Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
‘Game Of Thrones’ Will Probably End After Season 8, But HBO Is Open To Prequels & More ‘Game Of Thrones’ Will Probably End After Season 8, But HBO Is Open To Prequels & More The 25 Best Action Movies Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Action Movies Of The 21st Century So Far Relativity Puts 'Jane Got A Gun' And More Up For Sale As They Fight Off Bankruptcy Relativity Puts 'Jane Got A Gun' And More Up For Sale As They Fight Off Bankruptcy Zack Snyder Says Batman Has A "Crisis Of Conscience" In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' Plus New Pics Zack Snyder Says Batman Has A "Crisis Of Conscience" In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' Plus New Pics Venice 2015 Line-Up: 'Equals' With Kristen Stewart, 'Beasts Of No Nation,' 'The Danish Girl,' More Venice 2015 Line-Up: 'Equals' With Kristen Stewart, 'Beasts Of No Nation,' 'The Danish Girl,' More Watch: 4-Minute Tribute To Lars von Trier's Masterful Film Work Watch: 4-Minute Tribute To Lars von Trier's Masterful Film Work New 'Deadpool' Images, Ryan Reynolds Distances Himself From 'X-Men: Origins' New 'Deadpool' Images, Ryan Reynolds Distances Himself From 'X-Men: Origins' TIFF Images: Emma Watson In 'Colonia,' Brie Larson In 'Room,' Charlie Kaufman's 'Anomalisa' And More TIFF Images: Emma Watson In 'Colonia,' Brie Larson In 'Room,' Charlie Kaufman's 'Anomalisa' And More Richard Linklater Frontrunner To Direct 'The Rosie Project' Starring Jennifer Lawrence Richard Linklater Frontrunner To Direct 'The Rosie Project' Starring Jennifer Lawrence Watch: Blu-Ray Trailer For 'Avengers: Age Of Ultron' Plus 11 New Clips From The Film Watch: Blu-Ray Trailer For 'Avengers: Age Of Ultron' Plus 11 New Clips From The Film The 10 Best And 5 Worst Tom Cruise Performances The 10 Best And 5 Worst Tom Cruise Performances Watch: New Trailer For 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Blu-ray Release Explores Who Killed The World Watch: New Trailer For 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Blu-ray Release Explores Who Killed The World Just For Laughs: 'The Big Lebowski' Live Read With Michael Fassbender & Jennifer Lawrence Just For Laughs: 'The Big Lebowski' Live Read With Michael Fassbender & Jennifer Lawrence All The Songs In 'Paper Towns' Including Bon Iver, Wilco, Vampire Weekend, Bob Dylan, And More All The Songs In 'Paper Towns' Including Bon Iver, Wilco, Vampire Weekend, Bob Dylan, And More "A Living Hell": 'The Revenant' Is Reportedly $35 Million Over Budget, A Producer Exited The Movie, And More "A Living Hell": 'The Revenant' Is Reportedly $35 Million Over Budget, A Producer Exited The Movie, And More The 20 Best Documentaries Of 2015 So Far The 20 Best Documentaries Of 2015 So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far "It Was A Clusterfuck From Day One": 5 Things About Neill Blomkamp's Failed 'Halo' Movie "It Was A Clusterfuck From Day One": 5 Things About Neill Blomkamp's Failed 'Halo' Movie

Review: 'Il Futuro' Starring Rutger Hauer

The Playlist By Gabe Toro | The Playlist September 6, 2013 at 8:00AM

In the cluttered tenement buildings of Greece exists Bianca (Manuela Martelli) and Tomas (Luigi Ciardo), teenage siblings attempting to survive in the wake of their parents’ death. Bianca is the responsible one, cooking and cleaning for her younger brother, trying to complete her studies while laboring at the local salon, desperate for a chance to cut hair instead of merely washing customers. Tomas, dimmer by more than half, shirks his studies by spending days working at a local gym, a job that involves unusual hours and shady clients with clasped hands brandishing wads of bills. It’s bad enough they have to deal with raging hormones without supervision: when Tomas falls asleep to the sounds of pirated cable, Bianca grabs the remote and finds a quieter channel that allows her to slumber in his arms, mere clicks away from the illegal pornography Tomas sought when he paid for the package himself. Sex is in the air, ready to pry their two-person family apart. This is "Il Futuro," where every gesture is pregnant with psychological complexity and tragic regret.
1
Il Futuro Rutger Hauer

