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original title:


directed by:



costume design:


Madeleine, Skydancers, Rai Cinema, supported by Ministero della Cultura, Squeezed Heart Production


Italy, USA



film run:



35mm - colour

release date:


Journey to the end of a juke-box, the biggest in the world: Naples, a treasure chest of songs, indeed a homeland of songs, a legend which starts with the founding myth of muses. Songs and singers, musicians and poets, real and legendary characters are all protagonists of a film which crosses one the most beautiful, famous and controversial metropolises in the world, one of the very few able to embody an idea of life.
The foreign, but not too foreign, glance of the Italian-American John Turturro traverses the city and its music, from the “Canto delle lavandaie del Vomero”, dated 1200, to “Napul’è” by Pino Daniele, conjuring distant stories and nearby myths. The film journeys from nostalgic memories to reconstructions, from singing carousels to street voices, from the Neapolitan melodramas to video-clips, from the history of songs to the stories songs tell and hide. Often original images of the great voices of a now distant past overlap those of modern performers, able to carry on a glorious tradition recreating and renewing it.
Therefore, Mina’s timeless style paves the way to Pietra Pontecorvino’s disarming elegance; the experimental fascinations of Raiz, Almamegretta and M’Barka Ben Taleb frame the moving meeting between Massimo Ranieri and Lina Sastri; among the irresistible performances are those of Fiorello and Gennaro Cosmo Parlato, and the musical memories of Avion Travel, Peppe Barra and James Senese.
An exceptional orchestra for a repertoire which speaks of love, sex, jealousy, immigration, protest: the gems of the 1800s and the last modern classics of the 1900s are in the hands of the conductor Turturro – serious and yet playful -- who, with a complicit and curious glance, is looking for the poetic reference of tunes, of their ability to represent the world and travel it, thanks to their substantial global essence: Neapolitan but international.
Each song becomes a small screenplay, an emotional postcard sent from a city and the forces driving it: the energy, the dramas, the pride, the ironies. An on top of all this a strong, unrelenting sensuousness and the laughter of the mind and of the heart.
From the advent of 78 rpm records to the death of CDs, Neapolitan always finds its way back and renews its melody and spell.