Nuovomondo – let the sound tell the story.

Two weeks ago, I have been to my now-favorite cinema in Oslo: the Gimle Kino. Located in a very fine art deco building, it only has a single show room, an old school wood paneled and heavily carpeted entrance area where you cannot get popcorn – high-quality beverages and the usual choice of chocolates is being served instead. Very much adequate to the refined setting was the movie we saw: Nuovomondo or The Golden Door. A movie about an utterly poor rural Italian family who finally decides to leave their barren homestead to try their luck in the US of A. When I write barren here, I do actually mean barren. If you do not have a clear understanding of what constitutes a barren landscape (in contrast to a desert, for example) you have to see this movie, and the meaning of this word will much more than dawn on you. It might well overwhelm you.
One thing that took a while until it dawned on me during that evening was the sound of this movie. I think I have never seen a movie where sounds were able to tell so much about the emotions and the materiality of the setting as this one (with the exception of Das Boot, though with submarine flicks sound is an obvious thing to invest in). The landscape, the vessel that ships the migrants from Italy to America, the life below decks – all of these places become really vivid in this movie.
However, this is not where my praise stops. In addition to the sound and the thing about the barrenness – two features which would make this movie outstanding on its own – this work of Emanuele Crialese also offers many openly dreamlike aesthetic images, images that weave themselves into the fabric of the story that is being told. All want to swim in the land of milk and honey, as you will see. So, the story seems fine, the imageary is fantastic, and the sounds scaringly good. Then what about the cast? Do they spoil the thing? No! They don’t! They are actually perfectly fitting, too. I guess you get my drift: I do urge you to go and watch this movie. In a cinema, please, try to watch it in a real movie theater.
IMDb entry | Trailer

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