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Natale in casa Varriale

Well, watching a Mario Salieri film in a censored version (or sexy comedy, as they say) takes half the pleasure out of it. It must also be said that the hardcore sequences would not have added much to the story, but they would certainly have been interesting moments.
Apart from this "fundamental" shortcoming, I cannot question the intention of the director who, as the film's presentation says, "proposes a radical reinterpretation of the "Italian-style sexy comedy"; in Mario Salieri's reinterpretation, the differences with the past are numerous and the distinctive features of the genre, founded on eroticism and comedy, are combined with dramatic overtones and themes of social denunciation". However, I am more sceptical about the final result with this mix of genres that has really confused me.

"Natale in casa Varriale" immediately shows its intentions, that is, to mix the sacred with the profane, and it does so with some (very long) opening titles that mix shocking images from the 80s with other images, let's say more pop. From the Bologna massacre, for example, to Super Mario. In the background, very much in the background, two real events, the attacks on the airports of Fiumicino and Vienna on 27 December 1985, the period in which the story takes place, at Varriale's house. In Naples. Of course.

The whole thing unfolds along the lines of Neapolitan farce mixed with drama/action elements. The latter are very confusing and vague and fail to deliver as the story unfolds.

The Varriale family (Franco Pinelli and Anika Russo), a nice Neapolitan couple are engaged in some "minor" illegal activity (arms dealing and usury) and are set to entertain friends and relatives for Christmas. There is his brother-in-law (Carlo Maratea) a convinced ex-fascist, married to a woman much younger than him played by the always beautiful Roberta Gemma. There is her brother (Francesco Malcom), a brigadista, a friend of two Palestinian terrorists, who he takes with him. Then there are other characters inserted a bit forcibly into the story and basically useless (or good for hard scenes).

From Christmas Eve until 27 December, they all meet at the Varriale's house, where political discussions break out, bellies are filled and lots, and thay fuck often with Roberta Gemma, who gives herself to the Palestinians, and with the maid (Kira Queen). But the Palestinians also plan the two aforementioned attacks, and may be the perpetrators themselves, or at least within the organisation. The film ends with a tribute to all the fallen of terrorism.

No stranger to mixing historical facts with hard facts (fuck... in this case only with eroticism), Salieri tries to revive the 80s by throwing in a lot of songs from that time and evoking objects.
And I repeat, I don't doubt the attempt, but the whole thing is a bit forced and I didn't quite understand what he ultimately wants to tell us. Maybe nothing, maybe something else. Of course Roberta Gemma is always beautiful (yes, I've already said that).

Controversial coda: it's not mine. The film was presented at the Salerno International Film Festival, which included the possibility to watch and vote for the films online. According to the director himself, "Natale in casa Varriale" topped the list, but the votes, says Salieri, were falsified by fake accounts and so on, all to make his film lose, perhaps uncomfortable or perhaps unloved.