Seventies Italo pop star Franco Battiato takes a stab at helming an autobiographical tale partly set in an idyllic Sicily, but the result feels like an orchestra without a conductor. "Lost Love" attempts to personalize 20 years of social trends -- from the '50s to '60s -- but vignette format fails to find a rhythm and pic's attempts at lyricism fall flat. Mild local biz since opening early June looks to be repeated offshore.

Seventies Italo pop star Franco Battiato takes a stab at helming an autobiographical tale partly set in an idyllic Sicily, but the result feels like an orchestra without a conductor. “Lost Love” attempts to personalize 20 years of social trends — from the ’50s to ’60s — but vignette format fails to find a rhythm and pic’s attempts at lyricism fall flat. Mild local biz since opening early June looks to be repeated offshore.

Nurtured within a strongly matriarchal, working-class household, young Ettore (Luca Vitrano) awakens to the siren call of music and begins piano lessons with the encouragement of the local aristocracy (Gabriele Ferzetti, Rada Rassimov). Cut to the mid-’60s, with Ettore as a young adult (Corrado Fortuna), his discovery of metaphysics, and his move to Milan, where he is unable to choose between his two loves, music and philosophy. Scenes are often too short and episodic to create any lingering emotional residue, and images literally lifted from Fellini’s “Amarcord” simply make the viewer long for the real thing. Pop songs of the period are surprisingly under-utilized, and a clumsy re-creation of the period suffuses the work.

Lost Love

Italy

Production

A Warner Bros. Italia release of a L'Ottava & Sidecar production. Produced by Francesco Cattini. Directed by Franco Battiato.

Crew

Screenplay, Battiato, Manlio Sgalambro. Camera (color), Marco Pontecorvo; editor, Isabelle Proust; production designer, Francesco Frigeri; art direction, Luca Volpati; costume designers, Gabriella Pescucci, Flora Brancatella. Reviewed at Eden Film Center, Rome, June 25, 2003. Running time: 86 MIN.

With

Corrado Fortuna, Donatella Finocchiaro, Anna Maria Gherardi, Lucia Sardo, Ninni Bruschetta, Tiziana Lodato, Manlio Sgalambro, Luca Vitrano, Gabriele Ferzetti, Nicole Grimaudo, Rada Rassimov
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