words by Gabi Logan
One Italian film is in the running for the Palme d’Or, Grand Prix, and other competition awards at this year’s Cannes Film Festival: Reality from director Matteo Garrone.
The film centres on a Neapolitan fish merchant who becomes so obsessed with Grande Fratello (the Italian version of Big Brother) that he starts to act like his life is being recorded. Grande Fratello, a reality show that follows a group of housemates 24 hours a day as they compete for a large cash prize, has broken numerous Italian rating records and continues to capture national public and media attention after twelve seasons. Realitycritiques the cause and effects of the show’s overwhelming success in Italy.
Like both Grande Fratello and Garrone’s prior film Gomorra, Reality, also known by the title Big House, features a mix of professional and non-professional actors. Aniello Arena and Loredana Simioli debut alongside veteran Claudia Gerini, known for Non ti muovere (Don’t Move).
Reality will compete at Cannes against seven other films, including David Cronenberg’s highly-anticipated Cosmopolis, Michael Haneke’s Amour, Walter Salles adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, and Lee Daniels’ The Paperboy starring Nicole Kidman.
Two other Italian films, Bernardo Bertolucci’s Io e Te and Dario Argento’s Dracula will also be screened during the festival. Italian director Nanni Moretti has been selected as president of the jury of the main competition.
The 2012 Cannes Film Festival runs from the 16th of May to the 27th of May 2012.