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Corpo Celeste [DVD] [2011] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

Salvatore Cantalupo , Alice Rohrwacher    DVD
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: £8.81
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Region 1 encoding (requires a North American or multi-region DVD player and NTSC compatible TV. More about DVD formats.)

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Product details

  • Actors: Salvatore Cantalupo
  • Directors: Alice Rohrwacher
  • Format: Colour, Dolby, DVD-Video, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Unrated (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Film Movement
  • DVD Release Date: 6 Nov 2012
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005UNI2XY
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 255,119 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Tedious film on catholicism 7 Mar 2014
I am afraid that I found this film overlong and really tedious. The story was weak and seemed to go nowhere. The final straw was the ending. Completely enigmatic, without any point. I expected so much more, but was sadly disappointed
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars really worth watching 29 Mar 2012
By auntieP
a film about a teenage girl trying to come to terms with life in South Italy after growing up in Switzerland. She turns to the church for help/ comfort but finds little..Good gentle but deep story and good acting.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.6 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Contemplative Italian Coming-Of-Age Story About Finding Personal Spirituality Amidst Organized Religion 27 Oct 2012
By K. Harris - Published on
It's so rare to see any serious contemplation of religion in movies today that the subject always feels fresh. The Italian film "Corpo Celeste," however, does not present itself as a message movie. It strikes a very personal tone as one young girl at the brink of womanhood tries to understand how religion might (or might not) be incorporated into her life. In a culture where religion is such a dominating force, 13-year old Marta might easily be dismissed as a trouble maker. But with a clear eye, she sees not the idea of religious practice but its implication. Instead of blindly accepting prescribed doctrine, she seems to be on a spiritual journey of her own. And her quiet reflection might be quite a bit more meaningful. I had heard certain criticism leveled at "Corpo Celeste" for its portrayal of the Catholic Church. Some say the portrait is too broad, but I heartily disagree. I think it presents the individuals involved as full fledged characters struggling to retain meaning in their own lives. That, to me, is far more realistic than unquestioned devotion and service.

Marta, from the start, is presented as an outsider. Having spent a decade abroad, she struggles to fit back into the church hierarchy. As her confirmation date approaches, she quietly observes the actions unfolding before her. From the insecurities of her teacher, to the apathy of the priest, to a class of students just going through the motions--Marta doesn't appear to be convinced of the importance of her big day. "Corpo Celeste," though, doesn't spell much out for the viewer. You might interpret the film's central themes in a number of ways. It is not driven by plot, but in small moments as Marta explores the world around her and tries to make sense of her new maturity. Yle Vianello, as Marta, doesn't always say a lot but she conveys much with her quiet observations. At times she is merely inquisitive and at times she seeks to provoke, but she is always trying to exert her individuality. As I said, the movie doesn't serve up many big dramatic moments or cue a certain emotional response. Your reaction to the film is likely to be very personal. Maybe that's as it should be as we each value religion and/or spirituality in completely individual ways.

The DVD presentation has a Bonus Short Film from Germany called "Raju." This 25 minute endeavor was Oscar nominated and it's easy to see why. It feels like a fully satisfying and thought provoking feature film and not a short! A German couple in India decide to adopt a boy. When tragedy strikes, it brings the whole adoption process into question and the couple struggle to reconcile their personal desires against their moral duties. "Raju" asks some difficult and weighty questions, and I admired and respected the fact that it doesn't take the easy way out. It's both bold and exceedingly well acted and it gets my highest recommendation. Along with "Corpo Celeste," there is much food for thought in this DVD release. Stark, raw, and surprisingly open-ended, there is a haunting quality to the selections that may linger with you long after viewing. And that can never be a bad thing! KGHarris, 10/12.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid coming-of-age drama 8 Nov 2012
By CriticNic - Published on
I tend to gravitate towards coming-of-age stories, so naturally I was very intrigued by the Italian film Corpo Celeste upon seeing the trailer. The feelings of isolation, uncertainty, and self-discovery often hit personal chords with me when the film is executed well and they always leave a lasting impression on me far more noteworthy than films of other genres. Corpo Celeste looked promising to fulfill those traits judging from the images of religion and exploration shown through a natural looking style.

I've been let down by trailers before, though, but I couldn't help but still be excited. Luckily most of my expectations were met. Most noticeable is the natural, sometimes shaky camera work. This technique is often very effective in these types of films, as it produces more of a feeling we're observing the characters up close and personal rather than simply watching a movie. A near perfectly execution of this style is seen in the British film Fish Tank, which this film reminded me of in a few aspects.

