Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Il Futuro

Alicia Scherson's "Il Futuro" stars Manuela Martelli as Bianca, one of two children left orphaned when both parents perish in an automobile accident.

She agrees to take responsibility for her younger brother Tomas (Luigi Ciardo), and the two share the family apartment in Rome and their father's small pension. Tomas starts missing school to work (for peanuts) at a local gym, and one day brings home two roided-up bodybuilder friends who need a place to stay "just for tonight." Pretty soon, the two (Alessandro Giallocosta and Nicolas Vaporidis) have all but moved in. They approach Bianca with a plan: they recently repaired some equipment at the home of Maciste (Rutger Hauer), a former Mister Universe who played a Hercules type in some sword-and-sandal movies in the 60's. He's now blind and keeps all his money in a hidden safe. Come to his house as an escort, befriend him, and set about finding that safe. 

Not much of a plot, and not much of a movie, though it takes forever to play out. It's the sort of picture where you check the time hoping fifteen minutes have passed, and instead four minutes have passed. You keep thinking all the ambience and Bianca's endless, disaffected voiceover will lead somewhere (the idea of the two juiceheads worming their way in and refusing to move out could be interesting, even erotic). Scherson puts together some striking images - juxtapositions of people and places - but her sensibility is more that of a photographer than a film artist. There's a terrific moment in which Bianca waves her arm in front of Maciste, as if to make sure he's really blind, and he unexpectedly grabs it. But if you want to see Hauer at his peak, you'll have to go back a quarter-century to Phillip Noyce's underrated and very funny "Blind Fury."

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