Strangeness (2022) Movie Script

Drink the lemonade!
It's fresh lemonade!
Drink the lemonade!
- God bless you, Don Luigi.
- Good morning, Nardo.
Nardo, why are you so sulky?
Maristella died.
Your wet-nurse.
- When?
- Overnight.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour
of our death. Amen.
Hail Mary, full of grace,
the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.
Take a seat, Your Excellency.
Mother of God, pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death.
Hail Mary, full of grace,
the Lord is with thee.
Her mouth scares you, right?
You won't believe it,
I tried many times,
but after a second
she opened it again.
Mariste', you always kept quiet,
now that you're dead you trust anyone?
Look who came to see you.
Evening has come, the time of gloom.
Filiberto, don't you ever feel
troubled about anything?
"How can you always be so calm?"
How can you always be so calm?
Go, Tano!
Tano, he's talking to you, answer him!
Listen to me, Tano!
"Filiberto, don't you ever feel
troubled about anything?"
"How can you always be so calm?"
I have no one.
I fuck and I'm happy.
Please, everyone!
Not like that, Tano.
I have no purpose and I'm happy.
I have no purpose...
I have no one.
- I fuck...
- Not like that, Tano!
I have no purpose and I'm happy.
I fuck and I'm happy.
Yeah, fuck and screw it.
Having fun, are you?
Too bad it's a drama
and this is not his job.
Will you tell Don Ciccio?
Don Ciccio!
Your brother-in-law
said it beautifully!
He should have been an actor!
He's been passionate about theatre
since he was a little boy.
It shows!
It really shows.
I'd like to understand.
Harnessed horses.
A first-class carriage with a coachman
and a groom in tailcoats and top hats.
Who pays all this money
for someone who died
in the middle of nowhere?
Hey, I'm talking to you.
Are you still sulking?
We can't have someone in the drama
saying "I fuck and I'm happy."
Forgive me.
Theatre should be poetry,
purity, freedom.
Don Ciccio will have you killed,
this is the freedom you'll get.
- You still don't get it!
- Shame on you.
What's taking you so long?
How many times have I told you?
Dead people are alive.
Why are you so late?
I told you there was a wedding after,
the couple's already here.
We had to baptize a new actor: Tano.
- Don Ciccio's brother-in-law.
- The garbage man?
So you take that moron
and you cut my lines?
I can't believe it, they were fewer
than last time already.
Either you make them longer
or you can forget the theatre.
No way, Father.
If you put it this way,
it won't do, I'm sorry.
We can do something about it,
but you can't blackmail us.
- Either you trust us or you don't.
- Is that so?
You can't use the theatre any more,
do the play at your house.
He said it!
Fine, we can give you a longer part.
Right, well done.
The theatre is now compromised.
See you inside.
Forgive us.
The horse had bowel problems.
Anyway, best wishes to the newly-wed.
Where did you find these two?
They are the only
gravediggers in town.
Eternal rest, grant unto her, O Lord.
seventy-six, seventy-seven.
- What number was it?
- It was 384.
- Almost there, this is 381.
- This is 382.
Then 382, 383.
And 384.
Are we to put the body here?
The burial niche is full.
The flowers are fresh.
Who put this body here?
- He walked on his feet?
- This niche is ours.
- The municipality says so.
- It's not the right one, it's taken.
What do I tell the client?
How should I know?
You look for him and tell him.
- Good morning.
- You look for him and...
Good morning.
- Did you request our services?
- Yes, exactly.
- Good morning.
- Hello, I'm Onofrio Principato.
I'm the owner of the funeral home.
Our friend was telling us
that there was a misunderstanding.
The niches got swapped,
these things happen.
Someone sold the same niche twice.
There are too many dead
and not enough burial sites.
And they gamble with them.
- I understand.
- We'll fix it.
What do you plan to do?
I'm in a hurry.
- I have to be in Catania tomorrow.
- Tomorrow?
You can leave,
we'll take care of the burial.
No, I want to be there.
Are you a relative?
No, but it's as if I were.
Well, I understand.
Let's say you go home
while we go to the cemetery office
at city hall
and settle this unfortunate matter.
Not at all, I prefer to come
with you to city hall.
- All right, let's go.
- Let's go.
- This way? Thank you.
- Come along.
Come here, Santuccio.
- Are you looking for Don Mimmo Casa?
- Yes, is he busy?
- Very busy.
- How long will he be?
I can't say.
Now you can go in.
If everything goes smoothly,
it will take at least a week.
At the very least.
What do you mean a week, Mimmo?
Our client is busy
and has to leave soon.
- How soon?
- Tomorrow.
Does he come from the Moon?
We can't control time, sir.
- It's in God's hands.
- Mimmo.
You already took the bribe,
so hurry up.
It's not up to me.
You know how it is at the cemetery.
I understand how it works.
Is this enough?
We'll meet this afternoon.
Thank you, Mimmo.
You were paid twice for this body,
you owe us one.
Aren't you hungry?
No thanks, I'm too old for that.
- For some, the taste is too strong.
- It's certainly not delicate.
I'm curious, where are you from?
