Paolo Sorrentino’s Il Divo up for Pre-order

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Paolo Sorrentino’s Il Divo up for Pre-order

For those who have not already picked up the English-subtitled Italian DVD of Il Divo, Artificial Eye (UK R2) will be releasing Paolo Sorrentino’s magnificent bio-pic on July 27th. The film contains the following special features: The making of Il Divo, Additional Interviews with director Paolo Sorrentino, Special effects featurette, Deleted scenes, and Theatrical trailer.

It looks as though the only hope for an English-subtitled release of this film on Blu ray rests with the MPI Media Group—maybe this fall.

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Ard Vijn's Review

El DuderinoMay 6, 2009 6:10 PM

A masterpiece.

Kurt HalfyardMay 6, 2009 8:58 PM

The raves I've been hearing via the festival circuit makes me regret skipping this at TIFF last year. DVD here we come!

Peter van der LugtMay 7, 2009 2:41 AM

A tick over stylized (but in a good way to me)... Watch if if you haven't... It's great!! Btw, the Italian edition has been out for ages and I'm quite certain it has English subs as well:
Anyway, I'd rather have it in Blu.

Ard VijnMay 7, 2009 9:40 PM

The too talented Mr. Sorrentino is about to head the "Un Certain Regard" jury in Cannes.
Does this mean Quentin Tarantino will win?

Simon AbramsMay 7, 2009 11:41 PM

I don't agree, El Duderino. You don't need to know the history of Andreotti's reign because Sorrentino divorces it from any really grounded historical context. It's the character's inner world complete with hyper-stylized montage sequences. I don't think Sorrentino has grown at all as an artist but rather regressed and instead decided to rest on his laurels. CONSEQUENCES OF LOVE was easily his best film, one that showed that he knew to make a comparatively compact and stylistically cogent work. IL DIVO is so in love with the fact that it can afford to be all over the place--because Andreotti's career and paranoia was--that he just indulges himself beyond excess.

Also, I haven't seen either of Petri's films--no English subtitled copy that I could find--but from the footage I've seen and the readings I've read about them in the past, I don't think the analogy is an apt one. Sorrentino isn't interested in pointing a finger as much as Petri was, who I think was trying to galvanize his audience by making his characters metaphors for the alienation of the working class. None of Sorrentino's films have that sense of class consciousness, I feel, save perhaps ONE MAN UP and even then I think that's a bit of a stretch.

El DuderinoMay 8, 2009 12:58 AM

X Simon: I think there are a good number of scenes that request that you have at least a little bit of knowledge about what was going on at the time and to know who the persons (Paolo Cirino Pomicino, Slavo Lima, Eugenio Scalfari, Franco Evangelisti) in the movie are.
The story divorces from historical facts only in a few moments, but I don't even think that it was Sorrentino's first goal to be a 100% accurate.
His Andreotti is described as the absurd and grotesque demon of medieval fairy-tales and legends. It's probably more the Andreotti we (the italian people) immagined for all these years, a sort of ironic and wry mask.
So Servillo's Andreotti is a distinct character, with his own life and independent from the real-life person. For me Il Divo - in some places - is even more of a mystical religious horror than a biopic or political movie (and there is one scene in the beginning that reminds of Hellraiser's Pinhead, a coincidence? There is a lot of Murnau too).

I can understand that the technical "style" is not for everyone, but I feel that it reflects in a great way the italian political "zoo" and its chaos. Imho, it fits better in this than any other of his movies
And there are so many beautiful scenes, like the night-walks (reminded me of De Chirico's paintings).

As for Petri and his movies (I really hope you get the chance to see "Indagine ...", cause it's incredible even to this day) there is obviously a difference. These movies are 40 years old and were dealing with actual events, that were happening at that time. So the approach is different, you're right there, but for me The Divo is made in that tradition. Perhaps more Damiani (who was more "spectacular") than Petri.

Sorry, if i can't explain myself better, but my english writing skills (and vocabulary) are limited, but I hope I made my point.

Simon AbramsMay 8, 2009 10:31 PM

You're very kind. Feel free to use "men in fish bowls" so long as you attribute me, of course. Heh.

El DuderinoMay 8, 2009 10:35 PM

I will and maybe this time I spell it even right! :-D