Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Scenes from "Cresceranno i Carciofi a Mimongo" [1996 Italy]

Fulvio Ottaviano won a David for his early film "Cresceranno i Carciofi a Mimongo" [Eng. Title: Growing Artichokes in Mimongo], a breezy comedy about young graduates trying to establish themselves.

Sergio is a botany graduate struggling to land a job, and tries to follow instructions from a self-help book that promises success. But he finds it hard going due to his carefree and happy-go-lucky flatmate Enzo's noisy bedroom antics. To make matters worse, his sweetheart Rita decides on marrying someone else. Sergio almost gives up when he feels he's swimming against the tide, and sees his dream of developing techniques for cultivating artichokes receding, until good fortune arrives in an unexpected way...

Shot in black and white with a limited budget in what appears to be on-location, it has the distinct feel of European art films from the seventies. The dialogues are witty with decent performances by a largely unknown cast who would later on become household names (like Valerio Mastandrea and Daniele Liotti). The direction and editing is simple, effective, and the cinematography is also competent. This film actually came as a pleasant surprise to me as I wasn't expecting anything, having never heard of the film nor the director before watching it. It also features a couple of nude scenes thanks to Chantal Ughi and Antonella Avolio, also giving me a reason for this blog-entry. Needless to say, the film is Recommended Viewing..! DVD Link


Compilation: Chantal Ughi and Antonella Avolio

Chantal Ughi and Antonella Avolio in Cresceranno i carciofi a Mimongo

Scene Guide:
  • Former classmates chatting away over the phone - and one of them is Chantal in the bathroom, played by Chantal Ughi (a Thai martial arts champion in real life).
  • An annoyed Sergio knocks on Enzo's door to ask him to turn down the music, only to be surprised when it's answered by stark naked stranger Gertrud, played by a rather athletic looking Antonella Avolio. It was Gertrud's sister Inghe that Enzo was dating originally. He now asks Sergio whether it is a good idea to return through Gertrud the diaphragm Inghe had left behind earlier. :)
  • Woken up by the telephone.


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