In a time when black and white film appears to be elusive, the directorial debut of Svetlana Cvetko, known for her cinematography for Inside Job, uses this artful format as a beautiful canvas to enhance a love and loss story composing a film that is a tale of the heart—actually three hearts. Show Me What You Got presents a 21st-century spin on French New Wave cinema storytelling and narration. This one more Italian on the ideas of love and friendship mixed with timeless life lessons along with a little bit of Hamlet’s “sound and fury,” only to capture the emotion and confusion of finding one’s place in love—long-lasting and all-consuming love.
Cvetko’s Italian sensibility in this cinematic romantic story of a ménage à trois turned real is an intimate, spirited look on how two men and a woman, all coming of age, try and find meaningful love from Los Angeles to Italy. When you meet the charming, adorable Italian Marcello, played by Mattia Minasi, you are struck by his playful and happy-go-lucky life with a seeming reluctance to conform to his parents’ wishes. Then, the handsome, dark-souled French-Iranian Nassim, played by Neyssan Falahi, captures your attention with his brooding and mysterious existence. Then followed by the classic misplaced Kristine, played Cristina Rambaldi, an artist, and photographer, who sets us on an emotional adventure of discovery.
“…a ménage à trois turned real is an intimate, spirited look on how two men and a woman…find meaningful love from Los Angeles to Italy.”
All have a sense of the love each other is seeking, which bonds them and sets them off on a journey of erotic discovery. It’s all shrouded by the looming issues of Marcello’s threatened fortune due to an ex-girlfriend’s pregnancy and the pressure of his demanding Italian parents to return home and handle his life. With Nassim and Kristine at his side, Marcello’s love and money afford them a time to live in ecstasy and discovery. The grief Kristine has from her grandfather’s death and Nassim’s reluctance to return home due to his Hamlet’s personality and desire for purpose in life, allow the three to bond and embrace their rebel existence exemplified by their travels and encounters. But, when Marcello’s world comes to a screeching halt due to a looming paternity test, he decides they all must go to Italy where his wealth and father’s own soap star fame and prowess re-route this François Truffaut’s Jules & Jim influenced life.
Known for her luscious and exquisite cinematography, Cvetko presents a captivating and well-acted story with great style for a film about contemporary love and life awakening, which includes LA anti-establishment undertones and unfocused careers. The breakout performances of Rambaldi, Neyssan Falahi, and Mattia Minasi are noteworthy as the trio flows and carries one another through the end. They change and adapt, but stay connected. In true French New Wave cinema form, the narrator fills in when needed and offers their own interpretation, always bringing you back if you happen to drift into the allure of cinema.
Show Me What You Got premiered at the 2020 Santa Barbara International Film Festival.
"…captivating and well-acted story with great style for a film about contemporary love and life awakening"