Alla Carta #23 - Ratataplan

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Ratataplan, the 1979 film directed by Maurizio Nichetti, was the starting point for this new edition of Alla Carta. A metropolitan fable poised somewhere between the grotesque and the surreal, where the protagonist, Nichetti himself, utters not a single word for the entire duration of the film. A candid antihero who tells his story and happy ending, letting his body do the talking. He prefers to fall back on the ancient silent art of the gag, mixing it with mime and clownery. In doing so, Nichetti unmasks the world and its cruelty with the grace of innocence and the kindness of irony. Dazed, dreamy and clumsy, he handles difficult themes such as work, marginalisation, theatre and love through ‘fantastic realism’.

We interviewed Nichetti over lunch one extremely sunny September Monday. Taking our cue from his melancholy comedy and theatricality, we thought of Aldo Spoldi. The result reads more like one of his own works than an interview: a collection of thoughts that, when read all together, perfectly illustrate his persona and artistic philosophy. With a somewhat less fantastic realism, we entrusted the difficult task of exploring marginalisation to Paola Di Bello’s 1998 photo series Rischiano pene molto severe.

All the rest is the result of conversations around those same themes, a succession of masks, drinks, stage clothes, tears, and laughter, in the hope that we too might inhabit that happy nook between naive poetry and comedy.