The Crush – La Cotta (Ermanno Olmi – 1967)

Have plans for New Year? Not yet? Well…now you do!

Get your loved-one or no one and celebrate it with The Crush, an adorable short film (49 minutes) by Ermanno Olmi. The kind people at Criterion Collection included this fine featurette in the DVD of Il Posto, another gem I have recently covered.

The film tells the story of Andrea a sensitive teenage boy who is infatuated with a girl and his adventures on New Year’s Eve. Beyond the clever story, I liked the documentary elements that from soon-to-be 2007 – look extremely telling. On one hand technology has clearly progressed since the late 60’s, yet teenage nature remains constant.

The CrushItaly back then experienced an unprecedented economic boom that was characterized by the transition from relying on agriculture to industrialization. Against this backdrop, Andrea presents his “Industrial Approach” for picking up girls. In today’s MySpace age, he probably would have called it his “Social Networking Approach.” Unlike other guys who act emotional or disinterested and waste time in lengthy courtships, his method, he claims, is far more efficient. And he demonstrates it to his buddies, when he makes a list with names of all the boys where girls simply pick the boy they’re interested in making out with. Sounds a lot like Speed Dating to me…

Another example that effectively illustrates this interplay between available cool technologies and timeless teenage foibles is the party scene. After the above described list is formed the group gathers at one of the boys’ houses. The core attraction is naturally gadgetry dressed up as a fancy stereo system, the group is enamored with listening to the dynamic music of Strawinsky. And then like a YouTube omen, Andrea finds a movie camera and starts directing the group for a romantic scene. Some things never change.

The soundtrack boasts a cheerful 60’s Rock ‘n’ Roll tune that perfectly fits this sweet mix of teen innocence and senseless infatuations – a sure recipe to bring back memories of your high school parties. Happy New Year!

By Shlomi Ron

Visual marketing guy with a penchant for fine Italian cinema.

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