Culture  Nouveau Cinema: Gomorra

Saturday 11 October, 1 p.m. at Cinema du Parc, and Sunday 12 October, 5 p.m. at Cinema Imperial

Matteo Garrone’s Gomorra reveals the interlocking webs that make a city run by showing us the modern-day Camorra crime families of Naples. The camera focuses right in on these people; only in the corners of the screen do we see the gritty conditions that surround them. The mafia are a bunch of thugs in this movie, and no effort is made to romanticize them. Violence comes out of nowhere and is often off-screen at unexpected times. We don’t see the drug dealer get gunned down; we see the group of locals rushing to the body. Killings are unceremonious and sloppy. The music is often droning, mindless house or italo-pop from the gangsters’ trashy car speakers, accompanying their sudden acts of violence.

The film centers on a Neapolitan Housing Project: a high-rise monstrosity with a space-station-like framework of dirty concrete platforms and rusty pipes connecting the apartments. These are people trying to get by while a world of drug dealing, murder, mafia controlled haute-couture, and crooked toxic waste disposal forces them into moral conundrums. The many strands of the story weave through the rotting underbelly of the city, creating a loose, sorrowful narrative that is insistently gripping.

– Sam Neylon