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L’Amore Molesto

Mario Martone

Director Mario Martone’s intriguing thriller fought off strong opposition to be the only Italian film in competition at Cannes last year. L’Amore Molesto tells of Della (Anna Bonaiuto), a young woman who returns to Naples to investigate the strange circumstances behind her mother’s death. The official verdict is suicide, but the bizarre circumstances in which the 70-year-old’s corpse is foundolying on a nearby beach wearing only a stylish braocasts doubts in Della’s mind. While Della unravels her mother’s life, Martone unravels an ambiguous relationship between mother and daughter. Drawing on his ten years in experimental theatre, Martone develops the relationship through sepia-toned flashbacks that help Della to reinterpret the events of her childhood as a key to the present.
Against the backdrop of a rain-drenched Naplesobrilliantly captured by cinematographer Luca Bigazzi and enhanced by talented sound editor Daghi Rondaniniothe determined daughter sifts through a cast of lecherous men and inquisitive women to discover the loves in Amalia’s life.
Martone’s choice of genre may set him firmly in the Naples film-making camp, but the visual impact and strong sensual mood of L’Amore Molesto set him apart from the crowd. (John Francis Lane/Screen International) (Italy, 1995. Subtitled. 104 mins.)

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