×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Chimera

The brash irreverence, earthy sexuality and cheeky humor of his first films "Libera" and "Black Holes" tagged Pappi Corsicato as a distinctive voice among the Italian filmmakers who emerged in the '90s. Six years after his last feature, the Neapolitan writer-director enters more-ambitious territory with "Chimera."

With:
Emma - Iaia Forte Sal/Tore - Tommaso Ragno Tomas - Tomas Arana Desire - Marit Nissen Patti Poni - Cristina Donadio Toni - Fabio Sartor Max - Branko Tesanovic Entrepreneur - Franco Nero Dora - Angelica Ippolito

The brash irreverence, earthy sexuality and cheeky humor of his first films “Libera” and “Black Holes” tagged Pappi Corsicato as a distinctive voice among the Italian filmmakers who emerged in the ’90s. Six years after his last feature, the Neapolitan writer-director enters more-ambitious territory with “Chimera.” Notable for its sharp visuals and meticulously composed retro-chic look, this stylized melodrama about love, sex and coupledom, plus the role of dreams, illusion and fantasy in keeping romantic chemistry alive, remains more aesthetically impressive than emotionally involving but should surface on festival slates.

Structured as a puzzlelike story within a story, in which fantasy and reality collide, the film unfolds as a postcoital bedtime tale told by louche illusionist Tomas (Tomas Arana) to his leggy mate Desire (Marit Nissen). It concerns Emma (regular Corsicato lead Iaia Forte) and Sal (Tommaso Ragno), who attempt to re-ignite their passion by assuming the identities of strangers.

Recounted in deliberately confusing, non-chronological sequence, these scenarios range from porn riffs — Emma saves Sal from financial ruin by giving herself to a lusty businessman (Franco Nero) — to hoary melodrama; tied to train tracks as punishment for her extramarital misdeeds, Emma is rescued by her husband disguised as mystery man Tore.

Gradually, Tomas is revealed to be the puppeteer pulling the strings that control Emma and Sal’s destiny.

Showing more than a hint of irony in their respective roles of femme fatale and smoldering Latin lover, Forte and Ragno adopt a non-naturalistic acting style and soap-operatic intensity that enhances the sense of their characters playing out a fictional drama. Perhaps as a result of this, Emma and Sal/Tore remain remote, unengaging figures.

The pic’s studied artificiality yields greater rewards in the ’70s-style decor and clever use of vibrant color by art directors Corsicato and Luigi Romano. The futuristic-kitsch architectural environments and inventive use of odd-looking vegetation create a kind of unreal sentimental dreamscape.

Eclectic soundtrack also underlines the synthetic aspect, with music ranging from tinkly cocktail-hour tunes to cheesy porn-film Muzak. Ultimately, however, “Chimera” lacks the fresh sassiness of Corsicato’s earlier work — more like a cool exercise in style than a considered exploration of the universe of love.

Chimera

Italy

Production: A Mikado release of a Hator Film production, in association with Mediatrade, Telepiu. Produced by Pappi Corsicato. Directed by Pappi Corsicato. Screenplay, Corsicato, Ivan Cotroneo.

Crew: Camera (color), Cesare Accetta; editor, Fabio Nunziata; art directors, Corsicato, Luigi Romano; costume designers, Corsicato, Germana Melodia; sound (Dolby Digital), Emanuele Cecere; assistant directors, Valia Santella, Lillo Iacolino. Reviewed at Alcazar Cinema, Rome, April 7, 2001. Running time: 83 MIN.

With: Emma - Iaia Forte Sal/Tore - Tommaso Ragno Tomas - Tomas Arana Desire - Marit Nissen Patti Poni - Cristina Donadio Toni - Fabio Sartor Max - Branko Tesanovic Entrepreneur - Franco Nero Dora - Angelica Ippolito

More Film

  • Dua LipaVariety Hitmakers Brunch, Portraits, Los

    'Alita: Battle Angel' to Feature New Song by Dua Lipa

    Robert Rodriguez’s “Alita: Battle Angel” will feature a new song by Dua Lipa. “Swan Song,” co-written by Justin Tranter, Kennedi Lykken, Mattias Larsson, Robin Fredriksson and Tom Holkenborg (aka Junkie XL), in addition to Dua Lipa, will drop ahead of the film’s U.S. opening on Feb. 14. The Twentieth Century Fox action-adventure movie was produced by James Cameron and Jon Landau [...]

  • Les Arcs Festival Unveil Prizes For

    'System Crasher,' 'White on White' Win Work-In-Progress Awards at Les Arcs

    Nora Fingscheidt’s “System Crasher” and Theo Court’s “White on White” won the top prizes at Les Arcs Film Festival’s Work-in-Progress session. Both titles were among the 18 films in post-production pitched during the 10th edition of the Work-in-Progress showcase which is spearheaded by Frederic Boyer, the artistic director of Les Arcs and Tribeca festivals. “System [...]

  • Actress Shirley MacLaine poses at the

    Shirley MacLaine Selected for AARP Career Achievement Award

    Shirley MacLaine has been selected as the recipient of the AARP’s 2018 Movies for Grownups Career Achievement Award. MacLaine will be honored at the 18th annual Movies for Grownups Awards ceremony on Feb. 4 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. MacLaine has credits on more than 50 feature films, won a best [...]

  • 'Where'd You Go, Bernadette' Trailer: Cate

    Cate Blanchett Disappears in 'Where’d You Go, Bernadette' First Trailer

    Cate Blanchett goes missing in the first trailer for Richard Linklater’s latest film, “Where’d You Go, Bernadette.” Based on Maria Semple’s 2012 novel, “Where’d You Go, Bernadette” follows agoraphobic architect Bernadette Fox (Blanchett), who disappears just before a family trip to Antarctica. “Something unexpected has come up,” Blanchett’s character says on the phone. “It has much [...]

  • Rachel Weisz and Olivia Colman in

    'The Favourite' Leads London Critics' Circle Nominations

    Yorgos Lanthimos’ dark historical comedy “The Favourite” lived up to its title with the London Film Critics’ Circle on Tuesday, nabbing 10 awards nominations from the group – twice as many as its nearest rivals. Alfonso Cuarón’s “Roma,” Lynne Ramsay’s “You Were Never Really Here,” Rupert Everett’s “The Happy Prince” and Pawel Pawlikowski’s European Film [...]

  • Picture Tree Intl. Rolls Out Pre-Sales

    Berlin: Picture Tree Intl. Rolls Out Pre-Sales on B.O. Hit ‘100 Things’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    MADRID — In the long run-up to February’s Berlin Festival, Picture Tree Intl. has rolled out multiple pre-sales on “100 Things,” which Warner Bros. Pictures bowed in Germany on Dec. 6 to a robust first eight-day €2.7 million ($3.07 million). “100 Things” will receive a market screening at the Berlinale’s European Film Market. The third [...]

  • Mid 90s

    Jonah Hill's 'mid90s,' Pauline Kael Documentary to Screen in Berlin's Panorama Section

    Jonah Hill’s directorial debut, “mid90s,” about a 13-year-old skateboarder’s coming of age, and a documentary on influential film critic Pauline Kael are among the works that will screen in the Panorama section of the upcoming Berlin Film Festival. Films starring Tilda Swinton and Jamie Bell and titles from countries including Israel, Brazil and Japan were [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content