Just above the heel of Italy is a spur of land called the Gargano, where the guardians of popular song featured in docu-fantasy "Craj -- Tomorrow" pass on their buoyant folk music to new generations caught up in the earthy rhythms. Debuting helmer Davide Marengo crafts an exuberant odyssey across the southern province of Puglia that pays tribute to these performers.

Just above the heel of Italy is a spur of land called the Gargano, where the guardians of popular song featured in docu-fantasy “Craj — Tomorrow” pass on their buoyant folk music to new generations caught up in the earthy rhythms. Via a mixture of fiction, concert footage and docu, debuting helmer Davide Marengo crafts an exuberant odyssey across the southern province of Puglia that pays tribute to these performers. A skillful combination of DV, super-8 and 16mm, Marengo’s infectiously joyful pic will fit perfectly into ethnographic and music-in-film fests.

Weaving together the musical traditions are fictional guides Prince Floridippio (Giovanni Lindo Ferretti) and his loquacious servant Bimbascione (Teresa De Sio), who travel to different towns where they encounter spry older men belting out their songs in dialect (“craj” means “tomorrow” in Pugliese). Much of the pic is taken from boisterous, dance-along concert footage, interspersed with the men’s tales of hardship in the poor south, where singing and dancing the tarantella were the sole sources of recreation. Guided journey can be a bit precious, but music is terrific, and tech credits, especially sound, are first-rate.

Craj -- Tomorrow

Italy

Production

A Pablo release (in Italy) of a La Fabbrichetta, Man'e production, in collaboration with CORE, Komart. Produced by Gianluca Arcopinto, Roberto Caracuta. Directed by Davide Marengo. Screenplay, Teresa De Sio, Marengo, Paola Papa, based on the musical "Craj" by De Sio in collaboration with Giovanni Lindo Ferretti.

Crew

Camera (color, mini-DV/16mm/Super8-to-35mm), Vittorio Omodei Zorini; editors, Dario Baldi, Marengo, in collaboration with Thomas Torelli; music, De Sio, Ferretti; production designer, Michele Mariano. Reviewed at Venice Film Festival (Venice Days -- Special Closing Event), Sept. 8, 2005. Running time: 84 MINUTES

With

Teresa De Sio, Giovanni Lindo Ferretti, Uccio Aloisi, Matteo Salvatore, Antonio Piccininno, Antonio Maccarone.
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