All News

The scent of the night by Claudio Caligari: the cult noir with Valerio Mastandrea and Marco Giallini returns to cinemas in 4K definition from 20 November

2 November 2023

Presented at the Rome Film Festival in the new 4K restoration, the second work by Claudio Caligari – director of Amore tossico (1983) and Non essere cattivo (2015) – is ready to return to theaters from 20 November, distributed by Minerva Pictures in collaboration with Cat People.

Launch pad for Valerio Mastandrea, Marco Giallini and Giorgio Tirabassi’s career, The scent of the night is a whirlwind proletarian and criminal epic that sews together style, characters and uncompromising rhythm, turning every moment into a moral slap. Starring also the Italian icon Little Tony as himself.

Heir of the Italian genre tradition, the most corrosive neorealism is the silent forerunner and reference point of today’s crime/noir, from Romanzo Criminale to Gomorra. But the real strength of The scent of the night lies in its nature which is able to take back a certain type of cinema and revitalize it to make it new and authentic.

Mastandrea’s Remo is a policeman that becomes a robber, head of a rambling gang. Caligari keeps its protagonist in balance between ferocity and humanity, without judgments of any kind: it is the subjective and lucid vision of a society that with its brutal mechanisms, keeps its unwanted fruits on the margins, in which every material wishful thinking is only the glittering shield of a never ending torment. Violence that fascinates and suffocates, bewitches and discourages: sometimes shouted and other whispers, is always the desperate (bi)distorted dream of finding a life.

Straddling the most tormented Scorsese of Taxi driver and the most whirling of Goodfellas, The scent of the night reworks strength in a unique and personal way: it is Rome’s weakness between the 70s and 80s while, at the same time, pure cinema without pause with a bitter aftertaste. It is a delusion of power and fatalism, where (few) money and wrong choices dominate a stray masculinity, seductive and destined to failure.

Freely based on Le notti di «Arancia Meccanica» by Dido Sacchettoni (Einaudi, 1986), The Scent of the Night was first presented during Critics’ Week at the 1998 Venice Film Festival and now returns to cinemas in its newly restored 4K version for its 25th anniversary. Realized in 2023, the restoration was curated by the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia – Cineteca Nazionale starting from the negative scene and soundtrack available thanks to Minerva Pictures, under the supervision of the director of photography Maurizio Calvesi.