• Dear Diary (Caro Diario)


  • Dear Diary
    (Expensive Diary)

Nanni Moretti

Moretti sprang precociously to fame in 1976 with a super-8 film, Io sono un autarchico (I am an Autocrat) (literally "I am an autarchic", meaning something between anarchist, autonomist and autarkic in the old-and historically also Fascist-sense of self-sufficient), a witty, ironic immersion into the unreal feelings of a generation. This was followed by Ecce bombo (1978) and Sogni d'oro (Golden Dreams,1981), and a series of films throughout the 1980s which marked him out as an auteur with a highly personal approach and original style. Moretti's anti-naturalistic narrative discourse is an assault on the banality of the world and of cinema, a desperate search for meaning in a violent and fragmented universe. His characters are paradoxical (the professor in Bianca, 1984, kills out of moralism);disturbing (the priest in La messa è finita (The Mass is Over), 1985, renounces his calling out of his inability to help others); or bewildered (the amnesiac water-polo-playing Communist in Palombella rossa (The Red Dove, 1989). His narration is disjointed, tending increasingly towards open-ended structures and a great economy of means, and making use of his own body as actor. Caro diario (Dear Diary, 1993), a film in three episodes based on his own experience, is a light yet profound picture of contemporary Italy illuminated by the harsh gaze of a solitary humorist. In recent years Moretti has used his growing reputation to promote the work of talented newcomers such as Carlo Mazzacurati and Daniele Luchetti and has acted in their films (such as Luchetti's Il portaborse (The Bagman), 1991) as well as in his own. He has become a major public figure in Italy and a contributor to cultural and political debate-not least through his documentaries: La cosa (The Thing,1990), about Communist militants at the time the Party was changing its name, and the collective L'unico paese al mondo (The Only Country in the World) (1994), a violent assault on Prime Minister and televisio