Palombella Rosa | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Palombella Rosa

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Perhaps the wildest comedy yet from Italian writer-director-actor Nanni Moretti, a European cult favorite here starring as a water-polo player and Communist politician suffering from amnesia. Interspersing clips from a TV screening of Doctor Zhivago and Moretti's own Super-8 work from the 70s as well as cameo appearances by Raul Ruiz as a metaphysical priest, Moretti concocts a dreamy satire about the ambiguous status of the Communist Party in contemporary Italy, with water polo serving as a ruling metaphor (the title refers to a goal-scoring technique); journalism and advertising are singled out for particular comic abuse. Even if you don't get all the jokes, you'll get plenty of insight into Italy in the 80s as well as a look at one of the most original film talents now working there (1989). You won't have any trouble getting the jokes in Luc Moullet's hilarious Barres, the accompanying short about ways to sneak onto the Paris metro--a delightfully structured piece that evokes Wile E. Coyote as well as Jacques Tati. (Film Center, Art Institute, Columbus Drive at Jackson, Friday, November 22, 8:00, and Sunday, November 24, 4:00, 443-3737)

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