Film buffery gets tangled up with love and lust in lightweight romancer with Turin's cinema museum at the center of its triangle. Italo helmer Davide Ferrario has fun with antique footage and exhibits, but there's a lack of urgency or sufficient charm. Pic is too undercooked for international theatrical, but fests seeking Italo sauce may ciao down on this.

Film buffery gets tangled up with love and lust in “After Midnight,” a lightweight romancer with Turin’s cinema museum at the center of its triangle. Italo helmer Davide Ferrario has fun with antique footage and exhibits from the museum, but there’s a lack of urgency or sufficient charm to engage auds. Pic is too undercooked for international theatrical, but fests seeking Italo sauce may ciao down on this.

In obligatory indie style, pic begins with its ending, introducing fast-food waitress Amanda (Francesca Inaudi), car-thief b.f. Angel (Fabio Troiano) and a lovestruck customer, film devotee Martino (Giorgio Pasotti). After Amanda tosses hot cooking fat over her supervisor, she hides out in the Turin museum where Martino works as a night watchman. As Angel keeps the cops at bay, Amanda is gently seduced by the museum’s array of cinematic paraphernalia. Actors are adequate, though Pasotti’s wide-eyed naivete becomes as grating as the invasive and superfluous narration. Use of Lumiere Brothers and Buster Keaton clips for nostalgic effect only underlines the lack of charm in the contempo drama. DV lensing varies from crisp to murky; a transfer to 35mm is promised.

After Midnight

Italy

Production

A Rossofuoco production, in association with Film Commission Torino Piemonte, Lumiq Studios. (International sales: Adriana Chiesa Enterprises, Rome.) Produced by Davide Ferrario. Directed, written by Davide Ferrario.

Crew

Camera (color, HD24P), Dante Cecchin; editor, Claudio Cormio; music, Banda Ionica, Daniele Sepe, Fabio Barovero; production designer, Francesca Bocca; costume designer, Paola Ronco. Reviewed at Berlin Film Festival (Forum), Feb. 7, 2004. Running time: 91 MIN.

With

Giorgio Pasotti, Francesca Inaudi, Fabio Troiano, Francesca Picozza.

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