© Camino Filmverleih GmbH

Anni Felici Barfuß durchs Leben (Those Happy Years, Anni felici)
Italy/France 2013

Opening 27 Aug 2015

Directed by: Daniele Luchetti
Writing credits: Daniele Luchetti, Sandro Petraglia, Stefano Ruli, Caterina Venturini
Principal actors: Kim Rossi Stuart, Micaela Ramazzotti, Martina Gedeck, Samuel Garofalo, Niccolò Calvagna

Guido is a middle-class, middle-talented artist. He books models into his atelier where his artistic results are less impressive than his seductions. The fact that he is married with two small sons is not deterrent to this behavior, after all “Picasso had three wives and no one told Picasso what to do.” Too bad he isn’t Picasso. Serena is a huggy/clingy wife whose whole life is her family. She doesn’t understand Guido’s behavior until she goes on vacation and meets up with Heike (Martina Gedeck), who turns her head and makes her feel loved. Serena cheats on Guido in her own way, which brings him up with a start. All of this is told from the standpoint of their son Dario (Samuel Garofalo), who follows them around with a camera.

Director Daniele Luchetti said that this story, filmed in Rome, is partly autobiographical in that his parents’ behavior was similar and he “witnessed it” growing up. This was in the anti-authoritative age of the 1970s, when supposedly children ran free, no holds barred. (Luchetti was born in 1960.) His father gave him a super 8 camera, which he actually also used to make this film. Sadly, the film drags until we wonder “is anything going to happen besides sitting in a car and smoking? Do we care about anyone in this story?” There was none to very little background music, which in some films is a real blessing, but would have captured our attention here. Luckily, the photography of the beach in France, as well as other areas, and the beautiful sculptures in the artist’s atelier are wonderful. (Becky Tan)

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