Director: Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet
Year Released: 1999
In this very, very loose "adaptation" of Elio Vittorini's classic Conversations in Sicily, a middle-aged man (Gianni Buscarino) returns to his homeland after being away in Milan, and most of the running time consists of him and his mother (Angela Nugara) talking about his father, a poet and philanderer. I realize this is by Straub and Huillet - so all bets are off when it comes to 'traditional' filmmaking, giving a rat's behind about the audience, etc. - but I was actually kind of fascinated by it (with the stark black and white photography and non-professional acting) before it ended quite abruptly (following a conversation with a knife grinder). Is there a reason why they cut it short? There's a lot in the novel that could have been shown here (not that it would be reasonable for them to 'keep to the text'), but maybe they were just committed to only an abbreviated version. Either way, it's one of their more 'watchable' projects.