Sunday, May 24, 2015
“Tretti is the madman that Italian cinema needs,” proclaimed Federico Fellini, for whom Tretti worked as an assistant on Il Bidone. His first film as director (sadly, he made only four) was The Law of the Trumpet, an absurdist comedy about Celestino (Angelo Paccagnini), a young ex-con who takes a job in a trumpet factory and falls for the lovely Maria (Eugenia Tretti), only to lose her to his boss, Mr. Liborio, upon learning that Maria’s father owns a brass mine. For the roles of Liborio and three other male characters, Tretti cast his neighbor Maria Boto, an elderly woman who explains in a prologue that she’s never seen a film in her life, before imitating Leo the MGM lion. A truly bizarre finale caps this singular work, whose fans included Michelangelo Antonioni.