Buchi Neri

on December 31, 1995 by Alex Albanese
Pappi Corsicato's second feature, "Black Holes," is a self-conscious mix of nearly a half- century's worth of cultural references. Unfortunately, most are only half digested. An uneasy mix of Italian postwar neorealism, generic '60s European art/cinema existentialism, '50s SF and the campy side of our current fin-de-siecle nihilism, "Black Holes" often feels like a term paper with too many direct quotes.
The story centers on Adamo (Vincenzo Peluso), a young drifter that women and men alike find irresistible, despite his pathological inability to make commitments. After ambling to his hometown to attend his mother's funeral, Adamo falls into driving a truck; falls into a manipulative, voyeuristic relationship with a high-minded prostitute (Iaia Forte); falls into stabbing another young man on the beach (large portions of plot and attitude are lifted from Camus' "The Stranger"); and so on.
At several points, this meandering story almost sparks to life--there's a genuinely humorous subplot concerning the true identity and agenda of chickens--but, like the unrelenting sun that throttles the dusty Neapolitan mise-en-scene, relentless art-school posturing keeps beating down any chance of real entertainment, leaving the viewer as stupefied as the sun-stroked characters.
Perhaps Corsicato fancies himself "Italy's Pedro Almodovar"; both share a fascination with bizarre plot twists and all things kitschy, but Almodovar usually whips his fetishes into an enjoyable frappe. Corsicato is still too precious about his outre constructions and too remote from both his characters and his audience to be placed in the same league. Starring Vincenzo Peluso and Iaia Forte. Directed and written by Pappi Corsicato. Produced by Aurielio De Lau-rentiis. No distributor set. Comedy/drama. Italian-language; subtitled. Not yet rated. Running time: 95 min.
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