All the Town's a Stage: Embedded With the Filmmakers of 'Spettacolo'

"We listened, translated what we observed into a portrait, and then presented that portrait back to the villagers for their thoughts."
Author:
Publish date:

"A brilliantly embedded, gently embellished documentary of sorts, and one whose bedding is itself a matter of documentaristic embellishment," writes

Paul D'Agostino

, "

Spettacolo

takes you deep inside the harrowing history and heartbreaking present tense of a gem-like hilltop paesino in Tuscany — Monticchiello, population 136.

"Not quite a regional locality with the touristic draw of Florence, Siena, Pisa or Arezzo, tiny Monticchiello has nonetheless a particular claim to artistic fame, that of the rigidly town-centric autodramma. This translates roughly as 'self-drama' or 'drama of the self,' and it was born out of the village's profoundly self-reflective practices of 'poor theater,' teatro povero, in which the townspeople themselves, as the actors and collaborative authors, allow their own lives to be 'transformed into a spectacle.'" To read more of D'Agostino's article,

click here

.

A Spectacle of Fables and Fascism

Can a Tiny Tuscan Town Keep Its "Poor Theater" Alive?

Spettacolo Lovingly Chronicles a Tuscan Theatrical Tradition in Decline

With Spettacolo, the Team Behind Marwencol Travels to a Tuscan Town That Plays Itself

"When American husband-and-wife filmmakers Jeff Malmberg and Chris Shellen arrive in the cobblestoned village, Monticchiello's thespians face two problems," recounts

Mark Jenkins

. "Interest in the annual outdoor pageant is dwindling as longtime stalwarts become ill or die, or reject the plays' political messages, while younger people mostly decline to take the veterans' places. Also, the only available subject seems to be what one resident describes as Italy's 'never-ending' economic crisis.

"The fiscal dilemma, this engaging documentary gradually reveals, is a mix of specifically Italian political corruption and the global rise of the class termed 'the one percent.' Tuscany is home to many of these plutocrats, who arrive from throughout the affluent world to convert former farmhouses into vacation 'villas.' But they live elsewhere for most of the year, and an attempt to build affordable housing for longtime residents sits abandoned at the bottom of Monticchiello's hillock.

"Finally, the play makers decide to dramatize nothing less than "the end of the world." The bits of workshopping, rehearsal, and performance we see indicate that the earth will be destroyed not by fire or ice, but by bankers. That satirical appraisal is ratified by a real-life event during the play's preparations. The development is both telling and the funniest thing in the movie." To read more of Jenkins' article,

click here

.

Image placeholder title



"It was an honor to be the first filmmakers to record Teatro Povero di Monticchiello's process from beginning to end," say co-directors Malmberg and Shellen. Fifty years of self-examination have given the villagers an unusual perspective on their world and, fortunately for us, enough curiosity and humor to open their lives up to two Americans with film equipment. For us the film was a chance to learn from a town of people who have chosen to make art the center of their lives – through a very unique theatrical experiment.

"The theater's process of 'autodrama' doesn't follow a schedule, so we moved into the center of town, learned Italian, and tried to emulate the theatreʼs process. We listened, translated what we observed into a portrait, and then presented that portrait back to the villagers for their thoughts. The experience was utterly unique.

"We started the process as the ultimate outsiders – two people from Los Angeles who barely spoke a word of Italian when we arrived. But gradually, we began to realize how connected our stories are, and how many of Monticchiello's fears and experiences we all share. Five years later, this film has become a collaboration with a group of people we both admire and love."


Related

BlackBox-Radian

Black Box Radian Flex Software-Based Video Wall Platform Earns ISE Best of Show Award

Black Box, an industry-leading provider of pro AV connectivity and signal distribution systems, today announced that the company's Radian Flex software-based video wall platform won an ISE Best of Show Award from AV Technology Europe, a Future Publishing magazine. Of the more than 1,000 exhibitors at ISE 2019, only 15 — including Black Box with Radian Flex — earned this award, which recognizes achievements and innovations in product and service development.

Luxul_XMS-1208P

Luxul to Bring Reliability and High Performance to IBS 2019 With Latest Networking Solutions for the Smart Home

Luxul, the leading innovator of IP networking solutions for AV integrators, today announced its technology line-up for the NAHB International Builders' Show (IBS), taking place February 19-21 in Las Vegas. In the Legrand booth SU614, the company will exhibit a wide range of solutions for home builders that deliver reliable, high-performance networks in smart homes, including Gigabit switches; the next generation of wireless controller technology; indoor and outdoor wireless access points (APs); wired and wireless routers; intelligent network power distribution units (PDU); and the Wi-Fi Assurance Program exclusively for builders.

HoverCam_Pilot3

HoverCam's Pilot Series and ClassFusion Learning Platform Land Big Wins at TCEA 2019

HoverCam, a leader in innovative, interactive, and engaging education solutions, announced that the company's digital classroom solutions received three major honors from Tech & Learning at the recent Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA) 2019 Conference in San Antonio. At the show, HoverCam's Pilot 3 digital teaching station received the Award of Excellence in the District category, while the company's new Pilot X podium and ClassFusion software platform both earned Best of Show honors. The awards were presented on Feb. 6 at a special ceremony held at Casa Rio restaurant in San Antonio.

Veritone_CollegeFootballPlayoff

College Football Playoff Uses Veritone's AI and Digital Asset Management Solutions to Enable Richer Media Coverage

Veritone Inc. (Nasdaq: VERI), the creator of the world's first operating system for artificial intelligence, aiWARE™, today announced that the College Football Playoff (CFP) leveraged an expanded deployment of Veritone solutions and services for the 2019 CFP National Championship to give members of the media even faster and richer access to its content resources. In addition to the CFP's Digital Media Hub, a white-label digital asset management portal from Veritone, the CFP also utilized Veritone's Live Event Services and aiWARE artificial intelligence platform for the first time. With aiWARE, the CFP was able to apply artificial intelligence to video footage and still images of press conferences, interviews and other Media Day events to produce transcriptions, automated facial recognition of players and coaches, logo identification, and other tasks enabling expedited and enhanced coverage of the 2019 College Football Playoff National Championship. For the first time, the CFP was able to make Media Day press conference clips and images available for search and immediate download within minutes of delivery. Following the success of this deployment, CFP has renewed its agreement with Veritone through the 2020 championship game in New Orleans.