Wrinkles and All
by Kelly Ann Beaton
I am still smiling as I write this blog. I just watched Mid –August Lunch (2008), an incredible little film by Italian filmmaker Gianni Di Gregorio. The film is about Gianni (played by Gianni Di Gregorio) who lives with his mother and agrees to take in the unwelcome mothers and aunt of two colleagues during the long August weekend. The story is how they get along in the 24 hours of being together. The simplicity of the story and the incredible bittersweet beauty of these aging women make you leave the film smiling and having a deeper understanding of the cruel irony of aging.
Another reason why I loved this film is that my films explore the lives of women and their perspectives of themselves, especially as they age. The women in this film, who were in the late 70s and 80s, looked their age. No plastic Betty Whites here. Liver spots, thinning hair and physical fragility were real characters, not comedic affects to amuse. They were as present as the Roman skyline that serves as not only an exquisite backdrop, but also a metaphor of the beauty of the ancient.
Here is to European filmmakers who celebrate the beauty which is in everyone and everywhere and here is hoping the North American filmmakers will take note of their European counterparts and start making films, like Lisa Cholodenko’s The Kids are All Right (2010), where Annette Bening and Julianne Moore, look their age beautifully, wrinkles and all.