Little Ideas (first feature)

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Little Ideas (Le Piccole idee)

Little Ideas (Le Piccole idee)

Little Ideas (Le Piccole idee)

original title:

LE PICCOLE IDEE

directed by:

cast:

Luca D'Alessandro, Mario Vigiak Bugara, Gea Dall'Orto, Teresa Scozzi, Armando Cardarilli, Giulia Cardarilli, Luisa Mauri, Angelo Giotta, Mara Romani

screenplay:

cinematography:

production:

world sales:

country:

Italy

year:

2012

film run:

94'

format:

35mm - colour

festivals & awards:

  • Festival dell'Immaginario 2012: Panorama
  • PaesAgire 2012: Panorama

During the period of crisis in which we are living, in which the middle class is suddenly slipping into a condition of social hardship, four stories from northern to southern Italy tell how, at times, a small problem can turn into a mountain to be climbed. But with determination and a bit of imagination, no mountaintop is really impossible to reach.
Episode I – The idea of the ogre
Paolo, a 39-year-old professor of the University of Florence, separated from his wife, promises his five-year-old daughter he will give her a pink bicycle she had seen in a store for her birthday. But the bike is very expensive and with his salary he already has a hard time making it through to the end of the month. In order to be able to make his daughter happy, he decides, not without uneasiness, to start eating at a soup kitchen for the poor. There, he is confronted with a volunteer who scolds him: it’s not by spoiling children that we help them grow up. At that point Paolo has an idea. He goes to a bicycle repair shop and has a bike put together with spare parts. Then, at home, he paints it pink, adding a bell and basket. When he gives the bike to his daughter, she is disappointed because it’s not the one she had seen in the store. He tries to convince her to try it out, but she doesn’t want to have anything to do with it. Paolo feels humiliated, but won’t give up: opening his arms wide, he pretends to turn into a monster ready to grab her. His daughter smiles in amusement, jumps onto the bike and tries to ride off. He follows her, but is unable to catch her. It may not be the pink bike she wanted, but it still saved her from a monster!
Episode II – The idea of an embrace
Stefano, 47 years old, from Ostia, after the failed experience with his restaurant-pub, is now a househusband, since he has been unable to find another job. His wife Elena earns just 900 euro a month. Their daughter Giulia is a carefree 14-year-old who, in mid-July, is only dreaming of the start of a new and important experience: high school.
But, like a bolt out of the blue, when Elena goes to her daughter’s middle school to pick up her diploma, the secretarial office tells her that the diploma is being held back because the family is behind in the school’s cafeteria payments. What can be done? They need a loan. Unfortunately their relatives are worse off than they are. The only alternative is their neighbor, with whom they have a cordial relationship. But Stefano refuses: it’s a question of pride. The relationship between Elena and Stefano becomes more and more tense and Giulia, by now sure she will have to give up school, starts work as a hairdresser’s apprentice. In the meantime Stefano, to scrape together the money, sells some of their furnishings, but it’s not enough. During the umpteenth argument, Elena accuses him of having undersold everything and of not being able to support his family. Vexed, he leaves home. Elena, left alone, decides once and for all to knock on their neighbor’s door and ask for a loan.
The next day Elena and Stefano, finally with Giulia’s diploma in hand, go to the shop where she is working and accompany her to the high school for enrollment.
Episode III – The idea of looking into each other’s eyes
Raniero, a 60-year-old businessman of Veneto, in debt and with his factory closed due to a lack of orders, to exorcise the crisis decides to organize a barbecue at the factory with the very workers he was forced to lay off. His wife thinks it’s a crazy idea, and so does the union representative, who rightly asks for work and not social outings. The businessman doesn’t give up: he goes to the bar where the workers are hanging out and explains his idea to them. There is no work yet, but things are sure to get going again. In the meantime, this can be an occasion for rediscovering solidarity, a sense of a shared plan, and the strength of not giving up. The workers are all against this batty idea from their former boss. The day of the barbecue, the businessman finds himself alone at the plant with his wife. But right when it seems that no one else will arrive, the cars of several workers with their families show up. Amidst perplexed looks and awkward smiles, the crisis-chasing barbecue can get under way.
Episode IV – The idea of having them dance
Mariano, a 54-tyear-old computer technician, laid off after 30 years on the job, has no idea how to spend his days, and feels useless. He falls into a state of depression and becomes aggressive with his wife Cristina and daughter Fabiana. His daughter is no longer able to study with her father on the other side of the room watching TV at all hours with the volume turned up, often half drunk. In addition, Cristina has a toothache that prevents her from eating, but at the moment they don’t have the money for the dentist. But one day, on the Internet, their daughter comes across the “Time Bank”, an association in which people trade services, skills, and know-how with each other without exchanging money. Cristina and Fabiana suggest to Mariano that he go give computer lessons, so that way maybe they’ll be able to get a voucher for a dentist’s appointment. Mariano reluctantly accepts the suggestion and, unexpectedly, his lessons are a great success: his pupils increase in number with each lesson, and he regains self-confidence. And one day Luigi, the head of the Time Bank, as he gives Mariano a slip with a dentist’s phone number on it, asks him to help him organize the Time Bank’s party for all its members. Mariano accepts enthusiastically and, during the party, also reconciles with his family, asking his wife to dance a slow dance with him.