, 116min, OmeU
Closer in spirit to THE GODFATHER PART III than THE SOPRANOS, the Mafia family in Antonio Capuano’s LUNA ROSSA is a bloodthirsty tribe of assassins who listen to classic local music and talk like foul-mouthed versions of characters out of a Greek play. The Cammaranos are introduced in disquieting flashes as the news spreads that they have dealt a rival Camorra family a death blow. They gloat over their enemy’s losses, much greater than their own. The aging padrino, Amerigo, keeps a ferocious black panther caged in his room, and exhibits his taste in an oil painting of two horses mating. Copulation and killing are the two basic rules of survival for the Cammaranos, who are ruthless masters at both.
Apart from the pic’s epic ambitions, the great merit of LUNA ROSSA lies in its portrayal of the Mafia as one big pile of stinking rot – an insight that so often gets lost in movies that focus on the characters’ personal dramas, or flashy gangland killings and police operations. Here the evil really does go beyond individuals, and their punishment is not human but divine.
The story is told in brief snatches in scenes shot with a bare minimum of decor and an eerie lack of background sounds, apart from some finely chosen period recordings. Tommaso Borgstrom’s dramatic lighting, playing off the colors red and black, heightens the frightening atmosphere. Also notable is Paolo Petti’s very effective use of minimal interiors to create a suffocating feeling of oppression. (Deborah Young)
In presence of Antonio Capuano.