Summary of the post
The following summary includes the list of the topics we will cover in our Italian Studies review
- The Story
- Where you can watch the movie
- What did we learn from Italian Studies – (Spoilers Begin)
- What we did and didn’t like about the film – Pros and Cons
Did you watch Italian Studies? – Spoiler Alert
In this post we analysed the film and therefore it contains spoilers. Make sure you have watched the movie. If not, check our movie introduction to discover the story, other curiosities and watch the trailer.
Italian Studies Review and Explanation.
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What did we learn from Italian Studies?
Italian Studies is a unique experiment in the cinema of 2022. The idea of having a writer lost on her thoughts, reflecting on herself, life, and human behaviour is not something so original.
Anyway, the director Adam Leon plays his cards in a way that we partially enjoy it. And we want to tell you and share with you our considerations, with the wish that we will help you enjoy more of this film.
As we previously mentioned in our introduction to the movie, Italian Studies is a journey, or better, an artistic journey, discovering life and ourselves.
Why Alina doesn’t remember who is she?
Alina is a writer with the incredible skills of frequently losing herself, distracted by her curiosity for life. In the first scene, Alina gets lost while reaching her partner. The day after, she meets a girl, but she doesn’t remember who is she; not even who is Simon and that she lost a dog. So we can definitely say that artists have their minds above the clouds. But, in reality, the director tells us that writers may get frequently lost in their existence. Artists, or those with the ability to watch and see the reality around them, can get details we cannot capture.
So, the director gifts us with the presence of Vanessa Kirby and, together with her, we start walking through the multicultural streets of New York. The change of location, in our opinion, represents the beginning of the artistic journey that will lead Alina to witness and feel new emotions and sensations for her latest novel. Alina needs to learn life from scratch, abandoning everything of her knowledge, beliefs, and also her identity.
Alina is the book of the world.
Alina becomes a book of white pages, where the entire world around her is the real artist who will write down the pages of her novel. She needs only to watch, feel and learn so that her new story may be a part of our one.
If Simon and his friends help Alina, it’s one of her fans who recognised her on the street and reveals to Alina her real identity and her book Italian Studies.
And precisely at this point, the journey becomes more artistic than ever. Alina will discover about herself through the stories in her book. A clear reminder of the importance of writing, art, and literature to teach us life and who we are and why we exist.
Alina found herself
So, Alina starts to reconnect with herself. And she does it by creating a new character that is her alter ego, someone who can offer new eyes and perspectives to the writer Alina. It’s a genial move indeed. Alina starts to listen to the teenagers. She asks to be part of them because she wants to learn new perspectives, fears, stories, and feelings. Isn’t precisely this what a writer should do?
It is worth mentioning that this artistic version of Alina is not exactly polite or diplomatic. She acts very impulsively; it seems like rationality is not even an option at this moment, where discovering the deepest side of human emotions is the priority. Alina wants to squeeze her characters, people, and situation to the last drop to enjoy the juicy part of her novel. It’s the research of the genuine part of each character and herself.
Does memory even matter?
In the end, Italian Studies brings a debatable question to the table: “does memory matter”?
Probably yes, because Alina starts to provide meaning to her American adventures when she realises who she is. Her perspective of reality changes when she discovers about her Italian Studies. Yes, Alina was able to meet new people and interact with them, but Alina could not connect the dots of this new story.
And it seems like all the memories, experiences, and people she discovered are essential for the final purpose of her novel. Alina doesn’t want to meet Simon again. She stopped looking for Lucinda. But also Alina doesn’t recognise the girl who offers the cigarette, and not even the girl who helped her remember about her dog and life.
What is the meaning of Italian Studies?
The novel is the goal and the approach to life. The memories she collected became the life of her new characters. Amnesia is a natural and dangerous issue, but it has become a way to explore life and see it from different perspectives.
So, this entire journey may be the steps a writer should approach to deliver a new novel. The reality around us, our daily routine is full of details we often do not recognise or easily forget. Alina reminds us of the beauty of what we give for granted every day, while any signs, emotions or people around us, maybe the inspiration for our new story or our lives.
What did we like about Italian Studies?
Well, Vanessa Kirby, of course. Let’s understand a vital point: Alina is a character without a story, a background. Therefore, Vanessa needed to act very well to provide consistency to Alina and keep us engaged through the movie. It’s not a typical role for an actor, and we want to give credit to the immense talent of Vanessa Kirby.
The locations of New York are often well shot, and walking with Alina and meeting new friends and characters was engaging. But we need to talk about cinematography and, unfortunately, we need to move to the next point.
What we didn’t like about Italian Studies?
Memory is the key topic of the film. Therefore, the director offers us a confused narration of the events so that we can witness, at least partially, Alina’s issues. And that’s where the movie fails. There is no glue to keep the narration flowing and consistent. The other characters bring elements to the story, but we don’t witness Alina’s recovery; or even Alina’s personal growth.
The music and the photography don’t support the narration properly, and often, we didn’t feel engaged in the story. The feeling is that the idea behind the script is much better than the product delivered. And, probably, without the magic touch of Vanessa, Italian Studies wouldn’t have got the same success. But, in the end, Italian Studies is a movie worth watching.
It’s a series of photographs that produce a puzzle, and we must do the hard job of putting all the pieces together.