Runtime: 82 mins
Language: English (occasional Italian audio, subtitled)
IMDb Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0116315/
Director: Monica Pellizari (also writer)
Tasma Walton … Maria (Mars) Lupi
Anna Volska … Virginia, (Grandma “Nonna”)
John Lucantonio … Joe Lupi
Rachel Maza … Dr. Powers
Cathren Michalak … Innocentina
Dina Panozzo … Grace Lupi
Rosalba Paris … Rosa
Description: A ‘Coming-of-Age’ story of an Italo-Australian teenage girl, Maria (“Mars”) Lupi (Tasma Walton), daughter of immigrant Catholic Italians, who clashes with her mother (Dina Panozzo) and her violent, womanising father (John Lucantonio). Her parents want Maria to be a good Catholic girl, and aim for marriage, but she is more interested in exploring her sexuality through masturbation, and thinking about a career and her only ally is her estranged/exiled grandmother, “Nonna” (Anna Volska), who lives in a nearby seniors residential home with her ‘best-female-friend’ Innocentina.
A hard-to-find cult classic, and is also notable for having Rachel Mazza in a minor supporting role (as Dr Powers), one of Rachel’s first feature film appearances. Rachel Mazza subsequently has become one of Australias leading Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander actresses, and achieved her first starring lead role in the film “Radiance” (1998).
An interesting note for this film, is the Writer/Director, Monica Pellizari was a 24-yr-old film school student, and this was her debut feature, very low-budget amateur production, and using mostly amateur cast. It was a complete box-office flop and soundly thrashed by critics on first release in its home country of Australia, and its first, and only, cinema screening circuit was withdrawn after only 3 weeks.
Nonetheless, it was subsequently entered independently into a number of European film festivals in 1996, where the film mostly opened to rave reviews, standing ovations, audience awards and winning 9 Major Film Awards – mostly for Best Actresses (often tied between Tasma Walton and Dina Panozza), and for Best Directorial Debut by a Young (under-25) Filmmaker, Monica Pellizari.
A short trailer-style clip is available on YouTube, (channel: rain9959) along with the full film uploaded later following requests to the trailer. A larger good-quality video file for download is also available on request:
.avi format, approx. 970Mb, VHS-PAL video rip.