Bongiorno Heartbreak, Or Watch Out For That Giovanni Fella

Marco Foschi and Alba Rohrwacher of "Riprendimi (Good Morning Heartache)", at 412 Bistro Restaurant and Bar in Park City, Utah.  In Anna Negri's film they play Giovanni and Lucia, a troubled married couple who are also filmmakers.  (Photo: Omar P.L. Moore)

By Omar P.L. Moore/The Popcorn Reel

PARK CITY, Utah -- January 23, 2008

Anna Negri's "Riprendimi" made its world premiere here as part of the 2008 Sundance Film Festival's World Dramatic Competition, and 412 Bistro Restaurant and Bar on Main Street was where the stars of the film, subtitled "Good Morning Heartache" (after the song by Billie Holliday), could be found.  "Riprendimi" actors Marco Foschi and Alba Rohrwacher were in the middle of a prior interview that was unwittingly interrupted by an overeager journalist.  The film's publicist leant an ear to the conversation chaired by the subsequent interviewer, to, as she said, assist with interpreting the questions being asked of the Italian actors, although not much interpretation was needed, as their English was more than adequate, and in fact improved with questions that evoked passionate exchanges between Mr. Foschi and Ms. Rohrwacher.

"Riprendimi" is a film within a film, about a troubled documentary filmmaking married couple with a child, a couple whose every private and public moments are filmed "Truman Show"-style, as their intimacy unravels, with the concept of fidelity severely tested by Giovanni (Foschi), a frustrated actor, and his wife Lucia (Rohrwacher), a freelance film editor whose work and family life are rapidly disintegrating.  Ms. Negri's film is funny, sexy and refreshingly adult with occasional moments that disturb, as the responsibilities of men and women in relationships are fleshed out as part satire and part cautionary tale.

At the Bistro with Mr. Foschi, who has a distant resemblance to Gael Garcia Bernal, the Mexican actor, and Miss Rohrwacher, who has an alluring innocence, was the film's executive producer Roberto Manni, who spent a few moments talking about being at Sundance, while 412's patrons and filmgoers congratulated him and both cast members on their performances and the film.  "It is beautiful to be here . . . it is a great experience at Sundance," said Mr. Manni in the best conversational English that he could render.

As for the mindsets of the two main characters in "Riprendimi" as described by their custodians: "I think Lucia think that her freedom is to be with him (Giovanni)," Miss Rohrwacher said, "so when she's alone she's not free because I think that the freedom is to be together, to live together, and together we are free.  For him, together we are in the prison." 

Mr. Foschi hastily provided an addendum to his co-star's comments for his character.

"A rat in a cage", he said, provoking laughter from all within earshot.

"I think I am a little bit different about Lucia in my life, but also I think that with this character I discover something . . . loneliness.  When you are alone and you are fear, now I know what it is.  Because she give me that.  It's like a present." 

Miss Rohrwacher instantly corrects herself.  "It's not a present, but I know what it can be, do you understand?"

As for Giovanni, whom women in the film have to watch out for, his creator Mr. Fochi had a few words about him, a character that at first he had difficulty divorcing himself from.  "At the beginning of the film I talk with Anna a lot about these characters because I really didn't love him.  I said so many times to Anna, 'But why he have to say that?  It's so stupid!'  It was a wrong problem because I put the problem on me.  It's not me, it's Giovanni."  Mr. Foschi also said that he learned something about his character Giovanni.  "What he feels, he choose.  And this is a good feeling with your heart.  In a way he's making a wrong way for the relationship, for all the world.  But he has also this kind of pureness.  Stupid, really like a little boy.  It's stupid, but it's honest."

Now, both Mr. Foschi and Miss Rohrwacher have a playful exchange about the correctness or incorrectness of Giovanni's behavior.

"But it's stupid, no? " insists a laughing Miss Rohrwacher.  "Because you have to take responsibility of the situation, no?"  Mr. Foschi defends himself, supplying a gently sarcastic, "thank you Alba" in response to the actress's assertions about his Giovanni.  Miss Rohrwacher apologizes, but sweetly castigates Mr. Foschi's character.  "No, sorry but, you are a child, you are a . . . "

"I say, 'little child'," Mr. Foschi adds.

"Yes, you are like a child," Miss Rohrwacher laughs.

Through the looking glass: Marco Foschi as Giovanni, a father, adulterer and frustrated actor, with Valentina Lodovini as Michela in "Riprendimi"; Alba Rohrwacher as Lucia, Giovanni's wife, in a scene from the film. 

Note: Alba Rohrwacher will next be seen in two films, "Il Tuo Disprezzo" and "Caos Calmo" (aka "Quiet Chaos").  Marco Foschi has no upcoming film releases at the moment.

Go To The Popcorn Reel Sundance Film Festival 2008 Headquarters

Copyright The Popcorn Reel.  2008.  All Rights Reserved.


Home   Features   News   Movie Reviews  Audio Lounge  Awards Season  The Blog Reel  YouTube Reel  Extra Butter  The Dailies