Films can feel straightforward or only become clear at the end. Maybe there’s a twist, or nothing makes sense at all. Sì, directed by Luca Ferri, somehow manages to encompass all of these typical story arcs and at the same time none. The film follows the dreams of a middle-aged man who is dreaming after watching the TV one evening. Here are my thoughts on the short film:
I think experimental films can be difficult to get into. A vision can be clear but not always executed, but this short film really came together well to create something I think could help anyone to begin to understand the genre. I loved how I could create this story in my head using the words someone is writing down or speaking into the universe, but it was cool to see so many visuals, both adding to and also taking away from it. It felt welcoming, allowing me to go at my own pace, but also surreal and uncomfortable, especially when death was shown. I was going to talk about how many different types of videos we see, but actually they all come under the ‘Nature’ heading if you think about it. Plants, life, death, the food we eat, how watching the TV in the evenings is human nature, everything was different but all in a cycle that we live day by day. Just like the writing we see on screen, we are essentially all living the same life, and one day death will come, whether it’s us or someone else who chooses when.
The words made me think of a Studio Ghibli film and how even the most mundane of lives can feel exciting through film and gentle handling of it. I could imagine myself as the person telling their story: sitting behind the counter of a shop with no business or passing old friends and not remembering their name or even how you know them. I liked the slow approach it took, letting us carefully enter this person’s world, for what we begin to realise is the last time. I love a good twist, so to be able to read the story at the pace it was, it made it feel like every new line could cast a spark, when actually, like the lives we lead, things don’t happen like that a lot. I thought it really was clever and it has inspired me to write something like this, maybe a letter, talking about feelings and how even my simple life can have purpose.
To be honest, it did take a few moments to really invest myself in this short, as I love music and how it can create an atmosphere, yet we didn’t have that for a while. However, when Dario Agazzi’s score kicked in, the sound of the organ really did let us know we were in for something special. Like I mentioned before, I think this film really is great if you’re wanting to widen your cinema viewing and see something from a genre that is normally not shown. I think it succeeded in telling a few stories in a few different ways, and for that, I would say that Sì is a success.
The 77th Venice International Film Festival runs from 2-12 September 2020