From Sicily, but I live in Rome.
- What do you do?
- I teach literature.
We actually make literature.
How so?
I enjoy writing.
What do you write?
So far farces, comic stuff
to make people laugh.
But in three days,
I'll debut with my first drama.
- A comic drama.
- Not at all!
As Aristotle said:
"Catharsis is medicine."
Enema and purge.
Stop it.
I had these printed, take one.
We would love for you
to come and see us.
Perhaps you, professor,
don't know much about theatre?
As a matter of fact, I don't go much.
Why so?
I don't care for it.
Deep down, I feel a certain mistrust,
there's too much fiction.
What fiction, professor?
- Theatre is about truth, not fiction.
- Is it?
Then explain something to me.
How can you believe people
who dress up in ruffs,
feathered hats and puffed trousers?
Who put on fake noses and moustaches
to look like what they're not.
How can you?
Professor, with all due respect,
go back to teaching.
I can see that you're
unfamiliar with theatre.
A woman died an hour ago.
She was the sister-in-law of a lady
who lives nearby at number 81.
I get it.
It's an 81-year-old woman who lives
in Salita Cognata number four.
Speak clearly!
We can't go there, Babbo.
We are busy with this sir,
we have to go to city hall.
Tell them to wait,
it's too hot anyway.
What did I tell you?
With a little patience,
everything can be fixed.
Tomorrow morning at 9 o'clock sharp,
Maristella will finally rest in peace.
In the meantime, for tonight,
you can put her
in the post-mortem room.
I already arranged it.
Nice to see you again.
Come on, let's go.
- Nunzio!
- Huh?
- Did they bring those things?
- No, nobody showed up.
Nobody showed up.
How long have they been waiting here?
It depends, some more and some less.
Aren't there any relatives
claiming them?
Some do, some don't.
We call it
"the room of destiny's whims".
Everyone has their own story.
See these two who are standing
straight up, like mummies?
He died very young.
At a feast he organized to celebrate
his uncle's 100th birthday.
How reckless.
This instead is the Honourable
Costanzo Romberti.
The body arrived in town a day late.
So the funeral that was meant for him
was held for the body of a poor man
whose relatives were waiting
in Messina, of all places.
Since then, the great man lies here,
may he rest in peace.
To spare the authorities
I'm here.
Hello, may I?
Damn, he keeps getting worse.
What does your father
always do in the corridor?
Why do you ask?
He was waiting for you.
- Do I eat alone?
- Yes.
- Dad is fasting today.
- All the better, at his age.
He's atoning.
Calogero Interrante's business
in the hands of an inept
like Onofrio Principato.
Poor Dad.
Forced to see this disgrace.
A distinguished professor
from the capital
gets stuck without a burial.
- Who told you that?
- Don't you realise they spite you?
Calogero Interrante
wouldn't have allowed it!
And Onofrio Principato does. Alright?
Anyway, don't worry,
I'll get my revenge.
- I'll go and see what he wants.
- Go.
He hasn't spoken in 50 years!
Will you let me act?
I don't have a part for you.
Come on, you promised me last year!
No, you can't do theatre!
Would you look at this!
You're still sewing,
why don't you come eat?
I'm behind with the costumes.
The show is just a few days away.
There is still time!
Even if something is missing,
we'll manage, as we always have.
People will come to laugh,
not for the costumes.
To laugh? How so, wasn't it a drama?
Nofrio would like it that way.
But you know how it goes in dramas.
Sometimes the parts don't add up,
the jokes slip,
the plot gets tangled up.
We'll see at the end
whether it's a drama or a comedy.
- What does the author think?
- The author...
What is he to think?
It sounds like he didn't matter.
I just meant to say
that we're in God's hands.
And the Lord likes to laugh.
Too bad, I liked the idea
of a turbulent romance.
Tell me something.
Did you go out today?
Did you meet anyone?
Who was I supposed to see?
I was here, locked.
Why do you ask me?
Just because. Why, can't I ask you?
With your permission,
I have to go, may I?
Dad, I think you've become
too chatty with age, huh?
"And how can we ever come
to an understanding
"if I put in the words I utter"
"the sense and value
of things as I see them?"
"While you who listen to me
must inevitably"
"translate them according to the
conception of things as you see them."
"Look here!"
"This woman takes all my pity for her"
"as the fiercest form of cruelty."
The Mother.
"But you drove me away."
The Father: "Do you hear her?
I drove her away!"
"She believes I really sent her away."
The Mother: "You know how to talk,
and I don't.
"But, believe me, sir,
after he married me..."
"Who knows why?
I was a poor, insignificant woman."
"This is why I married you!"
"For your humility."
"That I loved in you."
I have to tell you this one.
There was this guy
who was obsessed with me.
I don't believe it.
The moment he saw me,
"Sidora, come here."
Bastiano, my blood, what do you want?
I thought maybe
there was something to fix.
I don't know, sinks,
taps, knives, scissors to grind,
rags, umbrellas,
umbrellas for the sun or for the rain.
No, I'm sorry, you can leave,
we don't need anything.
Can I have an advance?
You understand, Santina is my sister.
