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Inside Out 2016 Review: Arianna

Perhaps the undiscovered gem of this year’s festival, the Italian film Arianna by Carlo Lavagna appears to be a message movie, but remembers to place style first and foremost. And what style the film possesses!

It is crucial when judging a film’s merit to look at the beginning and the ending. The film presents the exact same opening and closing shot, a slow dissolve of Arianna (Ondina Quadri, an acting neophyte, unbelievably), prone in a pool of water, staring upwards towards the heavens.

Arianna as a title immediately calls to mind Greek mythology, but it’s crucial to look a little closer. What we discover is that the scene plays out very differently at the beginning and end of the film. The transformation of function within the scene parallels the literal but mainly spiritual transformation of Arianna alone in the country for the first time, away from her family. They appear to be hiding something from her, and the film carries a feeling of emotional dread which is powerful and present from start to finish (and back again).

It is certainly conceivable that for some, Arianna will resonate. This is very much the case for us.

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