Saturday, 10 September 2011

Margherita Buy in "Lo Spazio Bianco" [2009 Italy]

"Lo Spazio Bianco" [Eng. title: The White Space] is a typical woman's film by Francesca Comencini - with the topic of premature birth as its theme, but focusing on the middle aged mother and her existential crisis as she struggles to cope with the uncertainty concerning the baby, her job, and love life. Yes - it is one of those post-feminist films using voiceless men merely as passers by - they just come and go with nothing much to contribute apart from helping women conceive - in other words - this is mensploitation..! Even if the film has good technical merits, I don't think this is Ms. Comencini's best effort. In fact my reason for watching this was her brilliant earlier film, "A Casa Nostra". The screenplay for this is nowhere near that standard.

Divorced forty year old Neapolitan Maria teaches literacy to adults. She tries to change her monotonous lifestyle by watch matinees before starting work, and in the process meets Pietro - a single father of a six month old infant. Maria falls in love with him and soon becomes pregnant, which doesn't please Pietro as he already has a young child - they split up when Maria decides to keep her baby. But the baby is born several months premature, and had to be kept in an incubator for fifty days before the doctors could ascertain whether the child will survive, grow up to be a normal person, or have some lasting defects. The bulk of this slow-paced film is of Maria trying to cope with this uncertainty. The title 'White Space' refers to leaving some blank space when stuck while answering an exam question, so that you can revisit after completing the others.

Brief nude scene: Margherita Buy
The only reason I even bothered to make a compilation of these brief scenes is because as far as I know, this is perhaps the only instance of nudity from the veteran actress who plays Maria, Margherita Buy - you may correct me if I'm wrong. What's more - she even presents herself in frontal view in albeit a backlit scene. She wanders around the house and stops to watch Pietro's baby. There are a couple of brief views of her breast during the love scenes shown through flashback. Towards the end we have a scene of Maria massaged by the doctor who works at the hospital where her baby is incubating.

Margherita Buy in Lo Spazio Bianco


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