Sunday, April 7, 2019

Ricardo Trogi Triology

Not all of us are able to put our autobiography in film format.  Most of us don't have the insights and talent to be as interesting as Ricardo Trogi.  Like many of us there are multiple factors in explaining how we reached our present status in life.

My interest in his story started by accident noticing a title "1991" (2018).  Sure enough the author wanted to remember a key year in his life.   He ended up in Perugia, Italy although his Italian linguistic skills were limited.  He presented more than one version of what really happened and most of us could identify one version as wishful thinking.  Kept me laughing with many human foibles exposed.

Going back to his earlier background  "1981" (2009) we see him as an 11 years old who had just moved to new school and is anxious to make friends.   He hooks up with 3 other boys and it turns out they all lied to make an impression  The foursome all exhibit, sexual curiosity, all try to manipulate parents and status conscious.  Ricardo is spoiled, but nagged by his parents.  This film contrasts a fantasy world with reality.  Going back to our youths most of us can sympathize with yearnings that sooner or later run up against harsher reality.  Ricardo's father was Italian married to a French Canadian was a tiny bit outsider which was displayed by the constant misprounciation of his last name.  There was also an assumption that he would be able to speak Italilan, but he couldn't.

The middle film "1987" (2014)  brings our subject to 17 years old with three friends.  In a fantasy Ricardo is shown talking to legislators complaining that he was being asked to make career choices at 17, while unable to legally drink alcohol until 18.  The four friends were intent upon sneaking into bars, but were mostly unsuccessful.   Sex is an obsession and one outlet is masturbation.  Jealous rears up strongly when driving a girl friend to the prom felt guilty enough to confess she has "frenched" with a college student at a bar.  Our hero has a hard dealing with this and it is not really resolved until the end of the film.  At one point determined to overcome his virgin status he takes out a girl with a reputation.  However it turns out she really wasn't a slut.  The four friends talk to each other about girl problems and try to help out, but not always successful.

In the meantime the four are involved stealing car radios.  His friends suggest that as an Italian he was the most natural.  Finally running from the police and inevitably getting caught and identified.  To get some leverage he identifies a friend who had been seen with his girl friend.   Near the end he is seen cycling from Ste Foy towards Trois Rivieres over 100 kilometres away as his girl friend has confessed she loves him and wants to lose her virginity.  As the movie ends we learn the outcome of the main characters.  In his case it turns out he was asked to make choices for college and as Italian class was full he elected cinema for fun

Ricardo Trogi  got an early break in 1994 when as participant on tv program he was given a chance to travel to make a short film.  When back home he made a series of short films two of which were chosen  for"La Longue Nuit des court-métrang" (Long Night of Short films) at Cannes.  A few years later did his first feature film as a writer/director  "Quebec-Montreal" winning an award for comedy and also success at the box office and some festivals.  Not everyone gets to indulge in what amounts to film autobiography, but he certainly does it very entertainingly.  Maybe not finished.

Ricardo's wife, Anne-Karine Gauthier was the clothing co-ordinator for "1981"  for which she was nominated for a Genie award.  She also worked with "Quebec-Montreal."  She has her own independent career including television productions. 

Three actors carried through all three films, aging naturally.  Jean-Carl Boucher played Ricardo as an 11 year old, then a 17 year old and finally(?) as a 21 year old.  His father Claudio Colangelo played his father and Sandrine Bisson played his mother winning a Jutra award as best supporting actress for "1981" and nominated for a Canadian Screen award for "1987."  Rose Adam played his sister in "1981" and "1987."

I watched one other of his films "Le Mirage" (2015).  It was about a man caught up in trying to maintain his status despite turbulent financial stresses.  His relation with his wife and another couple underwent difficulties for which I became increasingly unconcerned. Sex was a big part of his attempts to maintain self respect, but very counter productive.  All through the film he was confronted by consumer and duty expectations from his wife and two children.  Unlike the triology the ending did not leave much hope.

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