Come te nessuno mai

Italy

Synopsis

Silvio has clear ideas. He knows what's really important in life. He is sixteen and in the last three days he has understood everything there is to understand. Everything begins with news of new student unrest ...

Day 1 - Silvio and Ponzi are friends and classmates at a Rome high school. They aren't model students by any means. They decide to join a student collective to decide whether to occupy the school again.
The smoke-filled classroom is packed with students. They talk of politics using emphatic language and anachronistic slogans. Silvio and Ponzi are looking for the prettiest girls at the meeting. For Leon, the Leader of the student committee, the key issues are the `privatisation of education' and the `standardisation of consciousness'. For Silvio and Ponzi it is to find girls and make an impression on them. That night they lie down and Look at the stars with other friends and talk things over. Martino is the luckiest and most envied of all, because he is going out and even going to bed with Valentina. It's from him that the others learn all the details of the dream they are chasing all the time.

Day 2 - At last, the school is occupied. The students break down the barricades ordered by the headmaster. Shouting out their battle cries they spread into all the classrooms. Silvio finds himself with Valentina . They tun hand in hand and end up in a dusty storeroom. They are alone. Silvio is reluctant because Valentina is Martino's girlfriend but, in the end the irreparable happens and they kiss.
It's a secret. They've got to keep it, sure, but Ponzi at least can know about it. He Ponzi won't teil anyone, guaranteed.
It would be wrong to go round revealing Silvio's secret. It wouldn't be fair on Silvio. But at least Filippo has to be told about it
A few hours later the whole school knows the secret. Including Martino. He is furious and decides to get his revenge. Claudia, Valentina' s best friend, who is secretly in love with Silvio, also finds out.
In the meantime, Silvio's parents aren't happy about the fact that the school has been occupied for the third year in a row. They threaten to transfer him to a different school for Silvio's sister, Chiara, a girl guide and a model daughter, it's all one big laugh. His parents refuse to let Silvio go to sleep in the occupied school building, where he was hoping to get together with Valentina again.
Silvio rebels and goes to see Alberto, his elder brother and mentor.

Day 3 - Despite police threats to evacuate the building, the students are more adamant than ever that they want to go ahead with the occupation. Valentina is now convinced that Silvio is just as childish as Martino. In fact, she's already found a new boyfriend. Her friend Giulia persuades Claudia to tell Silvio she is in love with him.
Silvio runs away from home to face up to his responsibilities at the school.
The police charge and the students throw eggs in retaliation. The police eventually manage to break into the school, dispersing the protesters and returning the building to the headmaster. The students scatter off in all directions. Some are stopped and taken to the police station, others get off scot-free. Silvio and Claudia, manage to escape on a scooter. When they are out of bother Claudia teils Silvio what she has to say. Then they both go home.
Silvio's mother is worried about her son's recent behaviour. She insists that he has to go to see a psychoanalyst. Silvio refuses categorically. His brother and, unexpectedly, his sister back him up. At his brother's suggestion, he runs away to Claudia's house.
The new meeting dispels any doubts. The two youngsters meet and get on spontaneously together. They end up making love on the balcony.
Silvio has clear ideas. He knows what's really important in life. He is sixteen and in the last three days he has understood everything there is to understand. He now knows that love counts more than anything else.

Directors Statement

The idea behind COME TE NESSUNO MAI is to speak about a generation which has been somewhat neglected by Italian cinema recently - the generation of sixteen-year-olds.

The film doesn't set out to represent all kids of this age, but simply to teil the stories of some of them which, I'm convinced, are similar to those of dozens of others. The stories told in the film are very much like the ones I lived seventeen years ago, just as my experiences resembled those of the generations before me.

This is because some of the experiences we live at this particular age are, so to speak, universal. They form part of the beginning of a great adventure which leads us to the discovery of love, friendship and the most radical, profound emotions. At sixteen, we come to terms with our parents, school, society and the opposite sex for the first time in our lives.

We also take things very seriously indeed. If we have to believe in something, we do so without restraint. We believe immediately, no questions asked. We often want to change the world. The most romantic, fascinating thing is that we can do it relatively simply. We usually start by protesting uncompromisingly against our family and the society and the system we have grown up in.

