2013. Italy/France. Fabio Gassadonia and Antonia Piazza. 104 min.
Post-screening discussion with Fabio Grassadonia & Antonio Piazza.
Sunday, March 30, 2014, 4:00 p.m.
The Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center
2013. Italy/France. Directed by Fabio Gassadonia and Antonia Piazza. In their supremely assured debut feature, writer-directors Fabio Grassadonia and Antonio Piazza breathe new life into the time-honored genre of the mafioso thriller. While hunting down a rival who has ordered a hit on him, the titular gangster (a smoldering Saleh Bakri) invades a Palermo home, only to discover his prey’s blind sister, Rita (Sara Serraiocco), in the basement. The nail-biting, magnificently orchestrated game of cat-and-mouse that ensues, with its evocative use of sound, darkness, and offscreen space, sets the tone for the rest of this richly atmospheric work. When Rita’s sight is restored—from shock or perhaps some kind of miracle—Salvo is left to determine the fate of his prisoner turned love interest. Winner of the top two prizes at the 2013 Cannes Critics’ Week, Salvo tweaks the conventions of its genre without betraying them and in the grand tradition of Jean-Pierre Melville, wrings blindsiding depths of emotion from the sparest of means. 104 min.