But When Do the Girls Show Up?

Director: Pupi Avati


An important figure in Italian cinema since the 1970s, writer-producer-director Pupi Avati has made horror movies, historical dramas and comedies. Despite their range, his films are highly distinctive and personal, with autobiographical elements unobtrusively woven into the narratives.
The deceitfulness of human nature, the unpredictability of relations between men and women, and a fascination with the mysterious and the fantastic are concerns that define what Italian critics have dubbed the ‘Avati genre’. But When Do the Girls Show Up? is a semi-autobiographical tale about the soaring dramas and bitter rivalries of youth and what happens when boyhood bonds are tested in adult life.
Musicians Gianca (Paolo Briguglia) and Nick (Claudio Santamaria) meet on a train bound for the Umbria Jazz Festival. Though Gianca’s years of musical training contrast sharply with Nick’s untutored talent, the two become friends on their return to Bologna. They form a band, but Nick’s natural talent catapults him into a successful career while Gianca is forced to pursue other avenues. Years later, the men’s friendship is put to the test when Nick returns to Bologna for a concert. The relationship between the two men is complicated by Nick’s involvement with Gianca’s girlfriend, whose own ambiguous attitude sums up the complex web of loyalties, betrayals and other feelings that Avati explores with humour and sensitivity. The film builds to a wonderful climax at Nick’s concert, which brings the three characters together again to face the music as Nick plays a song Gianca wrote years ago in a spirit of friendship. Director Pupi Avati will introduce this film and participate in a post-screening discussion.

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