For the artistic combination with the wines of Cantina Apicella di Tramonti (SA), we chose the American remake of a very Italian film. It is “A walk in the clouds”, a film from 1995 which recalls the plot of “Quattro passi tra le nuvole” by Alessandro Blasetti. This is because Alfonso Arau’s film catapults the viewer into a world made up of childhood memories and perfumes. Just like it happens with the wines of Mr. Giuseppe and his family!
From Blasetti to Arau
There are no vineyards in the 1942 film by Alessandro Blasetti, “Quattro Passi tra le Nuvole”. But there is a representation of the rural world rather realistic, so much so that the film historian Gian Piero Brunetta said that, in this film, “the sense of reality is recovered in different forms and at various levels”.
Although the reading of the rural world was still influenced by the propaganda tones of the fascist regime, the film was highly appreciated and is now considered as one of the forerunners of Italian neorealism.
In its original version of ’42 – it was at a time when Italy was fighting a war subaltern to German Nazism – the protagonist of the film was Gino Cervi, the future Peppone of the Don Camillo saga.
Cervi would have achieved fame and glory with this film. Our Peppone had also been the voice of Clark Gable in the film by Frank Capra “Accadde una notte”, a film with themes similar to “Four steps in the clouds”. At the time, therefore, he was very well known also in America.
Alfonso Arau, Mexican, born in 1932 and a great connoisseur of post-war European cinema, in 1994 decided to resume the plot of this film. The subject, always by an Italian author, was by Cesare Zavattini, perhaps the greatest Italian screenwriter of the Fifties.
Arau knew Zavattini well and also had an acting past in Europe. In addition to supporting Michael Douglas in “In pursuit of the green stone” and William Holden in “The Wild Heap”, Arau appeared in “El Topo”, a French grotesque western directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky.
Arau called Keanu Reeves in the role of the protagonist of the film, the one that in 1942 was by Gino Cervi. Aitana Sanchez Gijon joined the future Neo of Matrix for the female part, that of Mary.
The plot, briefly
The farm that Maria’s father owns in the Blasetti film turns into a Napa Valley vineyard, Les Nubes (the clouds). Here, during the harvest, true love bursts between Mary and Paul (Reeves). The two, in reality, are accomplices of a deception: Maria was pregnant with a professor who abandoned her. One day, on a train, he meets Paul and makes friends with him. Then he manages to convince him to introduce himself as her husband in front of his strict father.
Just like in the film by Arau, the love between us of Ritmodivino and the wines of Apicella originated in the vineyard. Accompanied to visit the majestic vineyards of Tintore and Piedirosso, of which we tasted the fragrant grape just the eve of the harvest, we have found in those juices all the aroma of a virgin and uncontaminated environment. An aroma that then returns great in the wines we immediately tasted after.
The aroma of a time gone, but it manages to fit into the present thanks to the maniacal care with which Apicella produce their wines.