And as her brother,
I have an obligation to check.
But I can't behave like a policeman.
Nor as a parish priest.
Tell me something.
If Santina was your sister,
what would you say to her?
First of all, I would tell her
that men are all worthless.
Old, young,
friends, relatives, strangers,
known and unknown.
They're all bad.
All of them.
Once she knows this,
she'll be able to manage.
Now go away, my dear.
Marshal Firuzzo will be here soon.
- Don't get too close to him though.
- Come on!
"Always dear to me was
this solitary hill"
"And this hedge, which,
from so many parts"
"Of the far horizon,
the sight excludes."
"But sitting and gazing, endless"
"Spaces beyond it, and inhuman"
"Silences, and the deepest quiet
It's half past ten,
let's see when they arrive.
We all know that Bastiano
needs to "recharge" the last few days.
But now he's pushing it.
Maybe something
happened to his mother.
Shall I go to the house,
take a look and come back?
Fofo, you're obsessed,
stay right here.
- Still thinking about Santina?
- Santina? What are you talking about?
Do you think I'm stupid?
If Bastiano finds out, he'll kill you.
Then I'll have to dig
your grave at the cemetery.
There's too much
talking going on, guys.
Let's begin with the rehearsal,
we've wasted too much time already.
Let's do the seance scene
in the living room.
That's annoying,
we don't say anything in that scene.
It's true,
Bastiano took all our lines.
Bastiano speaks and we listen, right.
And you think that's nothing?
Listening, looking, staying silent,
all that is everything in acting.
As my mum used to say:
"The best word is the one
you don't say."
Since you already know,
let's get started.
Where are you looking at?
The audience is there.
Face there and hands here.
The ghost is coming.
There he is!
Sorry I'm late, guys.
You won't believe what happened to me.
Nofrio, do you remember
when we were kids?
When there was a full moon,
I got feverish and thirsty
and fell to the ground.
They used to call it "lunar effect",
do you remember?
This evening I had
the unfortunate idea of going out
staring at the moon.
My dear friend.
You liar!
Coward and worthless.
I know where you've been
while we were waiting.
If you were a woman
I would marry you!
Go away.
Folks, focus, it's a drama.
- My goodness!
- Dear.
I was moved when you talked
about the lunar effect.
- Really?
- It sounded real.
- It was real.
- Ah!
So, let's sit down.
The audience is there!
Hands on the table, Fofo, come on.
See you tomorrow, God willing.
Don't be too dramatic.
Otherwise people will laugh
instead of crying.
- True.
- It's hard, though.
They should cry actually.
- Good night.
- See you tomorrow.
It's getting late,
I'll walk you tonight.
Did Bastiano ask you to?
Let's go.
- Are you locking me in?
- Where were you?
In the dressing room,
brushing my hair.
Who's looking
at you at this hour?
Who? The stars.
The stars,
the beautiful eyes of the night.
The stars, yes. Goodbye.
Go on, move along.
Watch the road, Fofo.
I can't stand him,
one of these days I'll kill him.
I can tell you this.
Fofo is courting Santina.
And Santina fell for it.
- She fell in love.
- Who told you that?
- I can feel certain things.
- What are you talking about?
Santina is too clever to be
with an idiot like that.
- A worthless person.
- Exactly, it's impossible.
Santina can't fall in love.
Don't say that because sooner
or later it will happen, Bastiano.
Are you kidding?
- Who can stop her?
- Me.
- You will stop her?
- Yes, why not?
Santina is pure.
The thought of someone touching
her makes my blood rush to my head.
I'd be capable of killing him.
Let's follow him,
I'm sure there are women involved.
He's going to some brothel.
You of all people
are shocked by these things?
It's different.
Santina's man
must be different from me.
Who are you?
I'm sorry.
I saw the light on
and I came in to have a look.
Are you Luigi Pirandello?
Master, don't you remember me?
In "Lumie di Sicilia", many years ago.
- The prompter.
- Well done, master, at your service.
How did you end up here?
I'm old now and my wife is sick.
So I came back here, in my home town.
I remember you had
a remarkable memory back then.
Let's see.
"Friends, fellow citizens of Rome,
listen to me."
"I come to bury Caesar,
not to praise him."
"Evil outlives men."
"Good is often buried
with their bones."
Well done.
Master, if you don't mind me asking,
what are you doing in town?
I came to celebrate
a friend's birthday.
But mind you, Battaglia,
you didn't see me.
Santina, open up!
Don't you see that even
a child couldn't get through?
Who said anything? I had an emergency.
Go to sleep.
The left ear
gets tired of hearing good things.
The right ear curses
everything it hears.
Staring too much
at the moon gives bad thoughts.
How many times have I told you, Luigi?
When you were a child,
every time you got the strangeness,
you laid your head on my lap.
You did so until
you were seven or eight.
- That's not true.
- Yes, it is.
You lied here.
And I always had to tell you the story
of the son swapped with
a hunchback by the wicked women.
I know you too well.
I know you suffer
because you don't have new ideas.
You can't write your play.
Come here.
I'll make you get over
the "strangeness".
Nau niu the child fell asleep.
