Hot Music In A Cool Room

John Turturro

John Turturro’s vibrant “Passione,” showcasing the music and people of Naples, returns to Film Forum tomorrow for a 12-day run.  Like Wim Wenders’ “Buena Vista Social Club” and Fatih Akin’s “Crossing the Bridge: The Sound of Istanbul,” Turturro’s urgent film introduces American audiences to essential music.

Musicians including Avion Travel, Massimo Ranieri, Lina Sastri, M’barka Ben Taleb, Gennaro Cosmo Parlato, Peppe Barra, Angela Luce, Max Casella, Raiz, James Senese, and Pino Daniele perform in locations throughout the city.  Songs of love, jealousy, desperation, happiness and social protest, dating back as far as the 13th century, reflect  Naples’ wide-ranging musical influences: Italian, Spanish, Greek, Arab, French and even American jazz.

Turturro says that he viewed “each song as a small screenplay, an emotional postcard. I tried to see if I could understand in a small way, a little bit of the soul of the city, while at the same time killing clichés about it. There are places you go and once is enough. Then, there’s Napoli.”

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