“Salt of Life” – Peppered with Laughter

Gianni Di Gregorio - SALT OF LIFE ITALIAN

Italian Man's Best Friend

Film:  SALT OF LIFE (Gianni e le Donne)

UK Release Date:  12th August 2011

Year:  2011

Director:  G

Bonus:  Q & A with director / co-writer / actor Gianni Di Gregorio

Venue:  Curzon, Mayfair

Cast:

Gianni Di Gregorio

Valeria de Franciscis Bendoni

Alfonso Santagata

Elisabetta Piccolomini

Valeria Cavalli

Alyn Prandi

Kristina Cepraga

Michelangelo Ciminale

Teresa Di Gregorio

Lilia Silvi

Gabriella Sborgi

Laura Squizzato

Silvia Squizzato

Further Info:

UK PREMIERE

Distributed by Artificial Eye

Official Site:  http://www.artificial-eye.com

Twitter:    http://www.Twitter.com/ArtificialEye

Gianni Gabriella Squizzato Salt Of Life

This Is No Asterix

I had a decision.  A film or a farewell meal for a friend.  I must add that this friend was having many a farewell do and this was almost ‘just another one’.

It turned out though, that after half-cancelling my acquired place at this Premiere screening I could now in fact attend both the movie and the meal.

It was going to be tight but I knew I could do both of the events.  So, I proceeded to head to the Curzon, Mayfair.  It was now a case of a Cancelled and Re-Claimed prize… Indeed, would a seat be there with my name on it, or not?  It was there… In fact, I was ultimately informed that I could sit anywhere inside the auditorium.

SALT OF LIFE (Gianni e le Donne) Gregorio the Great

"Seen it... Seen it... Seen it..."

But until such time, I was seated in the bar and reception area of this fine establishment.  I was a tad excited to see such a movie – but one I knew little about.  Whilst there I witnessed many an Italian person arrive [obviously], as well as English and a fidgety old woman who appeared to have lost something.  Or her mind… Bless her.

I can’t say that the staff behind the bar were stupid, or clever but I’m sure I heard one of the guys tell a customer that “Salt Of Life” is an animated film.  Really?  Solely based on the animated poster? Silly man, although perhaps I’m also that man, as I believed him! [So much so that when the film later begun I thought it was perhaps going to transition away from live action to animation – This would then be in line both with it’s movie poster and a film still, or two I’d seen previously on the Curzon website:  http://www.curzoncinemas.com]

Ultimately, I placed myself in the front row of what is, incidentally the best Curzon screen I’ve experienced.  However, this was too close really – Especially for some of the early shaky camera work.  Of course, it was also great to be fully immersed in the proceedings.

SALT OF LIFE (Gianni e le Donne) Donne but not Forgotten

A Salty Reception

This being the UK Premiere & Preview, director Gianni Di Gregorio introduced the film and explained, with the aid of a translator that he made it at a certain age when he realised women had stopped looking at him.

Without further a do, and spoiling as little as possible I’ll describe this movie to you.

Here we have a middle aged man and a much older woman, clearly his mother. They appear to be speaking with a lawyer or more so probably an executor [that’s the pronounciation as in law not in executing in the form of killing!]

It’s clear from early on that this man is a little low and frustrated at this time in his life.  Is this all there is?  Whatever happened?  Where has gone his ability to attract – or even attempt to attract – women?  Has it dwindled so much that some kind of analogy to a motor or mechanical part is required here?  Yes.  This is later, and more than once reflected in such a broken down vehicle.  It’s fair to say that this vehicle keeps having the same problem.  Hmmm…

Salt Of Life - Party Mature Women

My Kind O' Party...

So, what does a guy do in such a pickle?  He surely doesn’t want to become ‘just one the many’ old guys out there, doing the same old thing, day after day.  Such a character is shown which could demonstrate this monotonousness – this character is a guy who has trousers & hat which match in colour… And so matches his dog! [In colour, I mean… It’s not a trousers-and-hat-wearing dog! Come on, this film is lighthearted enough but not over the top!]

Dogs feature semi-heavily in this movie… And I’m in no way meaning the derogitory word for women (or men to come to think of it).  No.  We see a few different breeds of our four-legged friends.  A great example of two such pets is shown not long into the story.  Our protagonist is seen walking more than one such pet – much to the amusement of one girl seated behind me.

Our hero is naturally facing a midlife or latelife crisis.  This is reflected greatly in many scenes, whether looking in the mirror, chatting to his best male friend, spending time with his much-demanding mother or taking a walk almost alongside a load of young female joggers.

Salt Of Life Gianni Dog Cherry

A Walk In The Park... Or A Jog...

Cherries are used in a great filmic way.  Are these suggesting popping someone’s cherry, cherry-picking a fruit of his own choice, or simply indicating that he is not taking a second bite of the cherry?  […like so many other men at his age, either in the movie or in real life…]

Indeed, had this film been made a couple of decades ago it could have been named “Men on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown”…!

“What about the women?”, I hear you cry.  Apart from some lovely females, including twins, a party-loving youngster, and a  practising soprano we have the oldies.  Although, one or two of the old women in the movie could be said to resemble men, except with a tad too much make-up.  Surely not just my opinion here?

Salt of Life - Woof Rough Etc - Gianni

Love Thy Neighbourhood...?

And what kind of modern film would this be without the mention or hint of Viagra?  In fact, an almost too-brilliant-to-be-considered-coincidental moment comes along, giving a knew meaning to someone who has got ‘the horn’.

Sex.  Drugs.  Drugs?  Yes.  Drugs (both sexual and recreational), a pixies tune & gambling all feature half-heavily in this sublime picture.  As do images [and memories, in my case anyway] of Rome.

Just when you wonder how the film will end, and as it approaches it’s modest and moderately lengthed run time, it hits you like a beautiful thunderbolt of euphoric lightning.

Salt Of Life - Gianni e le Donne - Gianni Upstaged - Women - Curzon

Up-Staged At Q & A? I Wouldn't Know... This Was Before The Film, Not After...

I couldn’t stay for the Q & A [I later heard it was wonderful] with the Italian director-slash-writer-slash-star.

So, Goodbye it was to this Salty Italian classic and onwards to say Farewell to a friend (leaving for Shanghai) over a Salty Chinese meal.

Find this trailer and other Minier [ok, that’s not a real word, but…] Movies here at:

http://www.youtube.com/miniminimovie

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