Avanti! (yet again)

av1Yes I’ve watched Avanti!. Again. Isn’t it weird how one of Billy Wilder’s most easily-dismissed films has yet cast a bewitchment on me that keeps on pulling me back. Mind, I’m sure of all us who love movies have one or two curios which we return to or love quite irrationally. I don’t know why it is, but its… well, I rather think its an emotional thing, a connection we possibly can’t even explain. Maybe part of it is nostalgia, either for the time/experience when we first saw the film or for the period the film was made, what it represents, or the world it has frozen in time on celluloid. Certain films grab hold of us, and they never let us go.

The world of Avanti! no longer exists; perhaps it never did. Sometimes film can be strange that way, either fooling us into thinking its real or represents a heightened reality, like musicals do, or suggesting a better world, a picture of how we would like to be, or a world we would love to be in. Who wouldn’t like to stay in the Hotel Excelsior and be pampered by the fussy Carlo Carlucci, or meet Pamela Piggott and go for a swim in the early-morning ocean?

Who can resist revisiting it every year, watching the film again? Not me.

6 thoughts on “Avanti! (yet again)

  1. Good for you. Not only do I never tire of the movie, but I’ve come to appreciate it more over time.
    Is that world entirely gone? I don’t know; I know a number of (relatively) lower profile Greek islands where a good deal of the flavor of the movie can still be sampled to this day.

    1. I think you’re right, Colin- it does get better every time. I think some of it is just the joy of the familiarity of it, the characters and the place., it feels real and safe and comforting. Billy Wilder made many better movies, but I don’t think he made any with such warmth and gentle sense of slightly self-deprecating humour. Its a silly movie and it knows it, but doesn’t mock itself as so many films tend to. The performances of course are spot-on, and seem so effortless. Its a wonder every time I see it.

  2. I haven’t seen this Movie since the mid-1980s. My kind of Holiday but sadly I realised I would never be going to that part of world much less meeting a Ms. Piggott. Still the stuff of dreams 😀

  3. This is going on my watchlist, thanks. I’ve a distant memory of watching part of the movie with my parents, but I probably got sent to bed. Movies that make an emotional connection with us are very special, imo. And a movie you are able to revisit regularly must be good!

    1. cheers, always like to point people in the direction of a good movie. I hope you manage to catch up with it and enjoy it. You might wonder what the fuss is about on your first watch, but trust me, watch it a second time and you’ll be hooked.

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