Friday, June 7, 2013

The Discovery at Dawn(2012) Open Roads New Italian CInema 2013

I suspect that this will play better for anyone who has either read the source novel or who is familiar with all of the references to Italian history that the film alludes to.

The plot of the film has a 40ish college professor cleaning out her mother's house  close to the anniversary of her father's disappearance. He was a college dean who disappeared several weeks after the previous dean had been shot dead by terrorists. As she cleans the house she finds that if she uses the rotary phone in the house she can call herself a week before her fathers disappearance. Perhaps she can change the past, or if not perhaps she can find out what happened thirty years earlier.

Well  made,well acted film completely flummoxed me. Little in the the film meant anything to me  except in the most cursory way. Yes I wanted to know what happened and why, but at the same time I could not to connect to any of the larger themes or ideas that the film was getting at (I can't even speculate as to what they might be). I freely admit that part of the problem is I simply don't know enough about Italy in the early 1980's to grasp what was going on and why. I don't really understand why these terrorists wanted to do what they did. Equally amorphous is the relationships between many of the characters who seem to have a great deal going on off the screen.

While largely a disappointment the film does have some great performances and it's use of early 80's music dramatically is excellent.

The film plays at Open Roads on June 10th at 130pm

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