Updated: Mar 5
Directed by: #ValentinaGaldi
Written by: #ValentinaGaldi
Vito (Gianni D’Amato) has been undergoing therapy and takes drugs for mental disorders, but a new self-awareness overcomes him when he realises the visions and voices he has been experiencing are an integral part of his life in this compelling drama.
MEMORIE SBIADITE (Faded Memories) (2020) is an indie short film directed by Italian filmmaker Valentina Galdi, released on The Gladiator Company’s YouTube channel, an independent film production company conceived of by Galdi herself. The film has received positive critical reception since its release; shortlisted at the Cinephilia Flair International Film Festival and winning Best Drama at the New Normal International Film Festival.
The short is well realised in its abstract, deeply psychological concept and direction, with a distinct entrancing visual style to its aesthetic. The film has a wonderfully illusory, visceral quality with a largely enigmatic, yet cognizant protagonist fronting the narrative and presenting an absorbing examination on the effects of mental health on one’s consciousness. Galdi directs with confidence and nuance, allowing the performers to control the pacing of sequences and expertly visualising what it is like to be inside the conflicting mind of our lead. As stated by Galdi, the film romantics the ‘voice in mind’ phenomenon and there is an interesting stylistic choice to desaturate the scenes where we are taken into the confines of the protagonist’s mental state, which highlight the surreal contemplative nature of the film and its relevant humane themes.
D’Amato as Vito delivers an authentic, captivating performance and embodies the sensitive, intriguing character effortlessly. Galdi’s engrossing screenplay offers him the spotlight when he delivers a fascinating monologue about the tendencies of people to hide behind positive facades to mask their true struggles. Although it is easy to perceive the character as ‘crazy’ due to his rambles, the richness of the dialogue causes him to appear very sane and even wise as he explains how he perceives the meanings of the visions he sees. D’Amato is able to smoothly portray emotional vulnerability through subtle facial expressions and passionate line delivery, making for a grounded and believable performance.
Moscatiello as Vito’s friend provides the voice of reason and a supportive companion for the lead to express his differing feelings to. The character is involved in a memorable cliff hanger of sorts to the short, which adds another layer of intrigue and mystery to the film and certainly makes for a chilling final freeze frame.
Man Tau’s musical score is deservedly worth a mention for its hypnotising, mesmerising guitar and synth pieces which include a repetitive motif throughout the short. The music carries the emotional elements of the story with its melancholic, reflective tone and perfectly represents the equally as repetitive nature of Vito’s visions and voices in his head.
MEMORIE SBIADITE is a superbly executed short drama exploring the intricacies of mental health and its mature, self-awareness presented through confident direction and a powerful performance from its lead make this film deserving of all its given praise.