No Laughing Matter

If the tension driving Italian filmmaker Nanni Moretti's latest work sounds familiar, it should. A down-and-out B-movie producer unwittingly signs on to make a fiercely critical film about the rise of an Italian media mogul turned Prime Minister. Efforts to finish the film are thwarted by unseen political and economic forces. And the Italian politician is so despised by his cinematic nemeses that they assign him a nasty moniker: the Caiman (a ferocious creature related to the alligator), which gives Moretti's movie — and the film inside it — its name. The reptile, of course, is intended to represent none other...

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