Happy as Lazzaro (dir. Alice Rorhwacher)
A madcap dive through class politics, labor exploitation, and socioeconomic devices, Happy as Lazzaro follows Lazzaro (Adriano Tardiolo), an enigmatic and largely silent peasant living in rural Italy. His life is manipulated by the wealthy landowners and noblemen that control economic activity in the area, but Lazzaro’s deep integrity provides a constant grounding not lost on those around him. Rohrwacher traces Lazzaro as he travels from rural to urban areas, on quests he dutifully executes, even though they’re ill-defined on his end. The more he travels, the more layers the movie breaks through and the more forms it appears to take; a film that begins with nearly documentary-like directness ends with far more elaborate setpieces that liberally use sudden acts of violence and abstract spiritual imagery in quick succession. Shot on soft 16mm film, the movie detaches itself from strict boundaries of what is real and what is imagined in furthering Rohrwacher’s deeply entrenched political symbolism, as Lazzaro’s fundamental goodness is treated by others as a palpable fact, but also one that’s interwoven and shrugged off into the capitalist greed of those with more power and access than him. It’s all bitterly funny and ironic, making use of rustic Italian landscapes and the lyrics of vapid, mass-produced Eurodance hits alike in creating a thrillingly endearing and strange experience.
Doors: 6.30pm Film: 7.00pm
Cash bar available.