Fabio del Greco‘s independent film Crazy world is set in 2009, in Rome in an Italy that has Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi as a winning model. A successful man, surrounded by beautiful women, who has uncommon communication skills, which fascinates most Italians.
The Plot of Crazy World
The film opens with a large demonstration in Piazza San Giovanni in Rome against Berlusconi, the no b-day. Thousands of young people protest against the prime minister’s policy. Luca is the protagonist of the film, played by the director himself, Fabio del Greco. A waiter who lives the precariousness of his job like millions of other young Italians, crosses the crowded square observing what is happening.
Luca looks like a man who has come from another planet, and observes the game of conflict in which he lives with detachment and amazement. On the one hand, Berlusconi’s voters and fans, incited by the political leader against the left-wing judiciary. On the other, the young people from the social centers. In Crazy World Fabio del Greco draws the picture of a sick society, where no one seems to be really happy.
The owner of the restaurant where Luca works, a lame and grumpy guy who feeds spoiled food to tourists, doesn’t want to pay Luca because there is a crisis. That crisis of 2008 that is on the lips of all Italians, and of half the world, and which seems to be perennial. The situation was aggravated by the reforms of temporary employment contracts, which favor entrepreneurs.
The Characters of the Film
The girl he lives with seems to have gone out of her mind and is only thinking about boxing. While Luca tries to forget everyday life by immersing himself in the infernal circles of the Italian capital’s nightlife: bizarre masquerade parties, discos where to look for a new adventure.
What dominates among people seems to be the perception of scarcity, but Luca encounters “another world”. By chance he meets Chiara who has opened a nightclub frequented by the ruling political caste. They both have degrees in philosophy, but philosophy hasn’t fed either of them. Chiara is earning a lot of money thanks to her club where she provides politicians with a discreet place to hang out with young escorts and consume cocaine.
Luca leaves the house the girl he lives with, leaves his miserable job as a waiter where he is not even paid, starting to work with Chiara in his restaurant. Immediately he starts earning a torrent of money. The politicians arrive at the club in the evening and have fun with the girls, consume alcohol and cocaine. Chiara herself and other characters perform on the stage of the club.
One of the politicians who frequents the club seems to have a soft spot for a drag queen performing in the club. Chiara knows him well: his name is Saverio, and for some time she has been asking him for the contract of the former furnace, which was a family property to which his mother is particularly fond. The property was expropriated and now Chiara absolutely wants to get it back and renovate it to make her mother happy.
Saverio promises that he will get him the furnace. Meanwhile, Chiara has her birthday party organized by Chiara. Celebrate together with 2 escorts and the drag queen he likes. Saverio prefers the drag queen, he makes the girls go away and has sex with her. Chiara takes advantage of the situation to place a hidden camera in the ceiling of the room and film the honorable member to blackmail him.
From that moment on, events are destined to precipitate inexorably. Starting from the ideas of the reality of the Italian news, which in that period saw the president of the Lazio region Piero Marrazzo the object of blackmail and scandals due to his frequentation of transsexuals, Fabio del Greco tells a story with a realistic style that vaguely recalls Gomorrah of Matteo Garrone, a cinema-truth that often uses the hand-held camera.
The Style and Themes of the Film
Shot on a low budget digitally and intended for direct Internet distribution, Crazy world is a “true” independent film that remains far from standard film products. This film by the director is also told in an extremely personal way, in direct contact with reality. Del Greco films the places he knows, where real events take place. He films reality and transforms it into fiction. The first part of the film is an almost documentary of the world in which the protagonist lives, shot lightly with a language reminiscent of the French Nouvelle Vague.
While the cinematic story continues the narrative interweaving and the thriller take the place of realism. The director focuses on the theme of spying, on the recording mechanisms and on the blackmail that complicate the life of Chiara and Luca. The inspirations of Brian De Palma’s thriller films, the obsession with the gaze, blend with a simple, deliberately dirty, live-action shooting style.
Del Greco focuses on an existential conflict that affects many people: why lead an honest life, be a good citizen and worker and only get frustrated and scarce of money? If politicians and wealthy entrepreneurs enjoy life with illegal activities and vices, why not comply? The protagonist of Crazy World transforms from a humble, unaware worker into a shrewd opportunist and servant of the ruling class.
The tale of Mondo madle shows us, however, that once one enters the caste, one risks being trapped in a hellish mechanism. Power, the good life, the hoarding of money are not what they seem when we see them from the outside. The price to pay is very high.
The famous song Crazy world was rearranged by the Elettronoir group, while the soundtrack was entrusted to the Genoese musician Stefano Agnini. The initial title of the project was Nostalgia. It was a subject that Del Greco had written years earlier. The story was that of a street artist who returns to his native country after many years to find his roots. The project was then rewritten several times and transformed. When Del Greco had the chance to make the film, only the title remained, which was also changed to Crazy World.
The director says: “The idea came from dialogue with many people over the years. The film is an investigation by the director to find the causes of that existential unease so widespread in that period. A period in which the sense of precariousness seemed to permeate everything. But it was not just a social or economic precariousness, but an inner precariousness.
Precariousness was the main topic of all the speeches, it was a real social obsession induced by the mass media. A brainwashing to plant the seed of scarcity in every mind. A mode of psychological terrorism that is the main tool of the media for the creation of fear even today. Through the media narrative, models and lifestyles, false values, crises that keep the population dominated by a condition that seem unsolvable are imposed. While those who control power can get rich, and laugh at the backs of the people. ”
Del Greco filtered that invisible sentiment, the news, the Italian macrocosm, to tell the microcosm of the characters in Mondo Madle, and show how they are only pawns in a great propaganda gear. “