THE STAR MAKER
DIRECTOR: GIUSEPPE TORNATORE
COUNTRY: ITALY 1995
CINEMATOGRAPHY: DANTE SPINOTTI
MUSIC: ENNIO MORRICONE
CAST: Sergio Castelliti, Tiziama Lodato, Leopoldo Triestre, Nicola diPinto, Franco Scaldatti, Jane Alexander
SUPER FEATURES: The story has moments...
Giuseppe Tornatore is difficult to ignore as a film maker. He may not be the flashiest of directors, or the best of them, but there is one thing that you can always count in his films.... a real story, that you can relate to, and cry with/for/along. The Star Maker is no different a film.
It is a simple story. A man, drives a truck through the countryside in Sicily, and films people doing screen tests. They do whatever comes to
their mind, and do a few poses for the camera. The man tells everyone that he is sending the film to Rome, for it to get checked out by
other film people, who may hire some of these characters they see on a screen test.
And he gets out of many localities some really gems of performances, from the eclectic, to the miraculous, to the odd, to the most unusual of assortment of people, including a few mafia people.
And one day, he meets a young woman that wants to go with him. She has real dreams, and he is her escape. It doesn't matter that all these people paid for this audition, and that they couldn't afford it. All it matters is that they have their one shot at being seen and loved. And they all take that one shot.
One day, a police chief tries it. He is not as gullible as most people and goes through the whole thing. Later on, in the film, the young man finds
himself arrested. The policeman has done some checking on him.
( Spoiler Alert )
The story turns into a really sad one. He is beaten up by the mafia family, who was going to rob and kill him. And is thrown in jail for a couple of years. In the meantime the young girl who loves him dearly, is not doing well. When he gets out of jail he sets about trying to find her, and
seeing if they can save anything. She is in an institution, partly damaged because her dream has crashed hard.
This sad film, has its truly beautiful moments, and I am of the opinion that Tornatore's desire is to ask if it is such a bad thing, when one man can wake up people, so well, like he does, even if the camera has no film in it at all, or of it does, he has damaged it, one night while threading it.
And the questions arise... is it right for anyone to wake up people's dreams, and leave them hanging? Will people be the same? Most will. But some will not. But, generally, they all enjoyed doing what they did, and would do it again in a minute for a chance to make it in film, be it real or not.
Wonderful film, in many respects, it is photographed beautifully and has some magnificent moments to share with us. One may have wished that there had been some poetic justice in the end, but it seems that hope just is not one of the choices in Italy, specially in Sicily, it seems.
Worth seeing, although the last few minutes are sad. Ends on a positive note.
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