the romantic comedy “Blind Date,” a neophyte burglar sent to case a supposedly empty house, encounters a young woman expecting a blind date. The two exchange nervous, cross-purposed misunderstandings through a haze of burgeoning sexual attraction that soon has them tearing off each other’s clothes.
“The Guest,” a moody tone poem of loneliness and regret, clocks in as the longest, most enigmatic segment: A man entrusts his wife to a paying “guest,” her prostitution apparently their only means of survival . What’s going on upstairs, which remains unseen, psychologically overlays the ordinary summer night’s sights and sounds of the outdoor cafe where the husband waits.
High concept rules the day in “A Second Chance,” wherein a teenager commits suicide to wind up at a heavenly computer station. The dour bureaucrat processing the kid’s forms, not too happy with the extra paperwork self-slaughter necessitates, convinces the teen to give living another shot, with unexpected results.
CGI animation is the whole raison d’etre of “Diana’s Smile,” a whimsical meditation on unrequited cross-species love. When a woman moves into a bug-ridden apartment, she goes on a frenzy of extermination and cleaning. Interrupted midspray by a telephone call, she spares the life of a spider with a smile, causing the arachnid to be smitten.
“A Kind of Appointment,” a gloomy period prison drama, centers on a time machine fueled by an electric chair. A bargain struck between two prisoners leads to twice-lived deprivation and a long-awaited revenge.
Basically, “Six Out of Six” never ventures far beyond a twist-heavy short-form compendium. Only “The Guest” eschews the overtelegraphed “gotcha!” ending, managing to quietly if uneconomically capture a moment in time.
Tech credits are OK, though some juve helmers paint their uncheery visions in rather unimaginative sickly shades of green and brown.