Niu nau the child dreamt. /1.
He dreamt of angels
and I told him the story.
Lullaby, lullaby,
the baby fell asleep.
The left ear
gets tired of hearing good things.
The right ear curses
everything it hears.
Greetings, master.
It's an honour
to meet Luigi Pirandello
and to have the privilege
of escorting you to Catania.
The mayor apologies for not coming
to welcome you in person.
He looks forward to your meeting
with the great Giovanni Verga.
- What are you doing?
- Don't you understand?
It was Luigi Pirandello!
Who is he, Jesus Christ?
I didn't even recognise him.
How were you supposed to
if you'd never seen him?
- Master!
- Luigi!
Please, stay seated.
Forgive me, Luigi.
All my gratitude goes to you.
But I want nothing from Italy.
They have forgotten me.
And now they want to wipe
the dust off a dead man's photograph.
They wronged me!
And I will not move from this room!
I understand you.
I only came here
to congratulate you in person.
This is the speech
I wrote in your honour.
- I will read it tonight.
- Of course.
I sleep very little.
Thoughts leave me no respite.
They come knocking,
especially at night,
when there is silence.
What about you?
- Are you writing?
- Well.
For now, I only write down fantasies.
I have a strangeness in mind.
It's almost an obsession.
My dear Luigi.
You set out on a desolate path,
full of dangers.
A path that no one knows and
you don't even know where it leads.
You've placed a bomb
under the foundations of the structure
that we have laboriously built:
And you stand there fearless,
but you no longer know who you are.
You're right, Giovanni.
I no longer know who I am.
Maybe I never did,
even as a kid.
How is your wife?
She is mad.
And I am a prisoner of her madness.
What is it? What happened, Babbu?
Calm down, Babbu! What happened?
Mother of God! The abbess is dead.
My God, the abbess!
You don't say!
My goodness,
did she have to die now?
Hey, did you hear who died?
Agatina should come on stage first.
Do you agree?
- Did you understand Babbu?
- I never did, should I now?
Sister Ersilia Palumbo is dead!
We'll take care of the dead later,
we must make our debut.
Palumbo! The Abbess.
Marianna Palumbo's aunt? Our actress?
She'll mourn for a year.
- A great woman.
- A holy woman.
- A terrible loss, condolences.
- Condolences.
Come in.
There was no need to dress her.
She always went to bed neatly dressed
and with the cilice under the sheets.
She kept her coffin under her bed.
Since she was in the monastery
she said that when she died
it should be displayed at home,
on the bed where she was born.
A simple casket, like her life.
With no pomp, no flowers,
no first-class hearse.
She kept it simple.
After all, grief is intimate.
She was a hundred and two years old.
Can you imagine?
A hundred and two years old.
- And she chose today to die.
- You're telling me?
I can't do the comedy any more.
You what?
I enter the stage panting.
I throw myself on the armchair
and shout, "The baroness is dead!".
So we skip the scene and move on.
Take this.
Thank you Agatina but it can't work.
The story must go on.
What if Santina played the baroness?
- I would love that!
- Do you want to act now?
Do you write scripts now?
- Do you instead?
- I was talking to him.
What if the Baroness, as her son,
appointed me to represent her?
The baroness would appoint
a stupid son like you?
Be silent, folks!
This show can't go on any longer.
Let's face it and reschedule.
What? No way.
I even took a beating
from my husband for this play!
If no one can do it,
I'll play the baroness.
I'm a character actress, after all.
What a bad character you have.
No, how stupid of me!
I can't do it.
I'm on stage to play the waitress,
SO annoying!
- And you say nothing?
- What should I say?
Aren't you the writer?
Guys, we have to find a solution, OK?
Folks, let's recap.
Agatina can't be the baroness
because she's a family friend
and she's on stage, right?
Consolata plays the maid
and is on stage, so she can't.
Amelia plays the countess
and she is also on stage.
Who is not on stage
and can play the baroness?
Put that here.
Who's the jerk tying
the ropes like this?
I have no idea.
Of course you don't.
Gioacchi, untie these ropes, please.
There are more clothes,
can someone go get them?
Saruzzo, go help my sister.
This is yours, Baroness, take it.
No, I'll take it.
Go wash your hands,
you have to try it on.
- Now?
- Of course.
We have to make some changes.
Who would have thought? Me, a woman.
A baroness of high nobility.
Let's go to the dressing room,
Can I follow you to the dressing room?
We can't miss this striptease.
Let's stop joking,
we have rehearsals tonight.
Come on.
I'll give myself away tomorrow.
Take a look!
I took this black cat to play
a joke on Nofrio and Bastiano. Come!
Open the cage.
Close it!
How longer do I have to wait?
A lot, Fofo.
Bastiano says I'm not ready yet
and he's right.
The feeling I have for you is so
confused that it seems like nothing.
Right now, I feel nothing for you.
Believe me, nothing at all.
- What was that?
- It must be a cat.
- Some cat in heat.
- In the theatre?
Why? Nature knows no limits.
This cat is clearly
a drama enthusiast.
Gioacchino, let's get him dressed.
Sari, did you understand?
