|THE L WORD: GENERATION QGENERATION QTHE L WORDGENERATIONREVIEW|
SPOILER ALERT: This article includes details about Sunday night’s episode of The L Word: Generation Q.
We are a handful of episodes away from the season finale of The L Word: Generation Q, but in tonight’s episode appropriately titled “Loose Ends”, we see the ramifications of last week’s events. In particular, we see the Laurel Holloman reprise her role as Bette’s Jennifer Beals ex-wife Tina as she comes back at a very dire time as her mayoral campaign goes on a downward spiral. But before we get to this reunion, let’s do a quick glimpse at whatJennifer Beals, Katherine Moennig and Leisha Hailey in ‘The L Word: Generation Q’. Hilary Bronwyn Gayle/Showtime
After a night of three-way fun, we see Alice Leisha Hailey attempt to navigate this newly formed thruple she is in with her girlfriend Nat Stephanie Allynne and her ex-wife Gigi Sepideh Moafi — and it is more complicated than she had hoped. Good ol’ earnest and well-meaning Finley Jacqueline Toboni continues to make some poor life choices but keeps a smile on her face as she deals with her one-night fling with Tess Jamie Clayton who has now fallen off the wagon after she found out Lena Mercedes Maso slept with Shane Katherine Moennig — who happens to be her new boss we’ll get to Shane’s issues later. On top of dealing with her rift with priest Rebecca Olivia Thirlby, Finley starts to get closer to Sophie Rosanny Zayas who continues to have a rocky road to the altar with her fiancée Dani Arienne Mandi who is wildly stressed out with her familial issues and trying to put out so many fires on Bette’s campaign to be mayor.
Meanwhile, it looks like Shane is back with Quiara Lex Scott Davis after signing divorce papers and the news that she’s preggers. While Bette deals with her campaign madness, Shane shows her maternal side to Angie Jordan Hull as she tells her BFF Kordi Sophie Giannamore that she’s in love with her — and gets her first kiss! As Quiara sees this, she and Shane strengthen this refreshed relationship and they decide to move in together — which makes Shane kick Finley out. Sophie offers Finley a bed at her place which makes them even closer and puts more of a rift between her and Dani.Laurel Holloman and Jennifer Beals Hilary Bronwyn Gayle/Showtime.
There are a lot of plates spinning this season, but the biggest is Bette and her road to becoming mayor. After being called out on her affair with Felicity Latarsha Rose by her ex-husband Jeff Tyler Adams, her campaign is kind of a mess. In the last episode, Jeff confronts Bette again and while doing so, pushes Angie, which caused Bette to push him — and he is down for the count. In tonight’s episode, she is trapped in her...
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It’s difficult to place into words the impact Italian Neorealism has personally had on me. The genre speaks to me on a visceral level. The old Italian films, born out of desperation, still hold up against the blockbusters of today. In an age where authoritarianism is making a comeback, we are witnessing a subconscious reemergence of the formerly communist left-supported Italian Neorealism movement. A genre “reboot,” so-to-speak, passionately defiant of the Donald Trumps, the Boris Johnsons, the Kim Jong-Uns, the Rodrigo Dutertes, paralleling the recent wave of democratic socialism and a greater societal readiness to accept left politics.
In order to contextualize the circumstances surrounding its reemergence, one must revisit the circumstances out of which Italian Neorealism was born. By drawing modern parallels to classics of the genre with recent films such as Roma, The Florida Project, Tangerine, Support the Girls, Cold War, American Honey, and Winter’s Bone, the sociopolitical and stylistic similarities between Italian Neorealism’s “reboot” and its cinematic predecessor succinctly emerge.
In the early 1940s, the emergence of Italian cinema essentially represented the complete opposite of the glamorous dramatizations of American cinema in the form of Italian Neorealism. Italian citizens lived in fear under Benito Mussolini’s oppressive, fascist regime during World War II. Italy was a stomping ground during Hitler’s Third Reich. While American films became more propagated on escapism in the 1940s, Italian cinema carried the tradition of the Lumière Brothers’ actualités. Italian filmmakers that emerged during the war and post-war were not profit-driven, but rather, emerged from a humanist necessity to expose the harsh truths around them. The Italian Neorealism genre lasted until the early 1950s. Since its themes were specifically related to war-torn, poverty stricken Italy and the ill-effects of an authoritarian-leaning government during WWII, the genre dissolved after the war.
Italian Neorealism is regarded as the beginning of the Golden Era of Italian cinema. The film genre was inspired by the Verismo literally translating to “realism” literary movement a generation prior in the late 1800s and early 1900s, legitimatized by Giovanni Verga and Luigi Capuana. Capuana’s manifesto, “Giacinta,” is widely regarded as the fundamental structural integrity of the Neorealist movement. Other prominent voices of the Verismo movement included Federico de Roberto “I Viceré,” a novelistic “docudrama” exploring the blind pursuance of power at the expense of a just and equal society, Salvatore di Giacomo, and Grazia Deledda. Verismo would experience a...
Lila Caracci, this week, is in a mood. As revealed in last week’s episode of HBO’s “My Brilliant Friend,” Naples’ resident rebel and feminist played by Gaia Girace is now pregnant by her abusive loser husband Stefano, and mama ain’t happy. The baby news came in total contradiction to Lila’s beliefs, as the miserable newlywed has firmly denounced marriage and children knowing they will offer no escape from her crummy life.
Lila remains, as ever, one twisted sister. She seems to almost manically flip between despair and sociopathic glee like in, say, the moment she feels a pang in her womb, pulls out blood from between her legs, holds out her hand to Lenu Margherita Mazzucco and, with a sick grin, says, “Does this mean the baby is dead?” Indeed, in the opening scene, Lila has miscarried.
She has a similarly demonic grin, served with a downright Kubrickian stare along with it, in a later scene where she seems to be emboldened by physical abuse, and having an audience for it. Storming into their flat, Stefano seizes her throat upon learning that Lila has allowed her brother Rino and his girlfriend to use their apartment as a pied-à-terre for sexual trysts — all in front of Lenu. Insecure in his own masculinity because he can’t successfully knock his wife up, Stefano punches the wall, threatens to kill Lila, calls her a “fucking bitch,” and storms out. Lila turns to Lenu, who’s just been invited by her schoolteacher to a party, and giddily asks Lenu if she can join her. Between Lila’s expression, the unsettling sound design, and an eerie dissolve, “My Brilliant Friend” for a minute there suddenly feels like a horror movie.
Speaking of horror movies, this week’s episode, titled “Erasure,” veers into supernatural territory when Lila’s wedding portrait — already deformed by its subject when Lila cuts it up into pieces and reassembles the shards into a modernist kind of collage — suddenly catches on fire in the now Solara-owned shoe shop. The rabbling women of the town become convinced that Lila is some kind of wicked witch who willed the fire to happen, which echoes Stefano’s claims last week that Lila has an “evil force” inside of her.
Back to the third-act party sequence, though, which feels like it’s setting the stage for what’s to come the rest of this season. There’s a lovely scene when, on the way up to Lenu’s teacher’s flat in a more moneyed corner of Naples, Lenu and Lila get into an elevator, which is apparently a first for Lila. It’s a testament to Girace’s subtle, sly performance that this moment, which feels unexpected and even improvisatory, is the sweet center of the episode.