Written by: Michael Den Boer on April 11th, 2006
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, 2001
Director: Michele Soavi
Cast: Kim Rossi Stuart, Dino Abbrescia, Bruno Armando, Pietro Bontempo
DVD released: March 28th, 2005
Approximate running time: 200 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1 Non-Anamorphic
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo Italian
DVD Release: No Shame
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $29.95
Synopsis: Valerio (Kim Rossi Stuart) and Rocco (Dino Abbrescia) are two detectives’ who are in charge of an investigation into a series of robberies at banks, gas stations and supermarkets around the Rimini coast. The robbers always seem to be one step ahead of the law with the only evidence that they ever leave behind is a white Fiat Uno. Valerio and Rocco are forced to go into deep undercover as they are no longer able to trust those who they work for. Has someone in the precinct been assisting the Uno Bianca gang all along and even if they are caught will they ever be brought to justice?
Michele Soavi is best known for a handful of horror films Stagefright, The Church, The Sect, and Dellamore Dellamorte which he made in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. Soavi like many of his colleagues would make the transition to directing for television after the Italian film industry collapsed. Soavi is a visual director who has developed his own style even though he owes a lot of his mentor Dario Argento who has a similar baroque cinematic style.
Soavi’s direction in Uno Bianca while not as flashy as Dellamore Dellamorte it is more grounded in its realistic approach to the material. There are few moments in the film in which harkens back to his most famous period as a director. Soavi builds an unbelievable amount of tension through out the film and it is during these moments that he shines the most as he teeters so close to the edge without ever going over the top.
The story is based on actually events that took place in Italy between 1987 and 1994. Don’t go into Uno Bianca expecting it to resemble classic poliziotteschi films like Almost Human. There are a few violent set pieces like when Valerio, Rocco and two other cops are ambushed under a bridged that are some of the most visceral sequences ever shown on television.
The films two leads Kim Rossi Stuart and Dino Abbrescia play off of each other well as they convincingly play cops who are dedicated to their job. The rest of the vast is solid with my only min or complaint about the film is that the dialog and set up are too much by the numbers which in the end gives the actors not enough to do.
For those who thought that Michele Soavi has fallen into obscurity after Dellamore Dellamorte the good news is that he has continued too make films that are as compelling as they are entertaining.
No Shame presents Uno Bianca in its original 1.66:1 aspect ratio. This non anamorphic transfer has solid colors that look nicely saturated and natural. There are no noticeable problems with artifacts, compression or edge enhancement. Colors look vibrant and nicely saturated. Overall the image looks immaculate with its razor sharp clarity.
The release comes with one audio option Italian and it comes in a Dolby Digital stereo. The sound is crystal clear as there are no problems with hiss or distortion. Removable English subtitles have been included that are easy to read and follow.
Extras for this release include an introduction for the film by producer Pietro Valsecchi, a poster and still gallery that plays like a featurette as music from the film plays in the background. Other extras include two behind the scenes featurette’s that contain some of the same footage. Rounding out the extras is three interviews “How to Get Action into the Truth” with screenwriter Luigi Montefiori, “We did it Like Cinema” with producer Pietro Valsecchi and “It was not Business as Usual” with Gianni Mammolotti. All three interviews are well done and offer a lot of back-story in to the making of Uno Bianca. No Shame has put together another release filled with impressive extras still this release is sadly lacking any comments from director Michele Soavi outside a few sound bites during the behind the scenes clips.
No Shame have also included with this release a collectable booklet which includes bios for Michele Soavi, Kim Rossi Stuart, Dino Abbrescia and Luigi Montefiori. The booklet also includes other text piece about the film and comes with a cardboard replica of the Uno Bianco driven in the film.
Overall Uno Bianca is Michele Soavi’s most accomplished film to date and now a wider audience can finally appreciate this amazing film via No Shame’s fully loaded DVD, highly recommended.