The film follows 13 year old Marta who's recently moved back to Reggio Calabria, her native region in Italy, after a 10-year stint in Switzerland. She's quiet, sweet, innocent, and curious. She's more of an observer and and explorer, which we quickly gather from the beginning. Her mother is a hard worker, working at a seemingly rough and fast-paced bakery to make ends meet. Marta's sister is a practitioner of tough love, which is most prominent when she scolds Marta, who's just baked her older sister a birthday cake all by herself, simply for wearing her bra.

Marta is soon enrolled in the local Catholic confirmation class, which provides more material for her to observe and ponder. The teacher could be any other school teacher in the way she discusses the scriptures and runs her classroom. The students memorize prayers as they would mathematical formulas. Though Marta doesn't say a whole lot, especially while in class, we read a lot from her expressions. From the few questions she raises, it's clear she is more interested in the meaning behind the teachings which dumbfounds the teacher, who would prefer the students listen and memorize.

Marta is an easy character to fall in love with. Actress Yle Vianello is a natural in playing the quiet and adventurous girl. Back to my comparison of Fish Tank, she reminded me of actress Katie Jarvis, not in terms of their characters' personalities or situations, but rather their organic and authentic portrayal that really makes us believe that they've been through what we're seeing. The little details, such as how she looks at herself in the mirror, how she interacts with her mother, and the look on her face when she's observing various other characters, make it feel as if she's more than just acting. And in situations where she's upset, it's quite heartbreaking to watch.

There's a fairly important segment in the film where Marta had been running on the streets (after seeing something quite upsetting) and she's picked up by the priest, Don Mario (Salvatore Cantalupo, Gomorrah). She had recently been observing the priest's behavior in pursuing a potentially selfish agenda, which in addition to her confirmation lessons only alludes to the hypocrisy of the Church. While riding with Don Mario, who's seeking a certain cross to show off to a high-profile audience member, Marta learns much more about the real world and we see her begin to develop her own thoughts on God and faith.

This film does all of the right things for making a movie of this genre. The raw style fits perfectly, the story is minimal and natural feeling. But most importantly, the acting is spot on which if not can easily break a film like this. Yle Vianello dominates, but the entire cast felt authentic. To me, you can make two types of coming-of-age films: one that tells a story with a conclusion where the character learns a life lesson, or one that more observes several scenarios with less focus on a single story. Corpo Celeste is the latter, which in my opinion is a much harder film to make and let alone be enjoyable. Everything is executed well here, and the true test of which it passed was whether it made me feel attached to the characters and experience many emotions towards them.

Corpo Celeste is a profound look into the life of a girl finding herself and her faith by way of challenging everything around her. This is the type of movie that offers more of an experience than a story, and leaves you feeling satisfied but more importantly, wondering what's next for the main character. Having that type of impact draws the line between a good movie and a meaningful film. This has always been one of my favorite genres and Corpo Celeste is another example of why. It may have not been as edgy or gritty as something like Fish Tank, but still had the emotional impact I expect from these types of films.
Source: 7 November 2012
Disclosure: Film sent by Film Movement
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Amazing Debut 5 April 2012
By JMG444 - Published on
Alice Rohrwacher's film doesn't seem like a debut feature for her, more like an experienced director's work that's seen and done it all already. Portraying Catholicism is not an easy task, but she was not afraid to put some very different opinions about it in this film. It's refreshing really, how it looks at religion from more than one angle. It's not done often enough!

When watching Yle Vianello, who plays Marta, the central girl to the film, you are surprised by how fearless she is. Emotionally, this film is deep on many levels, dealing with family, God, the struggles of adolescence, and more. Already a fan of Italian cinema, this film didn't disappoint at all!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good movie with interesting points 13 April 2014
By Masha - Published on
Verified Purchase
I enjoyed watching the everyday life of this Italian family. The movie also exposed interesting and conflicting subjects about religion and the Catholic church.

I was only uncomfortable having to see a little girl on the cusp of puberty experiencing such intimates moments, as when she is naked in the bathroom or when she experiences her first menstruation. These parts were unnecessary and made the viewer feel uncomfortable. These sections could have been left out.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By Geraldine Ahearn - Published on
A young girl at the age of thirteen, prepares for Confirmation, but must deal with many challenges. Marta must deal with family problems, her own issues on religion, struggles of adolescence, and much more. She becomes brave and fearless to stand up for what she believes in, which causes problems with the Priest and her family. She struggles not only with her identity, but with peer pressure as she makes many attempts to cope. The story is compelling, heartfelt, and entertaining. Acting Performance Superb. Highly Recommended!
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