Since the early 1990s, when Mario Martone’s psychological noir “L’amore molesto” (Nasty Love) delved into the intriguing underbelly of this Mediterranean metropolis and went to Cannes, a new generation of Neapolitan directors has put the Campania region at the forefront of Italian filmmaking.
The so-called Neapolitan school followed, with well-received, innovative pics by Pappi Corsicato, Stefano Incerti, Antonio Capuano and Antonietta De Lillo, all of whom, along with Martone, shot shorts for the 1997 compilation pic “The Vesuvians.” Though a manifesto of this movement, it failed to do justice to the Vesuvian vibe.
Since then, the mantle of hot Neapolitan helmer has passed to Paolo Sorrentino, whose first work, “One Man Up,” starred Toni Servillo as a coke-addicted lounge singer. Sorrentino’s fourth feature, “Il Divo,” toplining Servillo as Italy’s controversial pol Giulio Andreotti, is among Italy’s most highly praised recent titles.
A SELECTION OF RECENT AND UPCOMING NEAPOLITAN PICS:
- “Noi credevamo” (We Believed): Mario Martone is currently shooting this 19th-century-set epic centered on the revolutionary ideals and turmoil that led to Italy’s unification into a single country. Produced by Rome’s Palomar, Gaul’s Les Films d’Ici and RAI Cinema, pic is being partly shot in Piedmont but will also use Campania’s earthy southern Cilento area as a rustic backdrop.
- “Fortapasc”: The title is a deliberate Italian distortion of “Fort Apache,” the John Ford/John Wayne classic Western, which has become Neapolitan slang to describe Camorra warfare. Entirely shot in Naples, this praised pic helmed by Marco Risi is the true tale of a young idealistic reporter, Giancarlo Siani, assassinated by the mob after he stuck his nose in its affairs in the 1980s.
- Untitled John Turturro “Buena Vista Social Club”-like feature film celebrating the contempo Neapolitan music scene: Italy’s Istituto Luce, Luigi Musini (“Miracle at St. Anna”) and pubcaster RAI are among co-producers, along with the Campania region and local tourism board APT.
- “Gorbaciof”: The misspelling is intentional for this satirical drama about a compulsive gambler — played by Servillo — nicknamed after the former Russian leader. Pic is helmed by Stefano Incerti and produced by Filmalbatros and Teatri Uniti.
- “Lo spazio bianco” (The White Space): About a single mother angsting over her premature newborn amid the chaos of contempo Naples. Based on the eponymous novel by hot Neapolitan author Valeria Parrella, this marks producer Domenico Procacci’s second foray into the city’s fascinating fabric after “Gomorrah.” Helmed by Francesca Comencini, pic’s in post.