Gomorrah (2008, Matteo Garrone)

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A film by a guy who I’m surprised hasn’t been killed, based on the novel by an author who I’m surprised hasn’t been killed (IMDB says he’s living under police protection). Won every Italian academy award and every European Film award, got second place to The Class at Cannes. After watching the beginning of Fellini’s 8 1/2 on TCM a few nights ago, I was just glad to watch an Italian flick without rampant dubbing.

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Multiple story threads that manage not to crash (see: Crash) together into one narrative, but stay where they belong, illustrating different parts of the problem. The problem is the Camorra, the Naples crime organization which, as the end titles claim, is widespread enough to have invested in reconstruction of the world trade center in New York. Movie is well-shot, but mostly handheld, not stylish like most classic gangster movies (such as Scarface, referenced here a few times). Scary as hell in that non-horror, Collapse sort of way; I would never ever like to visit Italy after watching this.

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Toni Servillo is a busy man, playing Franco the illegal dumping magnate and the lead in Il Divo the same year. Two dumb-as-fuck youth steal some guns and get predictably killed at the end. Clothing manufacturers spy on each other. A kid helps get his neighbor killed, desperate to join the local gang. All is sadness and violence with no hope. To hell with Italy.

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