So overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information that the helmer loses the thrust of his arguments.

A number of factors have contributed to the decline of Italian cinema since the late 1970s, but Valerio Jalongo’s “What Do You Know About Me?” is so overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information that the helmer loses the thrust of his arguments. His docu, comprising dozens of interviews and innumerable clips, touches on everything from financing to multiplex construction to U.S. market control, making many valid points without distilling them into a well-organized critique. Italo-specific news items will restrict play to national borders, while an anti-Berlusconi dig severely limits smallscreen chances at home.

Felice Farina is Jalongo’s poster boy for the institutional and cultural problems besetting the industry: Helmer Farina lost control of his half-made pic when his producer went bankrupt, forcing him to scrounge for money to buy the negative and complete the film. This allows Jalongo to discuss exactly when Italian laws changed, forcing producers to rely on 100% local financing. Dino De Laurentiis suggests Hollywood bribed Italo lawmakers, but whatever the truth, many talents emigrated, and the industry became increasingly parochial. Jalongo’s fascinating and depressing subject cries out for further, more focused exploration.

What Do You Know About Me?

Italy

Production

A Cinecitta Luce presentation of a Cinecitta Luce, Ameuropa Intl. production. (International sales: Cinecitta Luce, Rome.) Produced by Luigi Lagrasta. Directed by Valerio Jalongo. Written by Jalongo, Giulio Manfredonia, Felice Farina.

Crew

Camera (color/B&W, HD, Super 16, miniDV-to-HD), Marco Carosi, Alessio Gelsini, Maurizio Tiella; editor, Mirco Garrone; music, Avion Travel. Reviewed at Venice Film Festival (Venice Days), Sept. 8, 2009. Original title: Di me cosa ne sai. Italian, English, French dialogue. Running time: 82 MIN.

With

Felice Farina, Liliana Cavani, Francesco Apolloni, Daniele Luchetti, Sandro Baldoni, Peter Del Monte, Franco Bernini, Daniele Cini, Vittorio De Seta, Wim Wenders, Giuseppe Imineo, Dino De Laurentiis, Mario Monicelli, Martin Donovan, Vincenzo Mollica, Carol Tongue, Jean-Michel Baer, Toby Miller, Luciana Castellina, Fernando Solanas, Ian Christie, Ken Loach, Antonio Sancassani, Paolo Sorrentino, Maurizio Nichetti, Roberta Gisotti, Toby Syfret, Andrea Purgatori, Luigi Ricci, Clemente Mimun.
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