The war, the mountains and the choices of men. Fabrizio Ferraro with him The dead remain with their mouths open, at the Rome Film Festival 2022, look to yesterday to talk about us.
The title is elegant, hypnotic and demanding, because it brings together dimensions and foundations of human existence such as war, death and time. The dead remain with their mouths open is a film of Fabrizio Ferraro, a film that talks about yesterday but inevitably alludes, winks, brings up the world we live in today. At the Rome Film Festival edition 2022 in the new competitive section Progressive Cinema. In the cast Emiliano Marrocchi, Domenico D’Addabbo, Fabio Fusco, Olimpia Bonato And Antonio Sinisi. Distributes Boudu.
Fabrizio Ferraro it leaves its mark on the film in so many ways and it’s okay to waste some time remembering them all. The effort of directing is not enough for him, but he also scripts, he thinks about editing, he takes care of photography. The dead remain with their mouths open plays anachronism with the present time starting from its black and white, precious and allusive. The story is that of four men and a woman on a winter background and very inhospitable, of a poignant and harsh beauty. History, on the other hand, has World War II as its name and surname.
The dead remain with their mouths open: four men and a woman for a story of yesterday that speaks of contemporaneity
Fabrizio Ferraro who by profession is a director and screenwriter, he practices the splitting (and even a little more) of professional personalities as a logical consequence of an approach to things, to cinema, openly flexible and positively obsessed with control. The dead remain with their mouths open is, the reasoning is quite above any denial, auteur cinema because the surveillance exercised by its creator on every stage that really counts for something within the creative process is scrupulous and tenacious, animated by a precise purpose and inspired by a stringent rigor. There is no room for compromise. It follows the purity and integrity of a vision that, whether it meets the viewer’s favor or not, has the advantage of an unusual consistency and thickness.
The theater, of war and cinema, here is the Italian front. Central Italy, 1944. Four men, Emiliano Marrocchi, Domenico D’Addabbo, Fabio Fusco. A woman, Olimpia Bonato. The men are partisans, hunted down and looking for shelter. The enemy is elusive but his presence is felt anyway. In the anguish of escape, in the roar of a shooting. He fights, lives, dies. The men meet the woman, the girl, as they run away. The encounter is fraught with consequences, like everything, big and small, that happens in war. Above and below, between and to the side of the protagonists, it torments her. And the mountains, the snow, the winter.
The environment is a de character The dead remain with their mouths open, perhaps it is the character, what matters and demands the most. The mountain competes in visibility and charisma with the little ants of flesh and blood that cross it, bringing with them a lot of practical and spiritual problems. The mountain and the storm stand there in the middle, like a fait accompli. Directed by Fabrizio Ferraro chooses to isolate its impenetrable ambiguity: snow at the same time an obstacle and protection from threats, is the stage of a drama, that of life, from which many others, small and large, descend. Man builds and defines himself in relation to the world around him. Nature reflects concrete problems and immaterial tensions.
The game of time, the problems of yesterday and today, black and white
It is not a cinema of shortcuts and, in addition to the man / environment dialectic, it engages in a sophisticated and unsettling relationship with time. The dead remain with their mouths open it is the testament of the past which casts its shadow on the present and the future. Wars, divisions, lacerations and impossible moral choices. The echo of the past, reconstructed with tones halfway between the bad dream and the rigorous chronicle, is expressed in the constant dialectic between silence and glimpses of noise, camera hooked to the face (to the faces) and wide fields, voiceover and dense dialogues.
The game with time does not stop there. The dead remain with their mouths open, in the expressive and nostalgic power of his truly remarkable black and white, he boldly shuffles the cards and illustrates the historically transversal nature of the problems faced. The choices and themes are the legacy of a buried era but they belong to us, of course they belong to us, as much as the ghosts of the staging and the choices that characterize them. But the idea is to go even further, heavily intervening on the narrative mechanism.
Fabrizio Ferraro defines an intertwining of deliberate dryness but is not satisfied with a linear exposition, he breaks it down and fragments it, moving the pieces of the puzzle and annihilating any ambition for chronological progression. The film is a collage of moments that can be traced back to the same historical moment but ordered in a non-linear way. Emotions and ideas matter more than facts. The horizon that the film pursues, at the bottom of a demanding and very accurate proposal, consists in resizing conventions in favor of a peculiar expressive and thematic key.
Direction – 3
Screenplay – 3
Photography – 4
Acting – 2.5
Sound – 3
Emotion – 3