Pizzicata

  • 1996
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Drama, Romance

A seductive and satisfying blend of music, dance and romantic melodrama from Italian director Edoardo Winspeare. On a summer's night in 1943, youthful Italian-American fighter pilot Tony Marciano (Fabio Frascaro) is shot down over the Salentino peninsula, an arid and impoverished area on the boot-heel of Italy. Tony's taken in by Carmine Pantaleo (Cosimo...read more

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Reviewed by Ken Fox
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A seductive and satisfying blend of music, dance and romantic melodrama from Italian director Edoardo Winspeare. On a summer's night in 1943, youthful Italian-American fighter pilot Tony Marciano (Fabio Frascaro) is shot down over the Salentino peninsula, an arid and

impoverished area on the boot-heel of Italy. Tony's taken in by Carmine Pantaleo (Cosimo Cinieri), a poor widower who lives on a dry and dusty farm with his three daughters: Immacolata (Anna Dimitri), Nzina (Ines d'Anbrosio) and Cosima (Chiara Torelli). Tony may be the enemy, but Carmine -- who

has a son away at war -- lets him stay and tells the other villagers that the stranger is a visiting cousin. Immacolata isn't so sure about Tony, but Cosima is, and soon falls in love with the handsome American, rousing suspicion and jealousy in her obnoxious suitor Pasquale (Paolo Massafra), son

of the richest man in town. It's a pretty standard story of forbidden love during wartime. But Winspeare, who shot the entire film on location in beautiful southern Italy with predominantly non-professional actors, uses an ingenious structure based on three pizzicas, or traditional Italian

dances, to tell his tale. The first, the sexy pizzica de core, is performed by Cosima and Tony early in the film to convey the intensity of their mutual attraction. The pizzica scherma later pits Tony and Pasquale against one another in an aggressive battle with imaginary knives.

Last is the mysterious pizzica tarantata, a frenzied and highly sexualized dance of exorcism traditionally associated with women believed to have been bitten by the dreaded tarantula. The bite would cause the women to dance in a wild frenzy for days on end until the "poison" was driven from

their writhing bodies. It's a bewildering spectacle, full of simmering passions and repressed sexuality, and it makes for an extraordinary climax to an altogether captivating film. (In the Salentino dialect of Italian, with Engish subtitles.)

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  • Released: 1996
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: A seductive and satisfying blend of music, dance and romantic melodrama from Italian director Edoardo Winspeare. On a summer's night in 1943, youthful Italian-American fighter pilot Tony Marciano (Fabio Frascaro) is shot down over the Salentino peninsula,… (more)

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