Going Native

The American disrupts the social order with his desire for the peasant's daughter who has been promised to the son of the town's richest citizen. But, although Pizzicata shares the same doomed trajectory as Dry Cleaning, the means by which society exacts its toll lacks an equivalent tension. If the situation is Freudian, the characters are prepsychological. This is the sort of movie where the women naturally sing in the fields and there is no shortage of carefully framed picturesque customs. (The glorified ethnography has the flavor of Tony Gatlif's gypsy movies without their nutty intensity.)

Pressing business: Berling and Miou-Miou in Dry Cleaning
Strand Releasing
Pressing business: Berling and Miou-Miou in Dry Cleaning

Details

Dry Cleaning
Directed by Anne Fontaine
Written by Fontaine and Gilles Taurand
A Strand release
At the Quad
Opens February 5

Pizzicata
Written and directed by Edoardo Winspeare
A Milestone release
At Film Forum
Through February 16

In the end, Pizzicata is less a drama than a sound-and-light show performed for tourists in the main square of a picture-postcard town. Although Cosimo Cinieri, who plays the old peasant, is the movie's lone professional actor, the rest of the cast might just as well have been handpicked by Giorgio Armani.

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