What is this? Still at this stage?
Without scenes.
It's annoying
to always deal with some problem!
What were you thinking?
First you set a time
and then you leave us waiting.
Sit down and learn the part,
I will quiz you later.
I'm not joking.
Nofrio wanted to invite
Luigi Pirandello at the opening.
- What are you talking about?
- It's not sure yet.
Nothing is going to change for us.
We are professional amateurs.
Make sure to learn the part,
don't make us look bad.
If the actresses want to change,
I'm here to help them.
Wait Santina, I want to rehearse
the seance scene first.
Damn it, again!
Again. Maestro, go to the piano.
Come on, Sareddu.
Less talking, come on.
If you're there, give us a sign.
"My beloved soul."
My beloved soul.
Do you hear my summon?
Are you there?
Give us a sign!
My beloved soul.
You're here, I can feel it!
It's him!
What do you want from me?
Your great sins
will fall upon you!
Oh Melchior, whom do you accuse?
Is the evil among us?
Shut up!
Goat eyes.
The smell of sulphur.
Smoking brain.
Small moon.
Small moon.
Lily flake.
Small immaculate.
- Small immaculate!
- Small immaculate!
- Small immaculate!
- Small immaculate!
- Beb.
- Caca.
- Cece.
- Cica.
- Cucu.
- Ded.
- Dodo.
- Fef.
- Fifi.
- Fofo.
- Nono.
- Nene.
- Nunu.
- Nini.
- Steste.
- Tata.
- Pepe.
- Riri.
- Ruru.
- Sas.
- Sisi.
- Lulu.
- Nini.
- Nana.
- Nene.
- Nono.
- Fifi.
- Toto.
- What happened?
- Babbo!
- What's wrong?
- Get off the stage slowly!
Don't hurt yourself! Babbo!
Get up, nothing happened.
You got a little dizzy.
Let's take a five-minute break,
then we'll start rehearsing again.
Make sure it's five minutes, be quick.
Come on.
Nofrio, could you go
to the sewing shop across the street
and get me a spool of black thread?
Of course.
Nofrio, could you also get me
a ribbon like this one?
Come here, come.
A black cat!
Don't be scared!
Where is he? I'll get him!
We need to put on something red.
Come on, get changed. It's late.
I'll get some salt and throw it.
It's bad luck.
Nonsense, move away.
Maria Antonietta!
What are you doing?
Come on, I'll take you inside.
Maria Antonietta!
Come here, Maria Antonietta.
Come, we're almost there.
Here we go.
Be quiet.
- Stay calm, Maria Antonietta.
- Yes.
Make sure you speak Italian.
My Italian will be flawless,
like a rosebud.
Wait, where are you going? Come here!
I'm nervous, can you believe it?
I know, but hurry up,
or it'll look bad if he goes out.
Go over what you want to say.
Pretend you're looking at him.
Master! First of all,
sorry to disturb you,
but as they say,
'Audentes deus ipse iuvat'.
- Huh?
- Fortune favours the bold.
- Is it necessary?
- Yes, very.
We would be most honoured
by your esteemed presence
this evening
at the theatre for our opening.
- After all, we're colleagues.
- What?
- We're colleagues.
- Are you?
He's a genius and you're worthless.
- Me?
- The both of us.
And we have to tell him the title,
it's important.
I'll tell him.
The title is
"Cicciareddo and Pietruzzo".
- I mean the full title.
- Isn't that it?
"The trench of remorse,
Cicciareddo and Pietruzzo".
Let's go.
Come on.
Come along!
What, are you afraid?
- It's not fear.
- What then?
It's dignity.
Sometimes it's better
to stay in the shadows.
In silence.
Nofrio, are you serious?
We're already here!
I know that the drama
I wanted will never happen.
I didn't see you!
"Petty custom of the time."
"Underestimated by true friends."
"One against the other."
"Who try to eat
each other like wolves."
"Oh, it's almost two days
that they fight."
"A puppet opera thing."
"This that I tell is a true story,"
"written on natural facts,"
"and experienced at the time."
Will you help me with my tie?
I'm just feeling very nervous.
You must always be next to me
behind the scenes, script in hand.
- Of course, as usual.
- You're very kind.
Let's remember to speak loudly.
They have to hear us
all the way to the back row.
And always face the audience, OK?
Mr Interrante.
My darling.
The things I'd do to you.
We'll have fun tonight, Mimmo.
Well, I'll be damned!
Luigi really came.
- Bastiano! What are you doing?
- I was looking.
- Can't you wait for five minutes?
- That's what I was doing.
Guys, Nofrio, come on, five minutes!
The theatre's full!
- Five minutes!
- Do you need to do that?
When the theatre is full,
you know I'm on fire.
- Calm down!
- Four minutes.
- Folks, no stunts or improvisations.
- Three minutes.
- Stick to the character.
- Two minutes.
- Especially you, Bastiano.
- One minute.
Merde, merde, merde!
Let's go.
Come on, let's go on stage.
Let me pass.
Come on, it will be fine.
Ladies and gentlemen,
attention, please.