In the cluttered tenement buildings of Greece exists Bianca (Manuela Martelli) and Tomas (Luigi Ciardo), teenage siblings attempting to survive in the wake of their parents’ death. Bianca is the responsible one, cooking and cleaning for her younger brother, trying to complete her studies while laboring at the local salon, desperate for a chance to cut hair instead of merely washing customers. Tomas, dimmer by more than half, shirks his studies by spending days working at a local gym, a job that involves unusual hours and shady clients with clasped hands brandishing wads of bills. It’s bad enough they have to deal with raging hormones without supervision: when Tomas falls asleep to the sounds of pirated cable, Bianca grabs the remote and finds a quieter channel that allows her to slumber in his arms, mere clicks away from the illegal pornography Tomas sought when he paid for the package himself. Sex is in the air, ready to pry their two-person family apart. This is "Il Futuro," where every gesture is pregnant with psychological complexity and tragic regret.

Il Futuro

That specific crowbar emerges in the form of two stupid, indistinguishable grunts that follow Tomas from work and passive-aggressively assimilate themselves into this parentless household. As they eat the food and use the beds, they pitch the beautiful, blossoming Bianca what is likely their latest in a collection of airtight plots. Up on a mountain, there lives a once-king, they embellish, a former strongman named El Maciste. Bianca is skeptical (her seduction of one of these brutes feels like a listless concession, not a genuine act of passion), but the mythical nature of Maciste intrigues her. The plan for Bianca to infiltrate Maciste’s life and nab a box loaded with his life savings seems less seductive; the film appropriately adopts her point of view, in that the crime would be an afterthought, but the experience would be pure intoxication.

Maciste’s mansion is like a gothic castle, forever night as the walls are swallowed by the shadows. Like a sacrificial lamb, the attractive Bianca is offered up to Maciste, who grunts and growls after his prize. He is blind and elderly, but there’s the sense he’s still got potions of both Frankenstein and Frankenstein’s monster inside him. The great Rutger Hauer plays this former Mr. Universe like lightning sans thunder: when he moves, he is a force of nature, emerging from darkness to sweep Bianca off her feet. She had not been told he was blind, but given his physicality, it is irrelevant. More than once, he stands across the room from her and asks if she is naked. Never does the answer matter, because soon he has her in his monstrous grip. Director Alicia Scherson manages to capture these moments like an animal ambushing its prey; it's erotic without vulgarity, still something of a novelty in today's arthouse cinema.

Il Futuro

With the introduction of Maciste about halfway through “Il Futuro,” Scherson’s film goes from a mildly affecting melodrama to something else entirely. Leaving and returning to the world of Maciste is like entering and exiting a portal. Time doesn’t move much in Maciste’s arms, and when Tomas’ pushy friends inquire about the man’s money, she can only shrug as she watches his old films, where he was a George Reeves-type movie star. Maciste never leaves his home, and when Bianca is not there, he might as well turn to stone, waiting to be awakened by his teenaged lover. Their lovemaking is playful, immensely physical but gentle. Forced to be the head of the household at home, she instead relishes disrobing for her gentleman, being ravaged and tossed around like his plaything. There seems to be no real future in “Il Futuro,” as Bianca is perfectly aware that Maciste will only place her back on the shelf when he’s done, and that he knows his sentimental recollections and storytelling with this younger girl merely keep his feet firmly placed in the past.

Scherson’s film never gets a firm grasp on life away from Maciste: raccoon-eyed Martelli is an arresting presence, though she is merely reactive in a hostile, overly-masculine environment. And as Maciste looms, Bianca’s relationship with her brother feels dismissed, as is the awkward incestuous tension that arises is blunted by her romantic interests in the old man, as well as Tomas’ impotence against his two deceptively friendly tormentors. It seems like a statement that “Il Futuro” presents simple but intriguing conflicts that nonetheless resolve anti-climactically, denying us an organic end. Scherson ultimately blinds us not unlike Maciste, tossing us into traffic, hoping that we gather our senses: it’s not that we can see, but that we try to. [B+]

This article is related to: Reviews, Review, Il Futuro, Rutger Hauer


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates