With Fellini-esque characters brimming with machismo and personality sprinkled throughout a Bunuelian surreality, Matteo Garrone’s Reality—the follow up to 2008’s Gommorah—is a bizarre look at a man who becomes obsessed by the idea of fame. Set in a hyper-real world of reality television, the film follows a Neapoltian fishmonger who auditions to be on Grande Fratello, the Italian version of Big Brother. Not entirely dissimilar to Requiem for a Dream‘s Sara Goldfarb, he becomes entirely consumed by the possibility that his mundane life will be replaced with the glamour of being on television and his chance celebrity. But what’s really crazy, is the story behind the star of the film himself, Aniello Arena who plays Luciano. "Touted as the next De Niro," the Italian actor won’t even be able to hear his praises sung, seeing as he is currently serving a life sentence in prison for his role in a triple homicide while acting as a mafia hit man. Cast after Garrone happened to see him perform in the prison theatre company, Arena was only allowed out to the film’s set on day release.
Read more about that here and check out the trailer for the wild film.
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