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Reality

Satiric fable in which a Neapolitan fishmonger, obsessed with becoming a Big Brother contestant, threatens to wreck his life and destroy his family.

Even if a screening is sold out, tickets are often available 30 minutes before the start of the film at the box office at each venue.


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  • Director Matteo Garrone
  • Producer Domenico Procacci, Matteo Garrone
  • Screenwriter Maurizio Braucci, Ugo Chiti, Matteo Garrone, Massimo Gaudioso
  • With Aniello Arena, Loredana Simioli, Nando Paone
  • Italy-France 2012
  • 115 mins
  • UK distribution Independent Distribution

Matteo Garrone’s new film is a black tragi-comic satire that, from its bravura opening ten minutes, provides a radical and refreshing contrast to his previous movie, the celebrated Gomorrah. Luciano is a fishmonger and cheap wheeler-dealer in a poor neighbourhood of Naples, whose obsession with becoming a contestant on Big Brother plunges him into self-delusional fantasy and his family to the brink of economic and emotional destruction. Echoing both The Truman Show and Slumdog Millionaire, Reality has an almost fairytale atmosphere, but with the edge of nightmare, especially as it unflinchingly depicts the modern cultural consumerist milieu of modern Italy, and the everyday realities of low-rent Neopolitan life. Winner of the Grand Prix at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
Adrian Wootton

Director statement

After Gomorra I wanted to make a different sort of film, to switch registers, so I decided to try a comedy. Reality is born from a simple but true story that we transformed in order to move through and reflect on the landscape of today. It is a journey of anticipation, of hopes and dreams. It unfolds on two levels: one external and geographical, the other internal and psychological. These levels are intimately connected, and this cultural landscape is precisely what gives rise to the characters who animate our story. This is a film about how we perceive the real, the story of a man who departs from reality and enters into his own fictitious dimension. I think of Luciano, the star of the film, as a modern-day Pinocchio, one of childlike innocence and naïveté. I followed him with my camera as if he were living a fantastic adventure. During the shooting I was constantly striving for that delicate balance between dream and reality, always searching, even figuratively, for a certain fable-like quality, a sort of magic realism.
Matteo Garrone

Director biography

Born in Rome in 1968, he graduated from the Art Lyceum in 1986 and worked as an assistant cameraman before focusing on painting. He won the Sacher Festival with the short film Silhouette in 1996. The following year he directed his first feature, Terra di Mezzo, which won the Turin International Festival of Young Cinema Jury Special Award and the Cipputi Award. Henceforth his films were regular recipients of both Italian and international awards, but he would make a stratospheric breakthrough in 2008, with Gomorra taking the Grand Prize of the Jury at the Cannes Film Festival, as well as Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Cinematographer, and Best Screenplay at the European Film Awards that year. It was nominated for Best Foreign Film at the 2009 Golden Globe Awards; won the Silver Hugo for Best Screenplay at the Chicago International Film Festival in 2008, and was nominated for Best Foreign Film at the BAFTA and Cesar Awards in 2009. He also produced Mid-August Lunch by Gianni Di Gregorio, which won the Best First Film Award at the Venice International Film Festival as well as many other international awards.

Filmography

1996 Silhouette [s]; Terra di mezzo
1997 Bienvenido espirito santo (Welcome Holy Spirit) [doc]
1998 Il caso di forza maggiore [s]; Ospiti (Guests); Oreste Pipolo, fotografo di matrimoni [doc]
2000 Estate romana (Roman Summer)
2002 L'imbalsamatore (The Embalmer)
2004 Primo amore (First Love)
2008 Gomorra (Gomorrah)
2012 Reality

Read the Time Out review.

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