This evening
the Principato and Vella company
is pleased to present
to you the tragicomedy
"The Trench of Remorse
or Cicciareddu and Pitruzzu"!
Before the actual beginning,
here's a tongue-twister for you.
With a bun I had you not,
without a bun I had you.
With your hair up or down,
I had you, however I had you.
I open the shelf, I take the clove,
I drop the clove, I close the shelf.
Tomorrow is Sunday,
let's cut off Menico's head.
Menico is not there,
let's cut off the king's head.
The king is sick,
we cut off the soldier's.
The soldier is at war,
we slam our butts on the ground.
Back then, behind the Roccone,
an ancient, decrepit, old man
used to collect logs and stumps.
"What are you gathering
in these crags behind the Roccone?"
"I'm gathering logs and stumps."
Did you have a good laugh?
Now we have to put the pot on.
I have a fishing line to
Piazza Semenza and a rod to Resuttana.
I cast the line
and catch a piece of shit.
I throw it in the pan.
I make another cast
and I catch a frying pan.
Damn that's nice,
I put it in the pan.
I fish again and catch a sergeant.
I drop the line
and catch His Excellency.
I drop it again and I catch fireman,
brigadier, officer: who are you?
I'm a poor foreigner
who hasn't eaten since yesterday!
What's that got to do with anything?
Why does he always go off script?
They sent me
to the restaurant "Quattro Canti".
I go in with a full stomach
and come out with an empty stomach.
When I was paying,
I told them: "I have four sons."
"Giovanni has no underwear,
fresh air enters him from all sides."
"The middle son is Alfano, a lout
who would like to be a city man.
"The youngest is Federico,
his belly burst from eating."
"He was taken
to the hospital in Partinico."
"The youngest still is Nicola."
"He sleeps in a grater
with his feet out."
"The prefect should send me the bed"
"with a cart, but the prefect's cart
stopped in Borgetto."
"And here I am waiting."
Here you are, I didn't see you coming.
My fiance didn't show up?
No, she didn't show up.
- She should come.
- So she should.
- What are you implying?
- Nothing!
But with this weather you never know.
Why, how is this weather?
It's confused.
What do you mean by confused?
That the sky is not what it seems.
The clouds are lying.
Have you become a philosopher?
I think, therefore... I light.
Someone's knocking.
It's hot. So hot! Fiery hot!
You're sweet!
So is your sister, will you stop it?
Shut up!
My love, I've been waiting for you.
Without you, I languish.
Like the snail and the lecher!
Well done!
I saw Pirandello in the audience.
- You knew and you didn't tell me.
- Me? I didn't see anyone.
- You didn't see anyone?
- I didn't.
Anyway, they're having fun.
Remember, from the seance onwards
we get into the drama.
Sure, sure.
Pistachios, nuts and peanuts!
Dried chickpeas and pumpkin seeds!
Have fun.
Well done, Onofrio!
You see, Baroness,
there's no room
at the cemetery right now.
Look how Bastiano is dressed!
The body of your dear husband
will have to wait a while
before being buried.
Unless what?
Unless you put us in a position
to make an exception.
As your husband, the beloved Baron,
used to say:
"Those who help receive help.
It's always about money.
Butter wouldn't melt in his mouth.
- Huh?
- Nothing.
Drink up, drink up, everybody.
A seance to conjure up
the spirit of your late husband.
It seems to me a little extreme,
dear Baroness.
Not at all!
My beloved Melchior
can hardly wait to remind you
of all the times
he offered you his generous help.
Like when?
When you were a beggar,
a nobody with nothing.
Believe me, Baroness,
I want to help you,
but there is no need for a seance.
It's enough to talk, to be sensible.
Only death is more sensible
than a seance.
It must be done,
my mind is made up, in your face!
We all know how much you,
dear Pietruzzo,
helped us all
with the burials.
There isn't a single person
in Agrigento here
who hasn't stumbled upon
your benevolent help.
- You must stop it.
- What happened, Mimmao?
You have the nerve to ask me?
If you want to make allegations,
do it openly.
Everyone here realised
that I'm the character you're playing.
Nonsense, Mimmo!
Is your name Pietruzzo?
You know very well what my name is!
Everyone here understood
that you are mocking me!
What? Nonsense Mimmuzzo,
we perform fictional people here.
These aren't real people.
Excuse me, guys,
does this look like Mimmo Casa to you?
- Nonsense, Mimmo.
- Mimmo, be honest.
Are you making all this fuss
because you want a percentage?
On the takings!
You should have told me!
I could have helped you
write this play.
I know this lousy husband of mine
better than all of you.
If you had asked me, you'd have
the full script of his obscenities.
Forgive me, Concetta, I didn't know
you were a playwright too.
What's playwrighting
got to do with it, this is my life!
You're putting
my business on stage, not just his.
And that whore sitting there
should be ashamed of herself,
but instead he takes her everywhere!
Whore shall be you and all your kin!
She's right,
whore shall be you and all your kin!
Go get dressed,
we looked bad with Pirandello! Go!
Please, folks, settle down!
The show will resume shortly,
folks, please!
Otherwise you come on stage
and we sit down, alright?
