Under the Apulian sun

Loose cannons (Mine vaganti the original title) is a delightful Italian movie now on North American screens, directed by Ferzan Ozpetek, born in Istanbul but living in Italy since the 1970’s. Ozpetek often talks about families, their secrets, weird characters; I found this movie entertaining, confronting personal and social issues with a light touch and humor.
Sets, scenes, personalities, food are beautifully presented. The film is shot and set in Lecce, a Baroque style city in the Southern part of Italy, at the heel of the booth, in the Puglia region, so the breathtaking scenery becomes part of the story with countryside scenes, sandy beaches with emerald water, crumbling mansions, narrow cobblestone streets.
The interior decoration presents two different houses, one of the wealthy family at the center of the story, very traditional, filled with memories, antique furniture or simply old pieces, chandeliers, classic art, elegantly dressed dinner tables, heavy drapes on the windows.  There is also a big terrace adorned with greenery and trompe l'oeils where the extended family gathers every morning for breakfast.

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The other house has a young vibe, modern pieces of furniture, bold contemporary art on the walls and a sleek stainless steel kitchen.


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Food is a good part of the movie, as it is a good part of Italian life and we see the young couple preparing refined sandwiches in contrast with the scrumptious food served at the parents’ house, where rich traditional dishes are on the table with a festive atmosphere and toward the end of the story a superb display of luscious cakes and pastries leading to a more dramatic scene.

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The music, a mixture of old and new Italian songs, made me beat the rhythm with my feet and I was even tempted to sing along when I heard songs I knew...I hope I didn’t!

I found this movie really reflecting Italian mentality and lifestyle found mostly in small cities, Lecce in the Southern part of Italy is the set of the story but it could have been Udine or others in the North, with the contradictions of the society, the fear of what people would say about you (the so called bella figura) the still existing extended family, the habit of sitting down as a family at a table for meals, the arranged marriages of the past.
The story makes you reflect on family values, provokes at times a good laugh, presents touching moments, all in a visually rich movie.
A welcomed return to the commedia all’ italiana genre, following the ones of
 masters like Monicelli, Germi, Risi, Scola and others in the past.

©2011 Tent London Interiors writes about new trends, timeless decor, iconic pieces, design ideas, or at times just musing about "a certain Italian way of doing things".

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Write by: A-Efendy - Saturday, June 18, 2011

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