Oscilloscope Laboratories has acquired U.S. rights to Italian director Matteo Garrone’s REALITY, a film in the Cannes main competition about a Neapolitan fishmonger whose life is turned upside-down when he thinks he’s going to appear on a reality-television show. The film went on to win the Grand Prix award at the Festival and generated a good amount of controversy once it was learned that its lead Aniello Arena is a convicted felon who is serving a life sentence for murder. Apparently, the untrained actor was allowed to film during the day provided he returned to his prison cell each evening. While there was buzz that he would be allowed to walk the red carpet or attend the award ceremonies, that never materialized. In a release announcing the acquisition, Oscilloscope’s David Laub called the film “a complex, provocative, and deeply compelling look at our media-obsessed culture, executed by one of the most interesting and talented filmmakers working today. Garrone pays homage to classical filmmakers such as Fellini and Scorsese while crafting a fresh and very relevant contemporary story.” The director’s previous film GOMORRAH (2008), a blistering drama of the continuing influence of the Mafia in the social fabric of Italy’s southern provinces, was a major international arthouse hit. Oscilloscope plans to showcase the new film at additional festivals throughout the fall, and to follow with a theatrical, DVD and digital release in 2013.
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