Cinema Italiano 2014

“Caro diaro”

Ciao tutti! (Hello all!) This year, one of my movie watching projects is to view one Italian movie a month (I’m getting a bit of a late start, I know). I lived in Rome and other cities in central Italy for two years while serving a religious mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons). The experience instilled in me a love of Italian people, food, and culture. I hope you might consider watching some of the these films, too.

First up in my “Cinema Italiano” (Italian cinema) project is Caro diaro (Dear Diary), a 1993 semi-autobiographical comedy written and directed by Nanni Moretti (who is also the film’s star). The film is a interesting view in Moretti’s life as an Italian and as a human being. The narrative is separated into three distinct “chapters,” each of which recount a series of experiences that Moretti has had in his own life, including living in and observing life in modern day Italy, and surviving cancer along with his difficult and prolonged experience of trying to get an accurate diagnosis.

The film, to me, serves as a photograph of modern Italian life (or I guess more accurately, life in Italy during the 1990s). Perhaps my favorite “chapter” in the film is the one where Moretti rides his Vespa all over Rome and outlying Ostia. The camera just follows him from behind and, along with his own voiceover commentary, provides amazing views and perspectives through multiple neighborhoods, streets, and cityscapes in the Eternal City.

While it might not be everyone’s cup of cappuccino, Caro diario was definitely an interesting view into contemporary Italian mores and values and a peek into the life experience of one of Italy’s more creative and colorful inhabitants.

Caro diario is available in Italian with English subtitles on the Amazon Instant Video website and app.

Writer and director Nanni Moretti driving around Rome on his Vespa in 'Caro diario' (1993)

Writer and director Nanni Moretti driving around Rome on his Vespa in ‘Caro diario’ (1993)