Santina, heaven sent you!
My jacket, you see?
My pocket's ripped
and I start in three minutes.
Later, Fofo, I can't now.
A button came off too.
Should I go on stage like this?
I know myself, if the costume
isn't right I can't act.
I said later, I can't now,
I have to help Bastiano.
He only has five minutes to change.
Don't pester me please!
What are you still doing like that,
take off your make-up!
Come on,
you have to go in like Cicciareddu!
Were you looking inside my pockets?
Well done.
What is this thing?
what a strange voice you have!
- We'll talk about it later, Baroness.
- We'll talk now.
You're hurting me, Baroness.
This is nothing, I'll break your neck!
You betrayed my trust!
You were with Santina behind my back!
- What are you talking about?
- You wanted drama?
- Now you've got drama!
- No, Bastiano!
- Stop it! Leave him alone!
- Go away, you too!
You're a piece of shit!
All right, Sebastiano!
She's got nothing to do with it,
it's my fault!
I seduced her.
Like Cyrano,
with words, with poetry.
- Go to hell!
- You scum!
Filthy and stinking!
Instead of satisfying
your wife's flesh
you messed with that little girl!
- My father was right!
- Curtain!
I have no one.
I fuck and I'm happy.
You are the first.
I was expecting the other.
Of course it's me!
Because I am the one
to lose the most in this story.
Nofrio was like a brother to me.
I defended him
from everything and everyone.
Even when they took him for a fool.
They called him "little girl"
because he swayed, he was kind.
I defended him, I took the blows.
He defended me?
The very one who was always
the first to torment me.
"Little girl," I swayed...
and he defended me?
Look here!
This was the plan he made to escape
and copulate with my sister!
He is a corrupt, a traitor, a coward!
Believe me, master, if I tell you
that it was Santina who came to me.
It was a way of escaping her brother
who was oppressing her.
I'm serious,
he always had his eyes on her.
She was secluded, like in a prison.
A jail to which Bastiano
added more bars every day.
What now, master?
He made us look like fools!
Like fools!
And he did it in front of everyone.
How are we going
to show our faces now?
Master, forgive me for asking,
but come up with an ending
that will earn us
some respect, please.
For years now I have the habit,
every Sunday morning,
of giving audience to my characters.
For five hours.
From 8 am to 1 pm.
They are very demanding.
They all want to be heard.
Resolved, enacted.
The list has become long.
So I'm sorry,
but you'll have to wait.
Or, if you're in a hurry,
go knock on another writer's head.
Pardon my rambling,
but the medicine
is starting to kick in.
And this sudden heat
agrees with sleep.
Maybe we'll meet again.
In Rome, in a bar or a theatre.
We authors
have the ambition
to make plausible what is not.
Ours is a continuous challenge,
do you understand?
Anyway, I would like to see you again.
Both of you.
I would very much like
to see you again.
Don't you upset mummy, understand?
Don't you want
to give this to Pirandello?
Should I let him read my stuff?
I'm ashamed.
Why would you be ashamed,
you're good at writing too.
- Really?
- Yes.
Thanks, Santi!
Take care of the baby,
and don't strain yourself.
I'll be back soon, don't worry.
- How many months?
- Six.
Six months?
Time flies, doesn't it?
- How are you?
- Alone, as always.
- Did Pirandello invite you too?
- Shouldn't he have?
- An invitation and a train ticket.
- Like me.
- Exactly the same.
- Mine is customized.
PS, "S" as in Sebastiano.
"Always grateful for
the acquaintance and valuable help."
PS doesn't stand for "Sebastiano".
It means "post script um.
It's Latin, it means "written after.
And anyway,
he wrote the same thing to me.
He wrote the same to you?
Anyway, if it wasn't for my help,
the dead woman
would still be unburied.
Pirandello is not addressing
the gravediggers, but the author.
"Auctor est qui calamum
in sapienza tingit."
Rome, Theater Valle,
first performance.
"Six Characters
in Search of an Author."
What does it mean?
What kind of title is it?
- How should I know?
- How? Aren't you the author?
Here comes the master.
Shall I stand here? Thank you.
Let's do it.
You can tell from the title alone
that this play will be
another foolishness of Pirandello's.
Watch your mouth
before speaking about Pirandello.
Bastia, are you joking? Sit down!
- I'll throw him out by his moustache.
- Do you have to make a scene?
Well, well.
Rome has a reputation for a reason.
Come in.
- Master, you sent for me.
- Yes, Battaglia.
Tonight if the actors don't remember
their lines, don't prompt them.
Keep your mouth shut, please.
How do you mean?
Actors who hang
on the prompter's every word
are neither flesh nor fish,
just grotesque.
What if someone falls silent
or doesn't remember anything.
Nobody will be silent tonight,
don't worry.
As you wish.
And as they say, master: "Merde!
- Merde, Battaglia.
- Merde!
- What are you doing?
- I'm working.
At this hour?
It's 10:30, the director
will start the rehearsal soon.
I need time to work too, don't I?
You will, but not now.
- When?
- When there won't be a rehearsal.
Are these poor devils
still rehearsing?
The scene for Act II.
