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Waves

Novice feature helmer Francesco Fei's musicvid background imparts an inventive visual style to "Waves," but its tempest in a teapot story can't escape the confines of a problematic script. Aiming to capture the inner-turmoil of a couple whose physical anomalies make them pariahs, pic's monumental error of judgment lies in equating an easily hidden port-wine stain with the kind of trauma normally reserved for the Elephant Man.

With:
With: Anita Caprioli (Francesca), Ignazio Oliva (Luca), Marina Remi (Marina), Filippo Timi (Alex).

Novice feature helmer Francesco Fei’s musicvid background imparts an inventive visual style to “Waves,” but its tempest in a teapot story can’t escape the confines of a problematic script. Aiming to capture the inner-turmoil of a couple whose physical anomalies make them pariahs, pic’s monumental error of judgment lies in equating an easily hidden port-wine stain with the kind of trauma normally reserved for the Elephant Man. Simmering tensions, though well-played, are overblown considering the femme protag’s only mildly disfiguring mark, leaving little understanding of her neuroses and less chance for B.O. success.

Attractive Francesca (Anita Caprioli) is painfully shy and constantly tense thanks to a large dark-red birthmark on her face, although make-up can cover it completely. At the Genoa aquarium, she meets blind Luca (Ignazio Oliva), who feels an immediate attraction to the hesitant, jittery young woman. Their relationship works best in the privacy of his apartment, but intrusions from the outside world resurrect her horror of that facial stain. Fei incorporates flashbacks with dream-states to heighten the edgy feel, but his attempts at forcing auds to question how we look fail to coalesce.

Waves

Italy

Production: An Apnea Film production, in association with Diaviva, Palchetto Stage, Massimo Verdesca, Gian Marco Elia, Simon Puccini, Sunrise in collaboration with Interactive Group, Fonovideosync, Anteprima Video, Effetti Digitali Italiani. (International sales: Jeff Nuyts, Intramovies, Rome.) Produced by Giulia Achilli, Matteo Meglioli. Executive producer, Stefania Grimaldi. Directed by Francesco Fei. Screenplay, Fei, Pierre Nosari, Federica Masin.

Crew: Camera (color, HD-to-35mm), Matteo De Martini; editor, Claudio Bonafede; production designers, Alessio Baskakis, Luigi Maresca; costume designers, Gaya Mugnai, Valentina Poggi. Reviewed at Rotterdam Film Festival (competing), Jan. 29, 2005. Original title: Onde. Running time: 94 MIN.

With: With: Anita Caprioli (Francesca), Ignazio Oliva (Luca), Marina Remi (Marina), Filippo Timi (Alex).

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