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.