Between Turin and Pisa, the life of a socially and professionally successful university law professor unfolds. Endowed with great intelligence and an elusive charm, the man and the professor lead a ‘withdrawn’ existence that sometimes borders on the beds of casual lovers. Determined to control reality and keep it carefully at a distance, he becomes involved in the death by suicide of a student. The boy, obsessed by the professor’s life, has scrupulously recorded his lessons, his behaviour, his habits…
The strength of Emidio Greco’s cinema, and in this sense L’uomo Privato is no exception, lies in its stylistic essentiality, its rational narrative development and its courageous anti-spectacle. His eminently literary cinema makes use this time of an original subject written by the author himself.
At the centre of his story is an unnamed professor, elegant and introverted, who keeps his eyes open but ends up with the gaze of someone who walks through reality in a trance-like state. Everything that unfolds before him, the students in the classroom, the lovers, the friends, the colleagues, have the characteristics of a (bad) dream, which his simplifying logic cannot ‘see’ and understand. In the film there is only one man who ‘exists’, the others do not ‘are’.
The sole protagonist and spectator of his own dream, Tommaso Ragno’s private (and perfect) man, proceeds by force of inertia on a journey that contemplates unforeseen developments: the death of a student. Stalked and shamelessly spied on, the professor remains blind to the evidence, unable to pick up the signals, decipher the codes, read the symbols. That early death deprives him forever of control over reality. The presumption of rationality and positivity dissolve into an unsuspected propensity for vertigo in him.
Greco’s film, conceptual and rigorous, says nothing with words and everything with images. By accentuating the ‘said’ part, the director privileges the public dimension of the story, immersing ‘the private man’ in the redundant and meaningless chatter of the ‘salons’ and in the abyss of conscience.
Tommaso Ragno: l’uomo privato
Myriam Catania: Silvia
Giulio Pampiglione: the suicidal boy
Mia Benedetta: the brunette woman
Ennio Coltorti: the commissioner
Mariangela D’Abbraccio: Carlotta
Vanessa Gravina: the journalist
Vanni Materassi: the father
Catherine Spaak: the ex-lover