‘…more of a work of art than a conventional movie, but it’s worth championing for originality and sheer chutzpah…’

Years ago, I was at the Savoy hotel in London, at a press conference for the movie version of The Sweeney; rapper Plan B said he’d never watch any film older than three years old. That seemed like a real shame to me, given that there’s a hundred odd years of cinematic history to enjoy, but I also take his point. While retro reviews are on this site, they’re largely to balance the latest stuff; where Plan B and I think alike is that we like to see something new as often as possible. So when the makers of Gelateria offered up their film for review, I jumped at the chance, although they did warn me, it’s a slippery film to analyse, and so it proved…

A gelateria is an ice-cream parlour, and there’s a key scene set in one here. But if you’ve visited your local gelateria, you’ll know they have a variety of flavours. Arthur Patching and Christian Serritiello have created a film that works in a similar way; there’s no one central narrative, but a selection of differently flavoured stories, some of which come together in the final scenes. Some are violent, some mysterious, some comic, some pretentious, even a burst of animation; it’s a curious spectacle, but a trip that’s just about worth taking.

Perhaps we’ve been here before with Slacker, or even La Ronde; at 62 minutes, at least Gelateria doesn’t outstay its welcome. Fragments make an impact; an actor moonlights as a waiter, an artist tries to find her stolen art, a Punch and Judy show entertains some children. There’s an ongoing theme about art, particularly performance art, and with different performers often playing the same part, it’s up to the audience to impose their own vision of what’s happening. One image shows a figure cycling into the sea; that would work just as well as a representation of trying to force a specific, singular meaning from Gelateria, you’re probably using the wrong tool to open this particular puzzle-box up.

Peter Greenaway asked why we should always expect to be excited by the narrative of a film; can’t we look at a movie the way we look at a painting? Well performed and shot, Gelateria is more of a work of art than a conventional movie, but it’s worth championing for originality and sheer chutzpah. It’s a one-off that’s gaining some interest from the avant garde scene and beyond; just don’t ask me what it all meant. It’s certainly different and new…

The VOD release date for Gelateria in the UK is: June 1st, 2022 on Vimeo on Demand



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    • You have turned Occam’s razor back in on itself, and Plan B is now hoist by his own petard…

    • I was astounded that anyone would be interested excusively in the new, and take no interest in classics. Oh, well, everyone is different.

  1. Multi-character movies are generally interesting if enough effort has gone into the characters but often you end up with one stereotypical topping after another. Can’t believe there’s someone who doesn’t take account of history – music, films, art whatever – and that the only important thing is what is being done now presumably by Plan B, which I did think I have to say was the Brad Pitt outfit (if production companies could talk!).

    • Alas, not a production company, but a person. That quote really stuck in my head. But even if multiple character drama/comedy is nothing new, this isn’t quite a film that I’ve seen before, and so big plus points for being different…

    • I do love a frozen yoghurt, yes, I cannot deny it. Currently going four fruit pastille ice lollies a night. How about you?

        • As the title suggest, I plan to review it in ‘the future’

          Can you order me a club sandwich on room service? I’ll be up in a mo.

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