Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Guess who's coming out at dinner ?

LOOSE CANNONS. Ferzan Ozpetek’s 2010 Italian comedy of manners and sexual mores is a very pleasant movie as we follow Tommaso (Riccardo Scamarcio) returning to his Italian town Lecce where his parents have a pasta factory. Tomasso wants to come out as gay so he can return to Rome and continue trying to be a writer. He confides his intentions to his older brother, Antonio (Alessandro Preziosi) who helps their father at the factory, but at the dinner Antonio gets in first and makes his own coming out speech to the assembled gathering. The homophobic father of course has a seizure, which puts paid to Tommaso’s plans as he now has to stay at the factory in place of the banished Antonio.

LOOSE CANNONS carries itself with the sort of casual grace we’ve come to expect from the best of European gay cinema: it is aesthetically a close relative of the less punky Almodóvar films, and in its shifting tone and large cast of characters it is not unlike François Ozon’s 8 WOMEN.

This is an amusing satire on small town life and the parents’ fear of what the neighbours will think. The extended family include their sister who already knew their secret, the wise grand-mother, Ilaria Occhini – the best performance – and their oddball aunt. Then there is Alba (Nicole Grimaudo) the daughter of their proposed business mere who has feelings of her own. It all reminded me of I AM LOVE at the start with the wealthy family and their servants coming together for the family meal at their luxurious home. More amusing incidents follow when Tommaso’s three friends arrive with his partner Marco – and they have to tone down their camp mannerisms to fit in with the family. Things all work out to a nice conclusion, as the family get together again at a funeral, so it’s a rather feel-good movie. It also features perhaps the most fabulous suicide in all of cinema. The parents' homophobia (the mother wants him to be "cured") is treated for laughs, but it would be a problem for a family business if the sons are not going to have children and heirs ?

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