With Aniello Arena, Loredana Simioli, Nando Paone.
Italy, 2012, 35mm, color, 115 min.
Italian with English subtitles.
As a follow-up to the gritty realism of his acclaimed 2008 crime drama Gomorrah, Matteo Garrone presents a dark fairy tale in the tradition of Fellini’s The White Sheik and Visconti’s Bellissima, about the entertainment industry and its victims. Reality tells the story of Luciano, a fishmonger in Naples seeking to remake himself in order to earn a spot as a contestant on the reality TV show Big Brother. Luciano's search for fame leads him down a rabbit hole into the world of seductive images without referents. By setting his film in some of the most soulless locales in contemporary Naples, Garrone suggests that the struggles of his protagonist are a parable for an Italy stranded between an inaccessible past and a present made up of alienating illusion and false consciousness.