100 Seasons (2023) Rotterdam Film Festival 2023

January 30th, 2023
Author: Meredith Taylor

Dir.: Giovanni Bucchieri; Cast: Louise Peterhoff Giovanni Bucchieri, Michel Riddez, Karin Bertling, Vera Olme Peterhoff; Sweden 2023, 101 miin.

Giovanni Bucchieri reflects on his 1990s relationship with co-writer Louise Peterhoff  in this impressive but disturbingly morbid hybrid feature.

Giovanni lives in a small room entirely dedicated to his past. In his late forties, he has fallen on hard times professionally as a singer and actor, and is undergoing treatment for bi-polar with a psychologist (Riddez) who also prescribes him medication which Giovanni flushes down the loo. Intensely obsessed with his own death, even to the extent of making it into an art form involving his own coffin, Giovanni also performs in the street, one time ending up naked. Louise was the love of his life, and he spends his days watching videos of his life with Louise, a ballet dancer and now a choreographer who is bringing a modern dance version of “Romeo and Juliet” to the stage.

The home videos tell a sad story of how Louise – who is divorced, and living with teenage daughter Sasha (V.O. Peterhoff), became unable to cope with Giovanni’s tendency to over-dramatise every situation in their relationship. The films show them in 18th aristocratic dress which is somehow redolent of the rollercoaster relationship. Both have been deeply affected by their time together and Giovanni is now coming to the end of his life. Meanwhile, Louise is in a relationship with Noah whom she tries in vain to keep away from her daughter.

Louise’s ballet project is often interrupted by the cast who are not happy with her style of direction that pictures the romantic story as anything but. In her defence Louise claims that “Romeo and Julia” is Shakespeare’s weakest play, but that she chose to choreograph it as “a challenge”.

100 Seasons is a macabre piece of filmmaking. Rarely have we seen a director filming their own fictional death for a feature. Bucchieri is certainly in love with decay and morbidity, and the film becomes a vehicle for this weird obsession which verges on outright narcissism. DoP Axel Pettersson goes all out for effects, showcasing Bucchieri’s the over-the-top performance to extraordinary effect. 100 Seasons is not always well served by its rather chaotic structure, which leaves too many questions unanswered in an otherwise entertaining and engrossing debut. AS


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