Don't they realise
there's an audience here?
Which audience?
You haven't understood a thing.
These are not spectators.
Take a good look at them, idiot,
these are actors playing his game.
You are right.
He's such a clever man, Pirandello!
- Good morning!
- Good morning!
- Good morning!
- Good morning!
Excuse me, this is my seat. Go!
Shall we dance?
Stop it.
The director is coming!
What is going on?
I can't see.
- Let's have a little light, please!
- Yes, at once.
Come on, let's begin.
Is anyone missing?
The first actress.
- As usual.
- No, by all means, here I am!
Whenever it suits you.
Come along!
Second act of "Mixing It Up".
Excuse me.
But must I absolutely
wear a cook's cap?
I imagine so.
- It says so there anyway.
- But it's ridiculous!
Forgive me.
Is it my fault if France
won't send us any good comedies,
and we are reduced
to putting on Pirandello's works?
"Those who understand them
are clever."
"They are written in such a way"
"that neither actors, audience
nor critics can be satisfied."
Nor the audience can be satisfied.
Do you suppose that with all
this egg-beating business
you won't have anything else to do?
Forget it!
You represent the shell
of the eggs you are beating!
Listen to my explanation, please!
Yes, the egg shell.
The empty form of reason
without the fullness of instinct,
which is blind.
You stand for reason.
Your wife is instinct.
It's a mixing up of the parts,
according to which you,
who act your own part,
become the puppet of yourself.
- Do you understand?
- No.
Neither do I.
Let's go on,
you'll praise me at the end.
I recommend you face three-quarters.
What with the abstruseness
of the dialogue,
and the public
that won't be able to hear you,
the whole thing will go to hell.
Excuse me, sir.
What is it?
These people are asking for you, sir.
I am rehearsing.
And you know no one's allowed
to come in during rehearsals!
Who are you, please?
What do you want?
We have come here
in search of an author...
An author?
What author?
Any author, sir.
But there's no author here.
We are not rehearsing a new piece.
So much the better, sir!
We can be your new piece.
Yes, but if the author isn't here...
Unless you don't want
to be the author.
You are trying to be funny.
What are you saying?
We bring you a painful drama, sir.
We may be your fortune.
Will you oblige me by going away?
We have no time to waste
with mad people.
Sir, you know well that life
is full of infinite absurdities.
Which, strangely enough,
do not even need to appear plausible,
since they are true.
- What the devil is he talking about?
- We want to live, sir.
I'll go to the dressing room.
Too cerebral and bloody boring.
I understood nothing, nothing at all.
But where does all this take us?
It is merely to show you that one
is born to life in many forms.
As tree, as stone,
as water, as butterfly
or as woman.
So one may also be born
a character in a play.
So you and these other
friends of yours
have been born characters?
Exactly, sir.
The author who created us alive
no longer wished,
or was no longer able
to put us into a work of art.
"And this was a real crime, sir."
"Because he who has had the luck
to be born a character never dies."
The man dies.
The writer, the instrument
of the creation will die.
But his creation does not die.
Do you really want to see drama?
Do you want to see it
flash out as it really did?
That's just what I want.
Well, then.
- Ask that Mother there to leave us.
- No!
- No! Don't allow it, sir!
- But it's only to try.
I can't bear it. I can't.
- Since it has happened already...
- No!
It's taking place now.
It happens all the time.
My torment isn't a pretended one.
I am alive and present, always!
- Help!
- He's dead.
Poor boy, he's dead!
He's not dead! It's only make believe.
It's only pretence, don't believe it.
- It's reality.
- What pretence? He's dead.
Reality! Reality!
Reality, sir, reality!
To hell with it all!
I've lost a whole day
over these people.
Such a thing
never happened to me before.
Turn everything off.
This is not going well though.
Someone is going to get hurt.
Do you think these people are actors
or are they really protesting?
I was wondering the same thing,
but you can expect
anything from Pirandello.
I didn't understand anything,
but I liked it.
You're a joke!
You're a fool!
Listen, let's go, it's better.
What a shame!
Your daughter is waiting
for you at the entrance.
Did my two Sicilian guests
collect their tickets?
- Which guests?
- Vella and Principato.
I told you this morning.
No, you didn't give me any names.
Are you sure? Check them.
I'm sorry,
there's no one here by those names.
Lietta, nothing happened!
Nothing happened!
Come with me.
Here's Pirandello!
Shame on you!
You are a fool!
This of fence cannot be!
Is there anyone here?
You're here?
What was I supposed to do?
I got beaten.
I went to lock myself in the toilet.
I hid too, there's no one here.
Even the masks are gone.
- Bastiano, they locked us in here.
- What do we do now?
What do we do?
We wait.
So we will.
- Are you disappointed?
- I cared.
Forget about it.
Pirandello is finished after tonight.
They crushed him.
"If you are a man, you admire
those who attempt great feats."
- Even if they don't succeed.
- Is it yours?
I wish!
- And who is he?
- A man who knew a lot.
I'm tired, I'm going to sleep.
Go to sleep, Bastia.
I mean...
We did what we came to do anyway.
IN 1925,