A FILM WHICH IS A MANTRA AGAINST FAILURE: COMMENTING “IL PRINCIPE DI OSTIA BRONX”
Courtesy of Kiné & Raffaele Passerini
There is a quote by Winston Churchill I particularly like, asserting that “success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” It is a mantra I often recite to myself, and which I tend to recommend to the many ambitious friends I have in the world of art. There is another quote, this time by Jessie Stein, which asserts that “making art is hard.” Indeed, all the friends I have just referred to often repeat Stein’s words: “art is hard”, yes, indeed it seems very hard.
Setting their stage in Capocotta, a nudist beach in the outskirts of Rome, Dario and Maury have been playing professional monologues, plays and pièce for the lasting 20 years, gathering people of any kind and from all over. Capocotta is indeed a magical place. For instance, it is here that Fellini got his inspiration for the Dolce Vita, as well as Pasolini, De Sica and others, who have mythicized this timeless and spaceless area with an aura of beauty and legendary.
Nevertheless, Dario and Maury are part of a generation which comes right after the allure of the Italian cinema of the 1960s and 1970s. They are part of a whole generation who has seen the “dream of cinema” gradually fading and disappearing, leaving an entire orchestra of aspiring professionals – actors, editors, etc. - in a limbo of dismay, unrealized and unexplained. This bitter reality, along with personal biographical confessions are however mitigated by an irreverent spirit of motivation, passion for art and somehow bizarreness. A drive for life, perseverance and self-esteem which has made of the two not only a model for all “those who have failed at least once in their lives” but also the Principe (the Prince) and the Contessa (the Countess) of a realm for those people in search of encouragement, liberation and permission.
Like a pop mantra, Il Principe di Ostia Bronx alleviates the sense of shame generated by the social pressure of failing. You go home, after watching it, and you start singing its songs, repeating its words, and felling a bit better, maybe a Prince or Countess of your own failures, this time with no shame.