John Turturro’s PASSIONE On DemandMarch 13, 2012

John Turturro’s PASSIONE On Demand

FilmBuff

On Demand Weekly provides new movie reviews of movies on demand from the POV of watching from the comfort of your home. Today’s review: PASSIONE (FilmBuff).

 

PASSIONE
By Amy Slotnick

 

When first watching John Turturro’s documentary, PASSIONE, the evocative music and expressive performers of Naples, Italy are captivating, tempting you to hop on a flight and immerse yourself in what the filmmakers call a “musical adventure.”


Although choreography, romantic locations, interviews and some onscreen narration from Turturro provide rough outlines of a context for the music, the film suffers from a lack of any narrative. Instead, it relies on the music and staging, mostly in the streets of Naples, to sustain the film on its own.

The musicians, both professional and amateur, perform a total of 23 songs in the film. Through their interviews and performances a relationship between Neapolitan music and its culture emerges, gradually and subtly. The songs take dominance over the story, and consequently there is little driving the pace and story forward. In other words, one could stop watching half way through and not miss any developments or turns.


A brilliant actor who clearly understands how to develop character relationships and narrative threads, as he did with his directorial debut ROMANCE & CIGARETTES, Turturro seems to be consciously asking the audience to let go of any expectations for a documentary about music. Instead of BUENA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB, this film is more neo-realist, concert film.

 

For some viewers that challenge to surrender pre-conceived expectations, will be exhilarating. For others, it makes the film feel like a long, Italian music video.

 

 

 

Amy Slotnick

Amy
Amy Slotnick is a contributor to On Demand Weekly. She works as an independent producer and freelance consultant to film financing start-ups. Previously she was a Senior VP of Production at Miramax Films.

 

PASSIONE  (FilmBuff) is in your local cable movies on demand section.

 

Check out Amy's other reviews:

CONCEPTION - TRY IT

PERFECT SENSE - SKIP IT

ULTRASUEDE - DEMAND IT

SLEEPING BEAUTY - RISK IT

BILL CUNNIGHAM - DEMAND IT

3 BACKYARDS - DEMAND IT

FLYPAPER - RISK IT

THE MYTH OF AMERICAN SLEEPOVER - RISK IT

GOOD NEIGHBORS - RISK IT

MONOGAMY - RISK IT

Keira Kinghtley in LAST NIGHT  - DEMAND IT

Vidal Sassoon: The Movie - DEMAND IT


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