Cinequest 21 opening night: Passione

Passione was the opening night film at Cinequest 21, in the historic California Theater. The festival’s founder, Halfdan Hussey, started things off, and then we heard from the man who invented the cell phone, or at least lead its development at Motorola. I was never clear how that connected with Cinequest, but at least he was more interesting than the weather person who followed him. She kept her remarks brief, and the film itself started only 30 minutes after the official starting time.

The film turned out to be a personal documentary by John Turturro about Naples, Italy, focusing almost exclusively on music. Since the musical numbers were staged, sometimes elaborately, it might be closer to a musical. In any case I was pretty tired and missed some parts, though several of the musical numbers were quite enjoyable, and I found myself wondering if the soundtrack was available to buy. Since being tired was my fault, I’ll give it a weak out of .

After the film there was a very well done montage of Turturro’s work. Then he was given the Maverick Spirit Award, and there was an interview done on stage. Sadly the interviewer was either unprepared or just really bad at interviewing. Any film reviewer or film teacher could have done substantially better. Oh, well.

Seen on 3/1/2011 at Cinequest.

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