Pranzo di Ferragosto

Long live the ‘Mamma’! And a reasonably long life for her loving son, as well.

I could be an Italian mamma. I would love to sit and be waited on by my lovely offspring. I must have gone wrong somewhere. On the other hand, it’s quite nice to be left alone at times. But when I’m really old, unlike now, I need an Italian son. Please?

Didn’t have the faintest idea of what to make of the new film at Cornerhouse, Mid-August Lunch. But that was before I went to see it. It’s absolutely lovely!

Gianni is pretty old to be still living with his mamma, and she is positively ancient. They have no money, because he can’t work (!) because he’s looking after mamma. Then he’s ‘black mailed’ into letting another man’s mamma come and stay. And she doesn’t come alone. After which the flood gates open, and there is no end to mammas.

He shops and he cooks and he cajoles. Old women are never easy, though there is a reason for that. Several together is still not easy, and Gianni is over sixty, after all.

Ferragosto seems to be an August holiday, which requires special food. It leads to surprising developments amongst the women and Gianni.

Gianni's ladies

I did think this was a heaven sent film for old actresses, but it turns out that none of the ladies were professionals. Maybe that’s why it works so well. Gianni plays himself, more or less. He is the director of the film, and except for one professional actor, the others are his old friends.

You’ll live longer if you give up the smoking, Gianni.


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