Canzone #3: “Far l’amore” by Bob Sinclair & Raffaella Carra (2011)

by Alexandra

This is a trashy cover of an already trashy cover song (here’s the original by Raffaella Carra), which you may recognise from La Grande Bellezza.

La Grande Bellezza has a split personality. There are the sleepy, lingering scenes of Rome – the empty streets of the Aventine in the early morning, or the gardens of the Villa Medici after dark. The song from the soundtrack that fits this part of the film is the haunting My Heart’s in the Highlands.

Then there’s the other Grande Bellezza – slightly nightmarish parties on the Via Veneto, plastic surgery, strip clubs. “Far l’amore” has this feverish, danceable quality, yet there’s also something kind of monotonous about it. I can’t think of a better song for capturing the empty hedonism of the film.

I first saw La Grande Bellezza at a cinema in London, a few weeks before I moved to London. When I walked out into the streets of Mayfair afterwards, London had never seemed greyer.

I recently saw the film again – this time the director’s cut at a tiny cinema in Trastevere. I liked and disliked the same things. Like: the soundtrack, the cinematography, certain memorable scenes. Dislike: the length, the sense of style over substance.

It’s a film that tends to divide opinions in Rome. I know some people who really love it, and others who are indifferent, or who loathed it. You can complain that it doesn’t reflect “the real Rome”, but I like to imagine that it does, for a certain kind of Rome. I believe that those characters exist. They’re not the kind of people I know, but that doesn’t mean that they’re not there, living in ridiculously beautiful apartments and going to decadent parties. I don’t think it’s any more unrealistic than another recent hit film set in Rome, Jeeg Robot, which depicts the grim existence of a reluctant superhero in the suburbs of Tor Bella Monaca.

Anyway, I digress. Aha, aha, a far l’amore comincia tu. You’ve got to admit it’s the perfect song for a hedonistic rooftop party in Rome.

Bonus songs from La Grande Bellezza:

Fabulously monotonous synth-disco song. Good for learning the days of the week in Italian.

Lunedi sera alla discoteca, martedi sera alla discoteca, mercoledi che mal di testa, ma sono andata alla discoteca…

Not in Italian, but I had to include this Eurythmics cover because it’s my favourite song on the soundtrack (apart from “My Heart’s in the Highlands”). Euphoric. If I remember correctly, it’s from the dance scene at the garden party before the little girl starts throwing paint everywhere.