versione originale italiana


Cut the wanking
a review by Claudia Russo

translation by Luca Persiani

  UncuT - Member only, Italy, 2003
directed by Gionata Zarantonello, starring Franco Trentalance, Luisa Corleone, Morena Ciotoli, Cristina Mazzuzzi

They say our generation is a confused one.
Let's start from this statement and do something about it.
Gionata Zarantonello had an idea and was brave enough to film it. His second feature's title, Uncut, it's a manifesto and a political statement.
We all know politics can be played through Cinema - it's dangerously obvious. But being thought-provoking with images, that's a less tolerated thing. Especially if the spark comes from a well focused project.
Maybe a little obscure, but never confused.
Gionata Zarantonello is a young italian filmmaker (he also writes about b-movies in "Filmaker's Magazine") who directed the cult splatter movie Medley in 1995. With Uncut he landed a movie made of one single shot, without cuts. A movie without life, as could be said with the words of Pier Paolo Pasolini, one of the most encumbering italian intellectuals from the XX century. Words surely well known by Zarantonello, a director but also a writer himself ("Basta che respirano. Il metodo del cuscino e altri stratagemmi per sopravvivere alle donne” [lt: If she can breath, she's my kind. The cushion method and other tricks to survive women], Coniglio Editore).
Some fools might think Zarantonello wants to follow the master's path (let me boldly play with the idea of him as Pasolini's pupil) using human body to stir up audiences. Everyone else, sincerely bored by a 78 minutes shot without cuts (Uncut holds the Guinness World Record for containing the longest filmed shot of a penis), will understand how putting away editing means to kill cinema and die.
Forced in bed after an accident, male pornstar Franco Trentalance - we never see his face, only his tired and troubled sex organ - is a dead man walking. He's a writer rejected by his own publisher, let down by a mysterious woman he may be in love with or either he may have killed; a man exploited by the very girls he plans to use.
A movie with no cuts tells a story of a life with no turning points, of changes that can't be made. Finally, the thrilling plot that keeps the feeble story alive comes to an end, but the main carachter can't change his beliefs: as always he hates the weaker sex, but he loves sex.
Misogynist only on the surface, the movie's strongest points are not images, but words. The funny and politically-uncorrect script is full of ironic wits ("You don't love a person: you love love"; "You don't need words to make love. Sex is love's good side" ) and sharp, brutal jokes: "I was aware that my woman was not mine. And so I loved her. She was a bitch";"Having a woman is like playing football. You run like hell and then you have to kick her". In the end, the narrator's voice over plays heavily with the whole male gender: "You are just a walking prick!" "Not true - replys the penis -: I can't walk".
Shot on a 200.000 euros budget with a HD camera, the movie was filmed in just one day, after a four day reharsal. Uncut played in many film festivals, including Locarno, Tribeca, Rio de Janeiro, Fort Lauderdale. Nevertheless, the movie was badly advertised in his own country: italy marketers tried to spark and support a media scandal that needed a strong release strategy to keep up. A strategy that wasn't (couldn't be) there: the movie brefly played only in art-houses, like the Filmstudio in Rome.
Maybe Zarantonello's effort failed to reach audiences also beacause italian society is not ready to accept a film like that. In Uncut, pornography acts in our place: this way Zarantonello manages to show how passive we may be, both as audiences and as human beings. We cowardly react only when morality and religion (in particular catholicism, a cult that's showing a face less and less holy and human) are shaken. A morality play that goes all the way without being highbrow, using the basics of filmmaking: spicy wits, a plain thriller scheme, sex and feelings.
We are a confused generation. It's time to show what we inherited from the past.