Giovanni is fifty and the only child of his mother, a widow with whom he lives in an apartment in Rome. It's mid-August and hot in the city. His mother has a fairly demanding nature and so Giovanni spends as much time in the local bar as in his apartment, where he does a lot of the household chores.
Ferragosto, the traditional free weekend in Italy (Assumption) is coming up and Giovanni receives a visit from his landlord: Can he look after the landlord's mother for two days? In view of Giovanni's rent arrears, it's a request he cannot refuse. A little later he receives a visit from his family doctor with virtually the same question. It's then up to Giovanni to organise a good lunch on a holiday...
Gianni di Gregorio, partly responsible for the screenplay of Gomorra (see elsewhere in the programme), wrote and directed with verve this appealing, heart warming feature début, Mid-August Lunch, in which he also plays the leading role of Giovanni. The construction of the story, the interaction of the old ladies, the refinements of language use and eating habits, yet also all kinds of other small details together yield a minor masterpiece that was a kind of surprise hit at the recent Venice film Festival. The peculiarities and charms of the old ladies are especially beautifully portrayed. (EH)


International title
Mid-August Lunch
Filmmaker
Gianni Di Gregorio
Country
Italy
Year
2008
Medium
35mm
Length
75’
Language
Italian
Producer
Matteo Garrone
Production Company
Archimede Film
Sales
Fandango Portobello Sales
Writer
Gianni Di Gregorio, Simone Riccardini
Cinematography
Gian Enrico Bianchi
Editor
Marco Spoletini
Production Design
Daniele Cascella
Sound Design
Filippo Porcari
Music
Ratchev & Carratello
Cast
Gianni Di Gregorio