Spettacolo (2017) [Film Screening]
Spettacolo (Jeff Malmberg and Chris Shellen, 2017, Italy/USA, DCP, 91 min.)
An exquisitely observed portrait of a community in the throes of upheaval and self-examination, Jeff Malmberg and Chris Shellen’s Spettacolo profiles a tiny Tuscan village famous for its fifty-year tradition of “autodrama”—turning the lives of its inhabitants into a yearly collective theatrical performance. Guided by a brilliant, mercurial director and populated with unforgettable personalities, the members of Monticchiello’s Teatro Povero (“poor theater”) filter the worldwide outrage following the 2009 financial meltdown through the prism of their rapidly-changing (and aging) community. Documenting three seasons in the life of this utterly singular community, Malmberg and Shellen’s film is also something of a secret history of the left, a testimony to the spirit of late-1960’s utopianism that his protagonists have fought, year by year, to preserve—and to perform.