Texas, the first feature from 29-year-old Italian director Fausto Paravidino, is clearly a very personal film. Paravidino co-wrote the screenplay with two of his stars, and, as Enrico the narrator, he himself also appears on screen. His movie has the feel of something for which public exposure is a bonus, not the goal; it exists because it has to, not because there is an audience to wow. That is not to say, however, that Paravidino isn't sure of himself as a filmmaker. Indeed, Texas practically explodes off the screen with a thrilling, inescapable confidence that expresses itself not in showy, attention-getting tricks but rather in a willingness to be wildly unconventional without regard for the reaction of viewers. The movie is crazed mix of tones, jumping from almost slapstick humor to complete solemnity at the drop of the hat, and combining one-joke, one-dimensional characters with fully-developed, tragic figures in virtually every scene. And yet, thrillingly, it works. Of the six New Directors/New Film offerings I've seen so far, Texas is easily the most assured, most accomplished of the bunch.
categories Reviews, Cinematical