City of Signs
dir. Gianni Di Gregorio, Italy, 2008, 35mm, Italian w/ English subtitles, 75 min.
The charismatic Gianni Di Gregorio (co-scenarist of the smash hit Gomorrah), stars in his directorial debut—an utterly charming tale of good food, feisty ladies, and unlikely friendships during a very Roman holiday. Broke, and armed with only a glass of wine and a wry sense of humor, middle-aged Gianni resides with his 93-year-old mother in their ancient apartment. The condo debts are mounting, but if Gianni looks after the building manager’s mother during the Pranzo di Ferragosto (Italy’s biggest summer holiday, and the Feast of the Assumption), all will be forgiven. The manager then shows up with an auntie, followed by a doctor friend with his mother in tow...can Gianni keep four such lively mamas well-fed and happy in these cramped quarters?