This film was for me what possibly “Trainspotting” was for you. It brought fresh air. To hell with all that fake nonsense about beautiful, perfect young people knowing exactly what they want and how to get it. “Tutti giù per terra” is about how difficult, sometimes lonely, and slightly surreal life can be when you’re growing up and you know you’re different, you have no idea who you are and you feel like an alien most of the time. It’s about finding oneself.
The movie is set in Turin, which truly gives its best here. The main character is Walter. He’s 20. His father is a factory worker and a Communist, his mother a housewife. He hasn’t got a job, a girlfriend or any clear convictions, and he’s still a virgin unlike everyone else around him. He rejects conventional values but he’s too insecure and confused to be a “proper” rebel, to be “cool”.
Music is the other protagonist. The soundtrack is marvellously packed with alternative bands of the time, each song incorporated at exactly the right time and scene, the lyrics describing Walter’s feelings. Some of the musicians have little acting cameos too – Mara Redeghieri from Ustmamò and some members of the Consorzio Suonatori Indipendenti all appear as university professors (which for me obviously was an enormous incentive to see the film!).
‘Tutti giù per terra’ is a verse taken from a popular nursery rhyme that children sing while dancing in circle and then dropping on the ground: “Round circle, round circle, the world falls, the earth falls, all fall down”. Or is it just some people that fall…? As the Consorzio Suonatori Indipendenti put it in the song originally composed for the movie…”How come…? How come…/The factory workers’ sons/The shopkeepers’ sons/The sons of people who are someone, and the sons of people who will always be nobody…”.
You’ve got it all in one movie, see. Youth, alienation, rebellion, politics, irony, and beautiful music to keep you company on the journey. Enjoy.