The Red and the Blue (Il rosso e il blue) (2012)

2 Sep

THE RED AND THE BLUE 4

Engaging, charming, and ultimately bittersweet; Guiseppe Piccioni has adapted school teacher Marco Lodoli’s novel for the big screen with style and grace making it my first selection for this year’s Italian Film Festival.

Set in a contemporary public high school, The Red and the Blue weaves together the stories of Adam (ionut Paun) and Melania (Nina Torresi), whose new found affection gradually drives the pair closer to destruction; Professor Fiorito (Roberto Herlitzka), whose dispassion for teaching has left him bereft of meaningful human contact; headmistress Giuliana (Margherita Buy), whose walls of bureaucracy are slowly broken down by oddball student Enrico (Davide Giordano); and finally, Professor Prezioso Riccardo Scamarcio), an idealistic young teacher whose romanticism of the profession is eroded by the reality his ambivalent pupils present him with.

Though the subject matter is far from new, The Red and the Blue gives new life to the state of modern education. Far from being a lesson in the hopelessness of contemporary teaching, the film instead focuses on the chaos, beauty, and ironies life presents us with.

Veteran actors Margherita Buy and Roberto Herlitzka give typically impeccable performances in their roles as the stiff headmistress and irreverent curmudgeon respectively. But it is unquestionably Riccardo Scamarcio, whom many of you will know from his stand out performance in My Brother is an Only Child (Mio fratello è figlio unico), who holds the piece together. A true gem in the festival’s programme.

Ed.

For information on the festival visit: http://www.italianfilmfestival.co.nz/

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