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Short Film Review: Not(e) for a Dreamer

Whilst watching Not(e) for a Dreamer I was reminded of a certain quote, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, “ Youth comes but once in a lifetime.” Indeed being young is something we only experience once, an in the grand scale of things it is only a fleeting passing moment that is over all too quick, just like summer. This is something that Not(e) for a Dreamer touches upon, the impending sense of adulthood looming, like fall after summer, and the anxiety of waiting for summer (and your youth) to be over.

It the latest film by award-winning director Enrico Poli, and produced by the London-based production company White Coat. Poli is a is an Award Winning Director member of the Italian Director’s Guild (AIR3). Born in Bologna (Italy) he moved to Milan to study Graphic Design. After graduating (Communication Design – BA) he enrolled for an MA in Visual Arts at the IUAV (Venice), where he was introduced to the art of filmmaking. He is a natural to filmmaking with an unique vision, and a passion and appreciation for the craft. Previous films such as M O N O – Y and The Future have also received praise, and Poli continues to prove himself with his latest piece.

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We open with the shot of a young beautiful teenage girl, smoking beside a window, the lighting is breathtaking, and already this film has grabbed our attention. We hear the sounds of a record player and then the screen fades to black, and we hear the young woman speaking, “Play it one more time, please.” Is she talking to us, or someone off screen? It seems to be a mixture of emotions, excitement, anticipation and sadness. This is our introduction to our main character Anaïs (Matilde Benedusi), who is fully aware that things are changing, though not entirely sure to what extent. She seems lost, almost vulnerable, but happy with her life enjoying time making out with her handsome boyfriend (Giovanni Profeti) as they lay on a mattress, smoking and looking effortlessly cool. Oh to be young, and finding pleasure in doing nothing.

The couple are spending their days enjoying life in a villa in what seems to be a prolonged vacation, with the film being shot with a glorious warm glow for the spring and summer months, however as fall approaches the colours become muted. The autumn and winter represent the inevitable shift into adulthood and the struggle that we all share as we long for the past free of all responsibility whilst trying to somehow accept this transition into adulthood. Fall and winter come suddenly, with grey skies and rotting fruit, it’s a shock to our senses, and now the remote landscape seems sinister.

The film is a swan song to the beautiful setting, and was shot in Greve in Chianti in Italy making use of natural and available light only as a way to achieve a realistic, yet poetic look. The film’s cinematography by Enrico Poli and Lamberto Mongiorgi is effective in creating a nostalgic feel of the film, in which shots and framing play a key role in the unfolding of the narrative, with the film feeling like a home video making it extremely personal. Not(e) for a Dreamer pays homage to classic youth led dramas like Stand by Me, American Graffiti and more recently Call Me By Your Name, capturing the same tone and feel of these films, dealing with a sense of regret, naivety and anxiety.

The film has an excellent and moving score by composer Mahlon Berv. It touches upon the idea of playtime and adolescence through the lightness and beauty of the violin, with a bittersweet undertone as an indication that the concept of youth is a fleeting thing. Accompanied by the editing by Oscar Gogerly, the film almost feels like a dream, disjointed, haunting but beautiful the same time. The film ends almost the same way as it began with our protagonist looking out of the window, but now she seems ready to face the next stage of her life. This is such a thought provoking, stylish and well crafted film that it well and truly deserves your attention. Please seek it out, and trust me, you will not be disappointed.

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