Archive of films Reality / Reality

Italy / France
2012, 115 min

Section: Horizons
Year: 2012

Grand Prix winner Matteo Garrone surprised audiences at Cannes this year with a stylistic shift away from his famous Gomorrah. Here he tells the story of Neapolitan fish salesman and occasional entertainer Luciano who, as a prospective candidate on a famous reality show, suddenly finds himself knocking on the door to the Big Brother house. Everyday reality and dreams of a life of luxury merge in this caustic comedy which, with its emphasis on the far-fetched and its gaze centred on an ecstasy bordering on insanity, calls to mind the work of Garrone’s compatriot, Fellini.


Luciano owns a thriving fish shop in the heart of old Naples. He has a beautiful wife and lots of relatives, and he loves dancing – preferably with an audience. Encouraged by his children, he decides to audition for the TV reality show "Big Brother.” He gets into the second round and starts dreaming of fame and riches – until reality puts a damper on his plans. From the start Matteo Garrone wanted to make a comedy rather than another film about the Neapolitan mafia. His portrait of the little world of working-class Naples is reminiscent of the golden age of Italian comedy, now with the added element of television, which shapes people’s taste and thinking and defines their notions of success and happiness. In the raucous vulgarity of the opening wedding scene, and in the way Luciano inevitably succumbs to the magical lure and frantic hype of commercial television, we feel the presence of Federico Fellini.

About the director

Matteo Garrone (b. 1968, Rome) studied fine arts. He began working in 1986 as an assistant cameraman while continuing to paint. His first feature, Terra di mezzo, took the Special Jury Prize at the 1997 Turin International Festival of Young Cinema. Other films by Garrone have enjoyed success at international festivals, such as the documentary Oreste Pipolo, fotografo di matrimoni, the feature film Guests (Ospiti), and, in particular, the drama The Embalmer (L’imbalsamatore, 2002), which was included in the Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes in 2002 and in the Horizons section at KVIFF 2003. His next film, First Love (Il primo amore, 2004), which previously competed in Berlin (awarded the Silver Bear for Best Music), was also screened in Karlovy Vary. The raw fresco Gomorrah (2008) represented the Italian film industry in the Open Eyes section at KVIFF 2008.


Fandango Portobello Sales
12 Addison Ave, W11 4QR, London
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 207 605 1396
Fax: +44 207 605 1391

About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Horizons
Director: Matteo Garrone
Screenplay: Maurizio Braucci, Ugo Chiti, Matteo Garrone, Massimo Gaudioso
Dir. of Photography: Marco Onorato
Music: Alexandre Desplat
Editor: Marco Spoletini
Producer: Domenico Procacci, Matteo Garrone
Production: Fandango
Cast: Aniello Arena, Loredana Simioli, Nando Paone, Raffele Ferrante
Contact: Fandango Portobello Sales


Nando Paone



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