Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Open Roads 2013: Looking your best? Pappi Coriscato's THE FACE OF ANOTHER

Every year the Open Roads fest tends to bring us at least one mainstream comedy, often sporting a satiric bent. (Remember Whatsoeverly from 2011? If not, click above and scroll way down.) This year's entry is the face-lift-cum-excrement comedy THE FACE OF ANOTHER (Il volo di un'altra), and although shit does play a major part in the procee-dings, this is anything but a shitty movie. While it certainly could be sharper and more pointed, there is still plenty here to amuse, delight and cause a fright. The movie goes after Italy's and the western world's penchant for face- (and other) lifts, celebrity-sodden culture, and the need for fame at any cost.

The film's director and co-writer, Pappi Coriscato, shown above, is said to be a Neapolitan choreographer who once worked as an assistant to Pedro Almodóvar; I think you'll ferret out the connections pretty quickly. He and his co-writers have imagined a pseudo-elegant (but genuinely-expensive) spa/resort/surgery-center in the Italian Alps (below) where the moneyed go to get their wrinkles rearranged.

From the outset, as we eavesdrop on a group of maintenance men in the basement, where the inferior plumbing system is acting up again, we get a strong foreboding of what lies in store. (When it arrives, this poop apocalypse is something to see.)

Toilets, in fact, come into play throughout almost the entire film. One of them sets in motion the event that will require our anti-heroine (trust me, there are no heroes to be found in this movie!) to undergo some heavy-duty surgical stuff (above).

Our lady of the bandages is played by Laura Chiatti (above and further above, who can also be seen in this series' Piazza Fontana) as a popular television show hostess about to get the ax. Her hubby, who is doubles as head surgeon at the resort, is played by that super-handsome-and-just-slightly-sleazy-looking actor Alessandro Preziosi (of Loose Cannons), shown below. This couple is, as they say, made for each other.

Also on hand is a maintenance man harboring a notion of fame for his very bizarre singing act (whose performance, shown below, provides one of the funniest scenes in the film); a head nurse with a severe attitude problem; and countless odd patients, plastered up something fierce.

Once word of the TV hostess' "accident" and the surgery she'll need (the operation will be shown on TV, of course) gets out, the celebrity-prone hold a all-month vigil on the road to the resort, and the movie kicks into high (well, at least medium) gear.

There are some very funny scenes here, and the resort itself, with its Alps locations is plenty gorgeous. If we wish the movie were better -- tighter, funnier and more satiric -- we'll accept it as is for an evening of good, semi-solid, excremental fun (complete with some nifty dancing, below).

The Face of Another will play Saturday, June 8, at 6:15pm and Sunday, June 9, at 1:15pm. To view the entire Open Roads program, with showtimes, click here.

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