BAR MALFÉ (2018)
a film by Alessandro Abba Legnazzi
The bar is their home, their safe house.
All the usual patrons are gathered for the wake of the bar owner: dark suits and very few words. Left running the business are Stefano the bar-back and Ignazio, graduated from casual customer to crucial presence in the bar. The clients are always the same. Gloria, sixty-years old, once a messenger during Solidarnosc and now married to a communist activist, is dealing with her new role as an aunt. She smokes a lot. In front of her is a half-empty glass of whiskey. Sitting at the bar we find Paola and Enrico, a couple in their thirties. In their eyes that never meet there’s a resigned love, while sitting on the stools, drinking their beers.
Francesco sits in the same spot, always the same. Once a major league soccer player, he’s a now a policeman. He’s responsible for conducting the investigation of a missing little girl. His face looks tired, exhausted.
The everyday life of the bar is disrupted by the unexpected arrival of Alice, the owner’s thirty-five years old daughter and only heiress. She wants to sell the bar, so to immediately sever any bond with her father. This event forces the characters to face the new reality: it’s the end of an era. In addition, the structural issues of the building are getting worse and worse everyday. It starts raining. Something begins to creak, to leak and to give up.
Ignazio seems the only one who can sense the situation. Looking at it through the lens of theoretical physics, while he wanders around. When the width of two systems starts thinning inside and out, showing flaws, it begins to interact with the transforming space around it, eventually transforming itself.
Stefano instead acts like nothing is happening: he puts his apron on and pours drinks, like always. He only knows that his home and his only possessions are here.
The relationship between Enrico and Paola is getting more and more empty, showing their inability of mutual understanding, to a point where it’s completely running out.
As affection and humanity are gradually vanishing, Gloria becomes Paola’s guidance. A mirror in which she can measure her own solitude and its inexorability. But with serene acceptance. Francesco shows instead a merciless but clear perception of the human nature: the world is mean. That little girl, dead or alive, won’t change the state of things. Tomorrow there will be another one, again and again and again.
Meanwhile Alice is forcing Stefano to face his responsibilities, the accounts in disarray and the debts her father piled up in the course of the years. After a stormy night spent trying to help a confused, drenched old man, an act driven more from habit than kindness, Stefano disappears, no longer able to deal with the situation. At last, while the news of the girl having been found comes in, Alice announces to have sold the bar. It’s now empty. Ignazio is the only one left to guard it, appalled by the violence of the world outside, waiting for what is bound to happen.
Bar Malfè is a place somewhere underground, dirty, dank and stinky. The city above burdens and the adjacent river is swelling with the torrential rain. Here, an almost neglected place where the light of a big window seems the only connection with an apocalyptic outside, we thought could survive the last remains of the human kind: helpless and lonely characters, fully aware of having lost, but nonetheless willing to cherish what’s left, tenaciously trying to provide and nourish some kind of residual tenderness, able to bring purpose, even for a brief moment, in their lives. A moment that is a fleeting glimpse, constantly threatened by history. These existences help us giving a symbolic framework for talking about our present. Bar Malfè is an atemporal system, the paradigm of a world that tries to resist, that defends itself even tough it knows that it’s only a matter of time. The world outside pushes ahead, ruthless. Maybe is useless sticking together, taking shelter while trying to survive. Everything is a wasted effort, we are just an aggregate of misunderstood human relationships, always flawed, while incommunicability is in fact the result of our times’ hyper communication. The final sense of things lies in what isn’t said.
Our story begins with a funeral wake and ends with a world that’s collapsing and giving up to sadness and loneliness, tearing everything apart. There’s no room or chance even for a little kindness.[/vc_column_text][/tab]Title: Bar Malfé
Original language: Italian
Production: Carolina Cavalleri – Malfé film
CAST & CREW
Screenplay: Alessandro Abba Legnazzi, Enrico Giovannone, Claudio Malpede
Directed by: Alessandro Abba Legnazzi, Enrico Giovannone, Matteo Tortone
Directors of cinematography: Matteo Tortone, Francesca Cirilli
Camera operator: Matteo Tortone, Francesca Cirilli
Assistant operator: Federico Circosta
Production Sound mixer: Rodolfo Mongitore (MYBOSSWAS)
Boom operator: Marco Marasciuolo
Film editor: Enrico Giovannone, Luca Vigliani
Cast: Laura Pizzirani, Pietro Casella, Francesco Lattarulo, Francesco Vincenzi, Andrea Roncaglione, Ignazio Agosta, Giada Vincenzi, Hanka Olzweska, Enrico Giovannone. Dana Armanni, Luciano Romano, Michele Somma, Giuseppe Pappadà, Renato Fornari, Luca Cechet Sansoè, Mario Alberto Galasso, Barbara Passanisi, Diego Deaglio
Producers: Carolina Cavalleri, Alessandro Abba Legnazzi, Enrico Giovannone, Matteo Tortone
Production manager: Maurizio Fedele
Assistant production manager: Stefania Venaruso, Federica Scarpa
Assistant director: Stella Iannitto
Costume designer/makeup artist: Giada Vincenzi
Scenography: Alessandro Abba Legnazzi, Matteo Tortone, Luca Vigliani
Mix – Sound design: Giorgio Ferrero – Rodolfo Mongitore (MYBOSSWAS)
Color grading: Alessio Martini
With the support of Film Commission Torino Piemonte