My Angel, when will you chase after me?
By Jude Bautista
Antonio (Francesco Arca) is dark, brooding, hardly talks, a mechanic with these intense eyes. Elena (Kasia Smutniak) was disgusted with him as Sylvia (Carolina Crescentini) her co-worker’s boyfriend. He was always hanging around the café where they worked as waitresses, staring at her when Sylvia wasn’t around. One hot day, Elena’s boss calls out to her, there’s a man at the bar asking for a beer. Elena walks in and sees Antonio looking straight ahead, not even turning to look at her. She goes to the tap trying to avoid his gaze, nervously fills up the glass. He stares at her picks up the glass, slowly drinks it straight in one gulp and stares at her again. By the time he puts down the glass, Elena felt this tug of unexplained desire. Her heart was beating faster; she couldn’t take her eyes off him. Without a word he turns and walks out the door.
Elena was left trying to figure out what she was feeling or why. The only thing she knew at that moment was she had to be with him. She chased after him. The sunlight burning her eyes, not knowing which direction he went, so she just ran. As she turned a corner she saw him on his motorcycle revving up the motor. They couldn’t go fast enough even if the wind was blowing in her hair. The garage where he worked was empty; still no words were said between them. Then came the slow kiss like trying to know each other. He parted the hair from her face. She slowly unbuttoned his shirt and pants. Just then two mechanics enter the garage. Regaining her senses, she walks out by herself.
The scene above is from FASTEN YOUR SEAT BELT (ALLACCIATE LE CINTURE), one of many films from this year’s MOVIEMOV festival. Organizers will screen the best of Italian cinema for free at Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza from July 23-27, 2014. Just make sure to check out schedules and come an hour early to ensure tickets/seats.
2 esteemed Italian actresses were the honored guests at the MOVIEMOV opening last July 24 at the East Wing of Shang Rila Plaza Mall. Both stars glittered at the opening night: Eleanora Sergio of SOTTO UNA BUONA STELLA (UNDER A LUCKY STAR) and Paola Minaccioni who plays the funniest character Egle in ALLACCIATE LE CINTURE (FASTEN YOUR SEATBELT). Minaccioni earned a Best Supporting Actress award for this performance from Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists.
Ever since she was a child Elena has these visions of the future but she never paid any attention or gave them importance. To her it was more like a dream a déjavu. Even if she knew her visions to be true, there was nothing she could do about it. Whether it’s about love or her family all she can do is be there for them. Life is not simple, there’s always something changing that’s out of our control.
FASTEN YOUR SEATBELT is not just a love story, its an eloquent example of love being irrational not really having to explain why we love the people we are so moved to passionately share our lives with.
Lead actress Kasia Smutniak who plays Elena has a strong resemblance to Princess Stephanie of Monaco in her younger days. She has that elegant beauty, even when she is in humble surroundings. Smutniak is the daughter of a Polish General and got her pilot’s license at age 16. From her modeling career she found success in Italy as a film and TV actress.
You understand why Antonio played by Fracesco Arca is so obsessed with her in spite of him being in a relationship with her best friend. Arca is like a dark haired Daniel Craig, again perfect for the role. Antonio is dark skinned, inarticulate but overpowers women with his masculinity. He gets into fights on the soccer field and has affairs left and right.
Everything is complicated ALL of their relationships. Here Filipinos can very much relate to the closeness of the family. Elena lives with her mom Anna (Carla Signoris). Sharing their small flat is a kooky, freeloading aunt Viviana (Elena Sofia Ricci) who is a staunch environmentalist and vegetarian. Her mom and aunt constantly bicker about everything.
The one who gets the most laughs however is Egle played by Paola Minaccioni. In one scene she mistakes the macho looks of Antonio as being gay. She describes him as a throwback gay like ‘The Village People’. Again with the similarities, who hasn’t been mistaken (or correctly seen) as being gay or lesbian at one time in their lives here in the Philippines? The film is memorable, touching for its reality it also makes brilliant use of non-linear story telling, jumping from the future to the past and back again. This is because we understand why Elena sees the future and sometimes wants to go back to happiest times in her life, just like all of us.
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