The point of departure for the film was the meticulous work we did on the treatment and the screenplay. With my brother and his girlfriend Adele Tulli, we wrote and rewrote the screenplay. I wanted every dialogue to sound right for them.

It was only alter they'd approved the script that I began looking for actors. I wanted them to be exactly the same age as the characters. No one had to be older than seventeen!

We looked for them outside schools, distributing leaflets inviting students to come to a small theatre to audition for the film. After some months and about 900 auditions, we formed a cast of absolute beginners.

I am very grateful to all the youngsters who worked on the film. They gave of their all, playing themselves with pure instinctive flair and without controlling their emotions in any way.

At first, the leading role wasn't supposed to be played by my brother Silvio. I didn't want him to act in the film. I was frightened I wouldn't be able to direct him because we're so dose. Despite my concerns, and aller looking in vain for someone to play the leading role I decided to let him have an audition. It was there that he convinced me that he was the right person for the role.

During this long search phase, we also chose all the youngsters to occupy the school. More than half of them had really taken part in the occupation of their own school. This is one of the reasons why, in the most complex crowd scenes, they all knew exactly how to behave and what to do.

The film has three different `souls'. The first is the occupation of the school and the revolutionary urge of many of them. The second is love and the discovery of this feeling in the most complete, `adult' sense of the term. The third is the relationship between parents and children.

In the role of Silvio's parents, I had the honour of working with Anna Galiena and Luca De Filippo.

In the family scenes, the 1968 generation (Silvio's parents), the generation which only came into indirect contact with the events of 1977 and had to make do with the so-called 'Panther' movement (Silvio's brother Alberto, played by Enrico Silvestrini) and the generation which has hardly even heard of the Cold War and the H-Bomb (Silvio and his sister Chiara) confront each other. Here political confusion comes to the surface, together with the void left by the collapse of the Berlin Wall, the fuzzy contours of politics, which seems more and more remote and indefinite - even those who want to understand have problems in doing so.

What anyone who is sixteen today and wants to be involved in politics basically lacks is a real enemy.

They have no war in Vietnam any more, no demonisation of the middle classes. No Alfa Romeo
plants with striking workers. No Cruise missiles and no Cold War.
No Christian Democrats and no Communist party.

So what' s left?

Values. The most profound, universal values, the values the leading characters in the film are
looking for.

Anything else is just surface effect.

Gabriele Muccino

Director's Biography

Gabriele Muccino was born in Rome on 20 May 1967. After leaving the T. Mamiani classical grammar school, he enrolled in the Film and Theatre course at the faculty of letters of the La Sapienza University in Rome.

After sitting a few exams, he had the opportunity to work as voluntary assistant director for Pupi Avati, and in advertising with Fabrizio Costa.

He then left university and pursued his dream of becoming a film director.

In 1991 he made three shorts, which were broadcast by Raidue in three separate episodes of MIXER.
In the same year, he attended Leo Benevenuti's screenwriting courses at ANASC and enrolled on the direction course at the Experimental Film Centre in Rome.

Over the next four years, he made 30 brief docu-fiction films for 'Ultimo minuto' (Raitre), and directed the short IO E GIULIA with Stefania Rocca, produced by the 'Mixer Giovani' structure.

In 1996 he travelled to Africa and Patagonia to direct eight documentaries for the Professione Natura' wildlife programme (Raitre).

He then wrote and directed another short entitled MAX SUONA IL PIANO, as well as one of the episodes for the film INTOLERANTE.

In 1997, he directed his first full-length film THAT'S IT, produced by Domenico Procacci. The film was presented at the 1998 Turin Film Festival and won nominations for best debut film at the Nastri D'Argento (Italian Cinema Press), David di Donatello and Globo D'Oro (Foreign Press).

His second film COME TE NESSUNO MAI was shot in Rome in February/March 1999.
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Cast & Crew

Directed by: Gabriele Muccino

Written by: Gabriele Muccino

Produced by: Domenico Procacci

Cinematography: Arnaldo Catinari

Editing: Claudio di Mauro

Production Design: Eugenia F. di Napoli

Costume Design: Roberta Bocca

Main Cast: Giuseppe Sanfelice (Ponzi), Giulia Steigerwalt (Claudia), Silvio Muccino (Silvio Ristuccia), Giulia Carmignani (Valentina)

Nominations and Awards

  • EFA Feature Film Selection 2000