Gelateria is both an exercise in, and homage to, the #abstract and the #absurd. The film plays out like a strange concoction of the old #Guinness ads and some drug-fuelled nightmare. Remember the fish on a bike and the #Judderman? Well, now imagine that but an hour long and you're in the right ballpark. Gelateria is ‘interesting’ to say the least.
Patching and Serritiello weave together a dizzying and nightmarish quintuple of tales. Each more #absurd and disturbing than the last. Each tale begins with a central character, who we follow as they navigate their familiar but #bizarre world. And as their tale comes to its conclusion, we’re introduced to our next character of interest. The film continues in this manner throughout. And while the individual tales seem completely disconnected from one another, they do come together to form some semblance of an overarching plot. What is that plot? Well––I’m not really sure. The thing is, I think – much like #abstract #art – it will mean different things to different people. For me personally, the film acted as an examination of the oddity of certain social norms and as a commentary on issues of social class and modern-life in general. But honestly, everyone will take something different away from Gelateria.
The #absurdity, which is so prevalent throughout the plot, is mirrored in the performances of the film’s cast. This isn’t a complaint, It has to be this way, it wouldn’t work otherwise. Carrie Getman, Tomas Spencer, Christian Serritiello, Daniel Brunet, Simone Spinazze, and a whole host of other utterly charming and off-the-wall characters make for an outstanding and entertaining cast.
But it’s the technical aspects of Gelateria that, for me, really solidifies the film’s standing as a stunning piece of #abstract #cinema. The peculiar visuals, off-balance camerawork and the unconventional editing, all come together to create a dizzying and, frankly, disturbing dreamscape-like setting. There’s even a wonderful animated sequence (animated by Tiago Araújo) about 35-minutes in, which only adds to the ‘what the hell just happened’ nature of the film. It’s easy to see why it all comes to together so well. Both #ArthurPatching and #ChristianSerritiello also worked on both the #cinematography and #editing, as well as writing and directing the movie. It all makes for a film that feels solid and coherent. Even in spite of its illogical nature.
Of course, there are issues with the film. The key problem being the very nature of the film itself. Films of this kind are an acquired taste at the best of times. But in this day age, they’re also incredibly rare. So my main concern here is that the film fails to find an audience.
Having said that, Gelateria is a film I enjoyed very much. For me – due to the segmented nature of the film – it was like viewing an exhibition of #abstract #art at a gallery. There are all these marvellous and #creative works on display. And, while you know you like what you’re seeing, you can’t quite put your finger on why. This is a film which doesn’t spoon-feed you information and doesn’t deal in exposition. Instead, it forces you to make up your own mind up about what’s on display in front of you––and that’s not an easy thing to do. But in this, the age of the #Transformers franchise, it’s really bloody refreshing.