Mascagni’ Symphony Image

Mascagni’ Symphony

By Alan Ng | July 11, 2022

A symphony is the idea or proof of concept behind Alessandro Vivarini’s short film, Mascagni’ Symphony. In what seems to be something bigger, Vivarini uses short films to tell stories of “outsiders and lowlifes” living in a world of crime and violence.

Vivarini’s first subject is a street thug, Mascagni (Mirko Frezza). Told in a classic noir style, Mascagni engages in a poetic monologue in his mind lamenting the path of violence and murder that he has walked down for quite some time. While on his way to the next job, he speaks of the demons that follow him along the way. We soon discover these demons are very real.

Mascagni’ Symphony is less about a story that needs to be told but the final moments of a conflicted criminal ending in either an epiphany or tragedy. Music is the foundation of director Vivarini’s story. In the beginning, Mascagni waxes philosophic, almost religious, about his life and occupation as a traditional orchestral score plays behind him. In the subsequent movement, the musical vibe amps up with a driving electronic beat the moment he steps off the elevator and the “hit” begins.

“…engages in a poetic monologue in his mind lamenting the path of violence and murder that he has walked down…”

The camera work by Andrea Donadoni is breathtaking. Like a dream, Vivarini follows his protagonist with a steady cam following the action like a spirit following its host. Each scene is shot in a single take, using a few cinematic tricks to keep the action and momentum in a constant fluid motion.

And the action is fast, almost too fast. It’s also brutal and sometimes gory, but none of it is wasted or gratuitous in nature. Your eyes cannot turn away from the violence, partly because you’ll miss the subtitles.

I’m always drawn to short films that have something to say about the human condition and the world we live in. Mascagni’ Symphony has much to say about the nature of crime and how it can enslave those who embrace this world.

For screening information, visit the Vivarinis Piece Instagram page.

Mascagni' Symphony (2022)

Directed: Alessandro Vivarini

Written: Flavio Vivarini

Starring: Mirko Frezza, Flavio Vivarini, Andrea Dell'Avo, etc.

Movie score: 9/10

Mascagni' Symphony Image

"…breathtaking. Like a dream..."

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