Ciambra
14 December 2017

THE LAST FLOOR (first feature)

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THE LAST FLOOR (L' ULTIMO PIANO)

THE LAST FLOOR (L' ULTIMO PIANO)

original title:

L' ULTIMO PIANO

directed by:

screenplay:

set design:

costume design:

production:

country:

Italy

year:

2003

film run:

100'

format:

35mm - colour

aspect ratio:

1:1.85

sound:

Dolby SR

festival & awards:

Armin works as a location scout who has extrasensory powers. These powers inextricably link him to the places he’s looking for, and also to the sounds in these places, sounds that he believes are a sign that his perceptions are being honed to perfection. But these perceptions slowly become stronger and even painful, gradually isolating him from the reality that surrounds him. Carlo, the director of a horror film, asks Armin to find a location for his film, and Armin discovers what he feels is “the place”: an enormous concrete building, more than 1 kilometre long, that seems like an ocean liner. The noise of the building’s air conditioning, which permeates the whole film, is like the noise of the engines of that ocean liner as it is about to set sail. Armin gradually abandons the research for the film, turning it into his personal research. The building has a hold on him and his perceptions become increasingly strong. Inside the “place”, Armin meets Milla, a simple but enigmatic girl. She becomes his lover and also his guide to the inner workings of the concrete structure. Milla is naïve and solitary, a seductive and magical being. It’s almost as though she’s privy to a secret that only she knows, a secret linked to that building. Milla represents instinct. There are other characters in Armin’s life, first and foremost Hannabelle, his girlfriend. She’s an archaeologist and is in love with Armin. Hannabelle feels that something is going on and that it’s connected with Armin, something more than she wants to admit to herself, a fine, yet strong link. Armin knows that she’s his only connection with reality, the only rock he can cling to, and so he carries on phoning her, but without ever saying anything, like a silent cry for help. Hannabelle realises that the silent phone calls are from Armin but she doesn’t know how to react, and the long silences over the phone make her tense. Hannabelle represents reason. Armin’s only friend is Ash, who is there for him, without interfering too much in his life. But through him, we see a second side to Armin, a more hidden and violent aspect. It appears to be linked to unexplained exchanges of white plastic bags and occasional beatings. Armin found the place, or perhaps the place found Armin, and now the path becomes clearer. After he slowly gets to know the building, guided by the apparently innocent Milla, Armin reaches the doors of the top floor. Armin stays there and listens to his perceptions becoming even more fine-tuned, to the point where all else disappears. He is engulfed by a wave of heat from inside himself, which turns everything white ….