Inside Out LGBT Film Festival 2013: Magnifica presenza (2012)
Director Ferzan Ozpetek of queer cinema classic Steam: The Turkish Bath (1997) returns to the 2013 edition of the Inside Out LGBT Film Festival with charming ghost story Magnifica presenza (Magnificent Presence). The story follows Pietro, an aspiring actor who’s busy settling into a creaky Roman apartment and not getting laid. Imagine his surprise when he learns a pre-war theatre troop is haunting his new digs. Part mystery, part ghost story, Magnifica presenza is 100% delightful from start to finish.
There is no shortage of bubbly charm as Pietro fumbles his way through botched romances, and pretty weird relationship with his cougar cousin Maria, and the mystery of what happened to the ill-fated acting troupe. Improbably, the lonely Pietro becomes quite friendly with his ghostly flatmates and, in exchange for advice about romance and acting tips, he resolves to provide them with enough information to move forward in the ghostly plane.
Magnifica presenza is bubbly and fun, with the sort of cheerful surreality Italian cinema is renowned for. While the themes aren’t exactly light – there’s betrayal, heartbreak, and more than a touch of obsessiveness from Pietro – Ozpetek keeps things light enough to make the film a kind of gay, Italian version of Amelie. Magnifica presenza is a definite Inside Out LGBT Film Festival must-see.
Magnifica presenza screens at 4:45 pm on Saturday, May 25. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit http://www.insideout.ca/.
Watch the Magnifica presenza Trailer