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Waiting for the Sun

If being different from the usual Italo product were enough, tyro helmer Ago Panini's "Waiting for the Sun" would deserve high praise. Instead, this low-budget ensembler wears his American indie influences too ostentatiously to claim title to genuine originality.

If being different from the usual Italo product were enough, tyro helmer Ago Panini’s “Waiting for the Sun” would deserve high praise. Instead, this low-budget ensembler set in a dingy hotel reps an interesting but unsatisfying debut for the musicvid/commercials director, who wears his American indie influences too ostentatiously to claim title to genuine originality. Still, the pic’s off-kilter humor and solid perfs, with name thesps playing against type, offer some rewards. Heavy word of mouth will be needed to keep this small release onscreen; offshore Italo fests could extend its shelf life.

It’s 1982, and Santino (Giuseppe Cederna) is the night clerk at a shabby hotel off a nondescript highway. A couple of toughs (Claudio Santamaria, Michele Venitucci) have fun at his expense, exchanging Tarantino-like dialogue while the uptight Santino obsesses over termites. Storylines weave in and out of the guest rooms, from a porn shoot (featuring Vanessa Incontrada) to a distraught husband (Raul Bova) phoning his wife. Latter segment’s seriousness doesn’t fit well with the general quirkiness, occasionally supplemented with inserted found footage and culminating in a “Magnolia”-type climax. Visuals emphasize wee-hours cheerlessness.

Waiting for the Sun

Italy

  • Production: A Mikado release (in Italy) of a LaCasa, Mikado production. Produced by Luca Fanfani, Cecilia Mazza, Francesco Pistorio, Roberto Cicutto, Luigi Musini, Francesco Melzi d'Eril, Alessandro Usai. Executive producers, Alexia Gamba, Cecilia Mazza. Directed by Ago Panini. Screenplay, Panini, Enrico Remmert, Gero Giglio.
  • Crew: Camera (color), Paolo Caimi; editor, Antonio di Peppo; music, Nicola Tescari, Nadeah; production designer, Luca Merlini; costume designer, Roberto Chiocchi. Reviewed at Cinema Quattro Fontane, Rome, Feb. 21, 2009. (In Rome Film Festival -- Special Screenings.) Running time: 97 MIN.
  • With: <b>With:</b> Sergio Albelli, Raul Bova, Giuseppe Cederna, Massimo De Lorenzo, Corrado Fortuna, Gabriel Garko, Claudia Gerini, Vanessa Incontrada, Raiz, Rolando Ravello, Claudio Santamaria, Bebo Storti, Alessandro Tiberi, Thomas Trabacchi, Michele Venitucci.
  • Music By: