14-year-old Lorenzo Aloi, a Livornese schoolboy, recently won the prize for best actor at the 6th edition of the Epizephiry International Film Festival in Locri (province of Reggio Calabria) (15-17th November 2012). Lorenzo plays the main part in the short film entitled "Il Cappotto di Lana" ('the woollen coat') directed by videomaker Luca Dal Canto, also from Livorno.
The idea for the film came from Anita Galvano and Luca Dal Canto. Just 15 minutes long, it tells the story of Dedo (short for Amedeo), a boy with a passion for literature and poetry, in particular for local-born poet Giorgio Caproni whose centenary is being celebrated in Livorno this year.
In fact, Il Cappotto di Lana is a tribute to Caproni and his poetry, the story revolving around one of the poet's best-known poems, Ultima Preghiera ('Last Prayer'). Instead of spending his time on the Playstation like most boys of his age, Dedo prefers to listen to music and poetry on an old Walkman, estranging himself from the world around him in a city in the throes of a cultural and social recession.
The film is also a homage to Livorno, a city that seems to have lost its identity, whose inhabitants have lost all memory of the city's rich and colourful history, and whose historic sites and monuments have been left in oblivion. Repeated reference is made in the film to two of the city's most illustrious figures, artist Amedeo Modigliani and composer Pietro Mascagni, while Dedo's father instead embodies the pessimistic disenchantment that afflicts the local people and that is slowly destroying all historic memory. Dedo and his mother Nara are the exceptions that prove the rule, leaving room for hope of a return to the values of the past.
The locations used in the film are those mentioned by Caproni in his poems: Piazza della Repubblica, the Fossi Reali, the Central Market, and the seafront at San Jacopo. The house where Caproni lived - in Corso Amedeo, now replaced with a modern block of flats - is transferred in the film to a location in the Venezia district.
And the woollen coat of the title? It represents an excuse to recount Caproni and his works, as well as showing how a child's imagination can flourish from ordinary and seemingly insignificant everyday things.
You can see Il Cappotto di Lana at 9pm on 8th December 2012 at the Goldonetta theatre (next to Teatro Goldoni) during the Festival Caproni.