IL Ronzio Delle Mosche
(Flies Buzzing)

Tuesday, November 4, 2003
The Annex
8:00pm, Free
In Italian with English subtitles; 80 minutes

directed by Dario D'Ambrosi
screenplay by Dario D'Ambrosi and Armando Pettorano
Director of Photography Carlo Montuori
sets and costumes by Paola Bizzarri
sound by Maurizio Argentieri
Assistant Director and Editor Fulvio Molena
2nd Assistant Director Luca Infascelli
General Organiser Bruno Ricci
Produced by Hera International Film
Producer Gianfranco Piccioli
Press Office Studio Di Nicola
CAST: Greta Scacchi, Marco Baliani, Lorenzo Alessandri, Giorgio Colangeli, Raffaele Vannoli, Cosimo Cinieri, Maurizio De Carmine , Denny Mendez, Giampiero Judica, Nicolas Vaporidis, Patrizia La Fonte, Alfredo Piano, Ellen Stewart, Bedi Moratti, Luca Calvani, Emanuele Arrigazzi, Ugo Fangareggi, Fiammetta Baralla, Fabrizio Costanzo, Marco Scali

FLIES BUZZING (IL RONZIO DELLE MOSCHE) by Dario D'Ambrosi, a Hera International film produced by Gianfranco Piccioli, starring Greta Scacchi. Mr. D'Ambrosi is a formative Italian theater artist and originator of the theatrical movement "Teatro Patologico." La MaMa is his creative home in the U.S. D'Ambrosi's recent career has included acting in a number of significant Italian and American films (further information follows). This is his first feature film as director. Its distributor is Instituto Luce. The film is to be released in May, 2003.

A team of doctors and scientists is working on a new ambitious project: to bring madness back to the world in order to fight boredom and depression. They capture the last three madmen left: Franci, a manqué painter, Matteo, who lives in a world of his own, and Felice, a sweet, sensitive individual who plays the piano. The experiment begins. The three people are first observed, then in a bizarre plot, are subjected to therapy that brings them back to their original daily life, from which their madness is presumed to have started. To staff a "play therapy," actors are recruited, among them Dr. Natalia (Greta Sacchi) of the medical team. She is the only one who feels for the madmen and becomes their accomplice. Together, she and the madmen plan an escape, to bring joy and cheerfulness back to this grey, serious world.

Dario D'Ambrosi is a former professional soccer player. He was born in San Giuliano Milanese in 1958. At an early age he showed great passion for the theatre as well as an interest in studying mental illnesses, so much so that he had himself admitted for three months to Milan's Paolo Pini psychiatric hospital to watch the behaviour of psychopaths from close up. These two passions gave rise to his theatre formula, called "pathological theatre" by one of his early reviewers. "Pathological theatre" plays tend to investigate madness, the real madness of those who are ill, in order to give back "dignity to the madman," in D'Ambrosi's words.

In the '80s and '90s, D'Ambrosi marched irresistibly into the forefront of Italy's theatrical ambassadors, a cohort led by Pirandello, DiFilippo and Dario Fo. In 1994, he received the equivalent of a Tony Award in his country: a prize for lifetime achievement in the theater from the Instituto del Drama Italiano. D'Ambrosi first performed at La MaMa 22 years ago and has been in residence there nearly every year thereafter. In the US, he has also performed at Lincoln Center, Chicago's Organic Theatre, Cleveland's Public Theater and Los Angeles' Stages Theatre, among others.

Rosette Lamont wrote in Theater Week, "The yearly appearance of the Italian writer/performer Dario D'Ambrosi at La MaMa is cause for celebration." In a definitive essay, she traced D'Ambrosi's aesthetic to his close study of Antonin Artaud and Georges Bataille. Critic Randy Gener, writing in The New York Theatre Wire, stated "his theater is a form of social realism that is also an idee fixe. With unusual openness and frankness, his theatrical aesthetic openly embraces the extremity of their forms, emotions and ideas, and it is, thus, called teatro patologico."

In interviews, D'Ambrosi has cited a debt to Commedia dell' Arte, explaining that the art form derived from "normal" people's view of the village idiots, or zanni, of whom Punchinella was a prototype. D'Ambrosi's Teatro al Parco in Rome is located in a children's psychiatric hospital. He formed the Gruppo Teatrale Dario D'Ambrosi (since renamed Teatro Patalogico) in Italy in 1979, the year a law was passed in Italy condemning the closing of state mental institutions, and lived for several months in a psychiatric clinic to better understand these extreme states. Later, in New York, D'Ambrosi spent further study hours in Bronx State and Bellevue's mental wards.

D'Ambrosi's first international "Pathological Theater Festival" was held in 1988 in a mental hospital in Rome. The audience, he says, was made up of people who were normal and people who were sick, and you couldn't tell which were which. He also organized an acting unit in an adolescent ward and helped them put on a play, but unlike the Marquis de Sade in Peter Weiss' "Marat/Sade," D'Ambrosi did not invite anybody "normal" to watch. Subsequent festivals of this type have been open to the public and have helped raise money to help Italy's growing population of mental patients who have been "released" from institutions.

D'Ambrosi's La MaMa productions also include a wide variety of notable works. "Cose Da Pazzi (Mad Things Out of This World)" (1995) was a play on useless technical theories of the psychiatrists and the deep state of alienation in which the psychiatric patient lives. "La Trota (The Trout)" had its American premiere at La MaMa in 1986 and was revived in 1997. In this play an old man, trapped by his fetishist acts, turns the trout he has purchased for dinner into a love symbol and the object of an inevitably doomed passion for life. "My Kingdom for a Horse (Un rengo per il mio cavallo)" (1996) was inspired by "Richard III." D'Ambrosi portrayed Shakespeare's villain as a schizophrenic fetus trapped in internal dialogue with his unloving mother. Ben Brantley (New York Times) hailed the production as a remarkable interpretation that "taps right into primal terrain most of us avoid exploring."

In 1998, D'Ambrosi adapted the Peter Pan story into "The Dis-Adventures of Peter Pan vs. Capitan Maledetto" which critic Randy Gener, writing in The New York Theatre Wire, called "the most utterly charming of D'Ambrosi's allegorical explorations of the irrational," warning "You'd be a fool to miss it." In 2000, D'Ambrosi celebrated 20 years of productions at La MaMa with a serial retrospective with three of his most singular plays: " All Are Not Here (Tutti Non Ci Sonno)" (1980, 1989), a solo performance in which an inmate from a psychiatric ward is victimized by neglect in the outside world, "Frustration (Frustra-Azioni)" (1994), a play on a butcher's psychotic obsessions, and "The Prince of Madness" (1993), a story of a crippled man selling human beings who in the end are revealed to be his family.

In 1997, Mr. D'Ambrosi appeared in the film for television "Don Milani," alongside Sergio Castellitto. He was one of the lead roles in the Italian TV series "Racket." He then worked beside Anthony Hopkins and Jessica Lange in Julie Taymor's "Titus." He played Angelo Lupi in the recent "Padre Pio" by Giulio Base, Police Chief Monti in "Uno bianca" by Michele Soavi, and Lucigni in "Terra di nessuno" by G. Giagni, with Ben Gazzarra. He was one of the leads in the film "Almost Blue" by Alex Infascelli. He appeared in a TV series by Michele Soavi, "Il testimone." He plays a leading role in the upcoming film, "The Passion" by Mel Gibson. "Il ronzio delle mosche" (Flies Buzzing, 2003) is his first feature film. It is produced by Gianfranco Piccioli for Hera International and stars Greta Scacchi in the leading female role of Dr. Natalia.

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