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“Freaks out”, the beauty of cinema

When Italian cinema returns to express itself with craftsmanship and art, it still knows how to produce great films.

By Giulietta Riva

Yes, even in Italy we are capable of setting up a colossal. Sure, we don't have the money of the Americans, but we are talented, we have ideas and depth. “Freaks out”, the second feature film by Gabriele Mainetti, is an Italian colossal costing 13 million euros, a nonsense compared to the big movies with which it has the right to compete. Mainetti is 45 years old and has a long history of cinema behind him. He started chewing cinema at the Roma Tre University. He breathed cinema, devoured cinema, fought and continued to live for the cinema.

He is one who has the sacred fire inside and an extraordinary talent. He has acted, studied music, made award-winning short films, always worked a lot without ever sitting down. He knows how to act, play, direct. And produce himself. He has a very robust knowledge base: which has been consolidated and enriched over time. And he has courage.

His first feature film, “They Called Him Jeeg Robot”, had a good critical and audience success. “Freaks out” could also make it big in America, provided it gets there. Because it is a film full of everything, a wonderful mix of genres, scripted, directed and interpreted in a masterly way. Seeing it is a pleasure. And you have to see it at the cinema. It will also arrive on TV, but its place is cinema, because “Freaks out” is pure cinema.

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The characters are superheroes. Mainetti has always had a fatal attraction to the world of Manga and Marvel comics by developing a supernatural power to make the fantastic characters that crowd his mind natural. The film is set in Rome during the Second World War, in the darkest period: that of the Nazi occupation. “After Jeeg Robot - said the resista, producer and co-author of the soundtrack - Nicola and I (Guaglianone, the screenwriter who has always supported him) we sat there and threw on the table all the films we would have liked to make. This is how the process began”.

A process that led to the implementation of this jewel that combines the genre of war with the fantastic through comedy with uninterrupted citations of the giants of the history of cinema: the circus of Fellini, the solemnity of Murnau, the atmosphere of Spielberg. The soundtrack that marks the path ranges from Bella Ciao reinterpreted in an avant-garde key to the reinterpretation of masterpieces such as Creep by Radio Head performed in a hyper-classical version. A soup? No, a wonderful cinematic melting pot destined to leave a trace of itself.

The story is that of four street artists endowed with extraordinary powers who in 1943 kept up with their performances the Half Piotta Circus directed by the Jew Israel. The four freaks are Matilde, the electric girl; Cencio, the albino who moves insects as he likes; Fulvio, the wolf man, endowed with a bestial strength with a face and body covered with hair; Mario, the dwarf who attracts metals like a magnet. The circus is destroyed under Allied bombing and leaves the five in the middle of the road. And it is on the road that a story full of twists will develop, a tender, sci-fi, spectacular tale.

Through pyrotechnic paths the four will find themselves in the presence of Franz, the German pianist with six fingers who possesses powers of clairvoyance and who directs the Berlin Zircus going on a hunt for supernatural monsters to take to Hitler's court to save him from defeat; they will meet a shabby group of partisans led by the Hunchback; they will attack the train of deported Jews on which they will find Israel. And they will start a battle in perfect war style that will end, leaving countless victims on the field, including their old leader, and the green light to resume the journey. Towards another world.

“Freaks out”: over two hours of dreams, magic, punches in the stomach, emotions. Pure fun. A colossal. Italian.