Dear Diary (Caro Diario)

  • Dear Diary (Caro Diario)
  • Director: Nanni Moretti
  • Year: 1993
Caro Diario Caro Diario

Nanni Moretti (The Son's Room) has been a well-known film director in Italy since the seventies, but only came to international attention in 1994 when his film Caro Diario won the Best Director award at Cannes. Divided into three separate chapters, the film is presented in the form of a diary.

The first chapter, In Vespa, follows Moretti as he rides around Rome on his moped, his voice-over relating various ideas and observations on subjects from architecture (much of this segment is filmed in the beautiful quarter of Garbatella) to dancing and the film Flashdance (which leads to a cameo appearance from actress Jennifer Beals). Meanwhile his on-screen persona gets involved in various incidents and encounters that illustrate points made by the voice-over.

In the second chapter, Isole, Moretti takes to the sea in search of a peaceful island on which to work, leading to one of the films funniest moments involving a community taken over by a population of only children. The third and final chapter is Medici. This chapter is more serious than the others, dealing with Moretti's cancer and his frustration at the numerous doctors who failed to diagnose the illness.

The three chapters together form a sort of picaresque of their subject's internal life, taking in his pleasures and his fears, his politics and his surreal and whimsical dreams. The sum of these disparate parts is a wonderful, hypnotic and very funny film. Nanni Moretti has been called the Italian Woody Allen (as have many other comic Italian film-makers - it's a lazy tag that's easily to apply to any intellectual comedian) but there is a greater and more natural feeling for life in Caro Diario than there is in Allen's films; while Woody Allen sets himself at odds with life, Nanni Moretti is more concerned with celebrating its pleasures.