Thursday 31 Jul

Power Pyramid - The God Drums

Power Pyramid doesn’t have much patience for nonsense. That appears to be the takeaway from the Oklahoma City quintet’s last 10 months, which brought The God Drums in September, the Insomnia EP in January and its latest, self-titled effort in July.

07/29/2014 | Comments 0

TJ Mayes - "When Love Comes Down"

’50s era rock ’n’ roll had been long overdue for a rebirth. Thankfully, the stockpile of capable luminaries has not been in short supply over the past few years. 

07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Boare - "playdatshit"

The world is in the midst of an electronic music renaissance, and you find most of this boon of producers laying claim to the club-friendly, bass-dropping variety, holing up in the the free-flowing world of hip-hop beatmaking or pitching their tent on the out-there, boundary-pushing EDM camp.
07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Broncho - "Class Historian"

Broncho has never been hurting in the hook department. The success of the trio’s 2011 debut, Can’t Get Past the Lips, was predicated mostly on its ability to marry melodies with kinetic guitar riffs and anarchic energy. Yet we’ve heard nothing to the degree of pure pop catchiness on display in “Class Historian,” the new single from Broncho’s upcoming sophomore album, Just Enough Hip to Be Woman.
07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Manmade Objects - Monuments

No one wants to be forgotten; everyone wants some sort of legacy, a mark they leave behind as they exit this life for whatever lies beyond.

And for as long as there has been death, there have been monuments — whether austere or understated, abstract or concrete, prominent or tucked away in private — erected by the ones they loved to assure that remembrance, at least for a time.
07/15/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Music · Music · Mid-August Lunch' serves up...

Mid-August Lunch' serves up tangible human connection with a side of cultural obligation

Kathryn Jenson White May 6th, 2010

Mid-August Lunch is so delicate, it's more like a soft sigh than the written, directed, acted and distributed thing we generally call a film.Under that soft breath of sweetness, however, is an emoti...

"Mid-August Lunch" is so delicate, it's more like a soft sigh than the written, directed, acted and distributed thing we generally call a film.

Under that soft breath of sweetness, however, is an emotional intelligence of a high nature. Written, directed and starred in by Gianni Di Gregorio, this film is an Italian love letter to mothers around the world in all their burdensome, frustratingly love-filled, end-of-life glory. It's a gentle glance at the love of sons and the moral and cultural obligations that define the time when the caregiver/care-receiver equation reverses. It's a tender take on the pleasure of human connections among family members and friends.

The film screens Friday through Sunday at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art.

That Di Gregorio also wrote "Gomorrah," one of filmdom's most visceral and hard-hitting looks at organized crime in Italy, seems almost impossible to wrap my head around, given the difference in subject matter and feel of these two films.

"Mid-August" is a literal translation of the Italian "Ferragosto," but this film is far from literal. Ferragosto is a Holy Day of Obligation in Catholic Italy, Aug. 15, on which Catholics celebrate The Assumption of the Virgin Mary, the mother of all mothers. On this day, Catholic dogma teaches, Mary, "having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory."

The mothers in this film are still very earthbound, drinking watered wine in some cases and sneaking off to a bar to smoke and drink beer in others. They're reveling in making the macaroni casserole their children have loved for years and in eating it, even if the pasta isn't quite the right thickness and their dietary restrictions forbid it. They're enjoying their television watching and being read to by their loving sons.

As the film opens, that's just what's happening. Gianni (Di Gregorio) is reading aloud to his mother, Valeria (Valeria De Franciscis). He is patient and engaged. The musketeer reading the story is no swashbuckler, but he is brave, resourceful, kind and intelligent. His love is not courtly romantic love, but love of his mother.

Taking care of his 93-year-old mom has stopped Gianni from working. OK, maybe that white wine he's slugging down pretty much nonstop and a natural inclination to incline and smoke a cigarette or two also play a part. No matter: no work, no money.

Significantly behind in his payments to the condominium association, Gianni agrees reluctantly to take care of the association administrator's also-aged mother for two days. When he drops Marina off, the administrator brings along cousin Maria. When it rains old women, it seems, it pours. A night shift at the hospital requires Gianni's doctor to ask him to take care also of his mama, Grazia.

Now in the small apartment are Gianni and four 80-plus women. Unlike an American studio film, in which they would all go rogue on Harleys, these women just squabble and make up, sleep and, above all, eat and talk. Those last two pleasures are clearly central to life in Italy.

They are also central to the pleasure of this film. It's delightful. Go. Let its warmth wash over you. "Kathryn Jenson White
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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