28 November 2004 | gradyharp
A Brilliant Debut Film Embracing Love, Family and Gender
ADORED (or "Poco piu di un anno fa") is a superb film that smacks of brilliance on every level. The fact that this is the writing, directing AND acting debut of Marco Filiberti should alert the cinema world that a major talent has arrived. This is a film about a very lovable young man who just happens to be a gay porn star and how that choice of career affects his life, his family, his philosophy, and his impact on all those around him.
The film opens with some odd commentators who we find are being utilized for a documentary in the year 2014 on the life of Riki Kandinsky (Marco Filiberti) who died in 2002. The men making the film are steered by one 'Pietro'. We discover that Riki was born in France to a wealthy, stuffy family, but fled to Rome when his mother died, leaving his brother Federico (Urbano Barberini) and his father behind. In Rome Riki Soldani becomes Riki Kandinsky, the most sought after male porn star in Italy, lusted after for his muscular good looks, his infamously grand sexual equipment, and his scintillating sexuality. Riki is not a hustler, though he does frequent bars and bathhouses for his gratification. His friends include a fellow porn star Claudio (Claudio Vanni) and a loopy female named Luna ((Rosalinda Celentano). He lives in a splendid home, is obviously making a lot of money, and yet he is not partnered: Riki believes relationships, even with men, are too transient and are doomed from the start.
Riki's father dies, he returns to France to his home, where his family cannot accept his lifestyle. He returns to Rome, convinced he is alone in the world except for his extended family in the porn industry. Soon Federico visits him in Rome to implore the wealthy Riki to help resolve the fact that their father's death left mountains of debt, the family mansion being the only viable asset. Federico confronts Riki about his disgusting life, but to Riki's credit he brings Federico to a point where Federico is not only accepting, but embracing Riki's friends and occupational life!
When Riki observes an auto accident that kills a Lesbian mother, leaving her young son an orphan, Riki is at last touched by a 'fellow-traveler': young 'Plapla' (his real name is Pietro) understands the gay world despite his young years and longs to have Riki as his foster parent, much to the chagrin of his grandparents who barely know this son of a lesbian daughter. Federico assists Riki in his efforts to obtain guardianship, but the attempt is unsuccessful. Decimated, Riki flies to France, to the Gay Olympics and the adulation of being a champion soccer player as a means to amend his inability to gain a 'son'. The film's conclusion is sad: a life comes to an end and this end is the raison d'etre for the documentary we observed at the beginning of the movie. And you must see this magical film for yourself to tie all the threads together!
Though many will find aspects of the film bordering on the surreal or pushing credibility over the edge, Marco Filiberti has produced so much food for thought, tender discussions about acceptance of who we are, our need for connection, and a 'fabulous' look into the gay porn industry, that those who are not moved by this film will be few. The cinematography, costumes, set decor, music, and above all, the acting is all of the very highest caliber. Filiberti has a unique method of storytelling that gives notice of a true creative mind on his initial venture. Not only is he a fine writer and a very fine director, he is a feast for the eyes and an actor whose magnetism in front of the camera is impossible to ignore.
By all means this is a film to see and purchase, as it is one of the 'sleeper giants' of the year.