There’s something exposing about revealing a favourite film – a favourite anything, I guess. But what about when your favourite film is itself about self-exposure? Caro Diario (Dear Diary) is a confessional journey into selfhood by the Italian director Nanni Moretti, the gentle court jester of Italian film-making who’s been a repeated gadfly in Berlusconi’s side (one reason among many to worship him). Not only does Moretti star throughout – and does so as a version of himself – but documentary footage of his treatment for Hodgkin’s lymphoma weaves its way into the film’s final section. Calling Dear Diary up close and personal doesn’t really do it justice. Perhaps that’s why it gets under my skin. Initially, I wondered if it was about anything at all. It offers not so much a plot as a series of dreamlike paradoxes, a sprawling Rorschach blot in place of a structure. For a start, it seems to be three films in one. The first section follows Moretti roaming around the streets of Rome, and neglecting to find much beauty in this most beautiful of cities. He then visits the tiny Aeolian islands just off the toe of Calabria, and fails to find much… Read full this story
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