Saturday, September 27, 2014

NYFF52 Day 2:'Misunderstood' Is Little Aria; Presenting a Genius Who Has Found That Life-Craft Balance in 'Seymour: An Introduction'

Giulia Salerno as Aria in "Misunderstood." Photo courtesy of New York Film Festival.

HEADS UP: Picking up where we left off last year, but expanding a tad (OK, quite a bit but still pithy), we will limit comments about New York Film Festival films to 200 or less. And ... Lights. Camera. ACTION! ...

PREPUBESCENT Aria (Giulia Salerno) is a middle child of sorts in “Misunderstood.”

Her narcissistic parents, a concert pianist and actor, both have a daughter with other partners. They hate each other and too often project that emotion onto their youngest child, kicking her out of their respective apartments at the slightest provocation.

Aria takes this toggling in stride as she packs her few belongings, including a black cat, encountering various inappropriate adventures along the streets of Rome.

By turns, tender, hopeful and deeply disturbing, Asia Aria Maria Vittoria Rossa Argento's autobiographical “Misunderstood” makes its North American debut today at The 52nd New York Film Festival.

On a completely differenet note and also premiering today at NYFF is “Seymour: An Introduction.”

This homage and master class in one was spawned by a meeting at a dinner party of first-time director Ethan Hawke and the great pianist and piano teacher Seymour Bernstein. (See video below).

The actor sought advice from the pianist about stage fright, resulting in this thoroughly engaging portrait. EH wisely gets out of the way and simply lets SB teach and talk. And play.

That Beethoven in the closing minutes has the beauty and power to make a grown man (and woman) cry.

Visit to learn more about The 52nd New York Film Festival, including tickets and showtimes.

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