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aka "Dear Diary"
Directed by Nanni Moretti
Italy, 1994


This film, both lighthearted and serious, owes most of its enjoyment to Nanni Moretti (who also stars in this film) and his quirky perspective in life.

The film builds its concept around a "diary" which Moretti addresses from time to time: "Dear Diary..." The film is broken up into three distinct parts.

The first "act" follows Moretti as he spends his summer in Rome. With nothing to do, he cruises on his motorino through the streets of Rome, looking at the facades of different houses, all quite colorful and beautiful. He says, "I have often thought I would love to make a movie just of houses", which is exactly what he is doing. He also shares randomly with a stopped driver at a stoplight that he has always felt "for the minority, rather than the majority". He also shares with us his desire to dance "like Jennifer Beals in Flashdance". Later, in a unironic and totally plausible way, he actually runs into Jennifer Beals and shares his desire with her. Naturally, she and her friend think he is "a little off." The act ends with a looong scene in which we follow his motorino as he goes to visit the site where Pasolini was murdered.

In the second story, he goes off to the islands to visit a friend and "hopefully, get some work done" on his next film. His friend, who states initially that he never watches TV, becomes distracted by a soap opera "Beautiful" (The Bold and the Beautiful) and begins watching television like there's no tomorrow. His soap opera obsession becomes so great that while visiting one of the islands, he forces Moretti to ask a group of American tourists about the latest developments in the show. Each island that the two visit has its own weird and quirky traits. The funniest island is one in which every couple has only one child. As a result, the parents are all essentially obsessed with and controlled by their child.

In the final story, Nanni Moretti is searching for a cure for a terrible itching that he has on his legs. Medical expert after medical expert is unable to help him. Although he finally is cured in the end, he concludes that those in the medical profession "know how to speak, but they don't know how to listen."

What I think about it

Many of the scenes are touching, many are funny, and a few are moving. A few of my friends have been turned off of this film, calling it too "intellectual". That may be partially true; the only real emotion that Moretti shows throughout the film might be righteous anger, which is not really the most healthy of emotions.Nonetheless, it is a powerful film. The beautiful cinematography and musical selections make this a fun film to watch.

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