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Italian Recommendation on How you can Dwell the Good Life: Cigarettes, Tomatoes, and Different Picturesque Small Pleasures

“I assume everyone’s received a dream and we’re all hoping to see it come true,” muses Giovanni Mimmo Mancusou, a philosophical native of Calabria, the stunning, sun-drenched area forming the toe of Italy’s boot, above. “A dream coming true is healthier than only a dream.”

Filmmakers Jan Vrhovnik and Ana Kerin have been scouting for topics to embody “the very essence of nostalgia” after they chanced upon Mancusou in a nook store.

A fortunate encounter! Not each non-actor – or for that matter, actor – is as comfy on movie because the laidback Mancusou.

(Vrhovnik has stated that he invariably serves as his personal digital camera operator when working with non-actors, due to the potential for intimacy and intuitive strategy that such proximity affords.)

Mancusou, an advocate for easy pleasures, additionally seems to be fairly match, which makes us marvel why the movie’s description on NOWNESS doubles down on adjectives like “growing old”, “older” and most confusingly, “wisened.”

Merriam-Webster defines “wizened” with a z as “dry, shrunken, and wrinkled usually because of growing old or of failing vitality” … and “wisened” by no means.

Maybe NOWNESS meant clever?

We discover ourselves craving much more context.

Mancusou has clearly cultivated a capability to savor the hell out of a ripe tomato, his picturesque environment, and his ciggies.

“Serenity, pleasure, ecstasy” is embroidered throughout the again of his ball cap.

His method of expressing himself does lend itself to a “poetic thought piece”, because the filmmakers word, however would possibly that not be a symptom of struggling to speak summary ideas in a international tongue?

We actually would like to know extra about this charming man… his household scenario, what he does to make ends meet, his precise age.

Residence motion pictures accompany his nostalgic reverie, however did he present this footage to his new buddies?

Did they hunt it down on ebay? It positively suits the vibe, however is the person with the eyebrows Mancusou at an earlier age?

Our star pulls as much as a small petrol station, declares, “All proper, right here we go,” and the following body reveals him carrying a headlamp and magnifier as he friends into the workings of a pocket watch:

Day trip of mechanical. It’s magic.

Is that this a interest? A occupation? Does he restore watches in a darkened fuel station?

The filmmakers aren’t saying and the blurred background affords no clues both. Curse you, depth of area!

We’re not even given his residence coordinates.

The movie, a part of the NOWNESS sequence Portrait of a Place, is titled Paradiso, and there may be certainly a village so named adjoining to the city of Belvedere Marittimo, however in keeping with census information we discovered on line, it has solely 14 residents, 7 male.

If that’s the place Mancusou lives, he’s both 45-49, 65-69, 70-74, or one in all two fellows over age 74…and now we’re actually interested in his neighbors, too.

No shade to Signor Mancuso, however we’re glad to know we’re not the one viewers left unhappy by this portrait’s lack of depth.

One commenter who chafed on the lack of specificity (“this video is a random portrait of principally anybody on this planet that’s proud of the little he has”) advised the omissions contribute to an Italian stereotype acquainted from pasta sauce commercials:

Individuals in Italy really work and have ambitions you understand? And infrequently are very well-educated and hard-working. The attitude of Italy that you’ve comes from the American media and Italian post-war neorealism. Certainly, Oscar-winning Italian folks complained about the truth that what the media needs is seeing Italians carrying tank tops doing nothing if not mafia or smelling the roses.

Watch extra entries within the NOWNESS Portrait of a Place sequence right here.

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Ayun Halliday is the Chief Primatologist of the East Village Inky zine and creator, most lately, of Artistic, Not Well-known: The Small Potato Manifesto.  Comply with her @AyunHalliday.




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