Incompresa – Misunderstood, the third film to feature Italy’s beloved Asia Argento in the director’s chair is competing in the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes. Here is why she is one of the festival’s biggest surprise and why Asia has already won.
do it better
Cannes 2013: Asia Argento caused a scandal on the red carpet, swathed in pearl grey satin and greeting photographers by giving them the finger.
Cannes 2014: the 38 year-old daughter of king of horror Dario Argento is back, this time looking like a warrior in biker boots, showing off her muscles, her new short hair and a huge new tattoo on her chest.
Incompresa – Misunderstood, the third film to feature Italy’s beloved Asia in the director’s chair is competing in the Un Certain Regard section, and, as Italians who know Italy (and other Italians), we are in complete agreement with Marco Giusti’s statement on the Dagospia website that: “It would have been booed in Venice.”
Excessive, modern and always far removed from the provincialism that sometimes serves us Italians as a valuable asset and great tradition, but at other times only cages our ideas, Asia Argento has won over Cannes with her third work, which is less narcissistic than her previous work but just as personal, bordering on autobiographical and very close to being a cult movie. Here are some of the reasons why, in our opinion, it is one of the festival’s biggest surprises and why Asia has already won.
1) The Cast
Charlotte Gainsbourg, an actress born into the profession and synonymous with scandal (after Lars Von Trier); Gabriel Garko, a television actor mainly known for his beauty rather than his acting skills, who in one scene calls himself a “dog”, something currently doing the rounds on Twitter while his show is on the air; a dazzling debut by Giulia Salerno who impersonates a young Asia – sorry – Aria, left to her own devices in the Northern Rome of the 1980s by her “dog” actor father and her pianist mother, made up to look like Daria Nicolodi, Asia’s real mother, and two absent sisters. This is how you put together a decent cast in Italy today, brava Asia.
2) The Soundtrack
A life long lover of music as well as cinema, Asia has written songs, released albums and been a DJ: the Misunderstood soundtrack is nothing short of explosive. In addition to her friend Brian Molko of Placebo, who penned the opening and end credits with her, the artists featured also include James Marlon Magas, Gilles Weinzaepflen, Justin Pearson, Luke Hensahw and Gabrile Serbian. As an additional gem, the 1980s post-punk band Y A Volkswagens proves a deadly choice for the trailer.
3) Coming of Age
We like the genre. More than that, we absolutely love it. And seeing a version so fresh, so over the top (sometimes too much), completely unpredictable and set in Italy in a city that we know so well gives it a new lease of life.
4) Barbara Alberti.
One of the most brilliant Italian journalists co-wrote the screenplay with Asia: caustic and extremely sharp, Barbara is a guarantee for success (she has also co-written the cult movie The Night Porter, you know what we mean). And it shows.
Let’s say it once and for all: if only more celebrity children following in their parents’ footstep were as gifted, talented and courageous as Asia. That goes for Italy, as well as the world in general. She is not afraid to take risks and by flexing her muscles on the red carpet she is sending out a clear message: “Italian girls do it better, and they’re not afraid to show it.”
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