Wednesday, April 09, 2008


These guys aren't Nazis. There's one looking like Al Capone, there's another like Mussolini, Richard III, Napoleon... Smeg, it's like all the worst people in history have been brought together in one place. My God, there's James Last. I recognize him from Rimmer's record collection.
MY BROTHER IS AN ONLY CHILD is a film full of energy, honesty and visual flair. It brilliantly captures the raucous fighting, petty jealousies and little triumphs of family life in a cramped house. In this case, the family lives in provincial Italy in the 1960s. Exploited by their employers and corrupt local government officials, both sons turn to direct action. The eldest becomes a charismatic Communist revolutionary on the lam from the rozzers and his sometime lover. The younger becomes a Fascist, but finds family ties stronger than The Idea.

Writer-director Daniele Luchetti never lets the politics swamp the family drama - the film never feels self-conscious. But over and above the sensitive handling of complex subject matter, Luchetti displays an impressive facility with the medium. The camera never stops moving, giving the movie a fast tempo, and some of the editing is inspired. I particularly liked the way in which Luchetti chooses to show the transition from a young actor to an older actor in the part of the second son. And the final images of the film - which could have been very pretentious - are beautifully handled. Elsewhere, the use of costume, set dressing and music to evoke the 1960s is spot on.

I can't wait to see what Luchetti does next.

MY BROTHER IS AN OLD CHILD played Cannes and Toronto 2007. It opened in Italy, Belgium, France, Spain and Turkey in 2007 and in the Netherlands, Sweden and the USA earlier this year. It is currently on release in Greece and the UK. It opens later in April in Argentina and in May in Germany.

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