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Italian for Beginners

  • compiled by Jeffrey Overstreet Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2002 1 Jan
Italian for Beginners
from Film Forum, 02/21/02

Parks also recommendsItalian for Beginners, the latest film produced as part of a series called Dogme. The films use handheld cameras, natural lighting, and restrict the use of makeup or effects that are beyond what would naturally occur. They challenge filmmakers to use great imagination and inventiveness while forbidding Hollywood's typical tools. The finest Dogme work, The Celebration, is a profound and impressive work (for discerning grownups), and judging from critical responses, Italian for Beginners is as well.

Parks writes, "A screwball comedy is built on a foundation of delayed gratification, where couples destined for love are kept apart through ridiculous contrivances and misunderstandings. So it is with Italian for Beginners. But the film also has its serious side, as it explores the natures of fate and faith, death and distress. After delaying gratification for 80 minutes, we could've waited a little longer for a more appropriate resolution. Nonetheless, Italian for Beginners is a nice little diversion."

Hopefully other religious press critics will take note of these releases soon and give us some other perspectives. But a high tide of new films is headed our way. Hopefully we'll have more to sample than mere leftovers.