La dolce Eleonora e l’amaro calice

[Sweet Eleonora and the Bitter Cup]


Marco meets sweet Eleonora and gets a date! Everything seems perfectly all right for a nice dinner and a fabulous after-dinner! But a nameless menace looms on and the expected exciting romantic dinner turns into the most dreadful nightmare.

Fashion-journalist Marco, on duty at the exclusive Yoshiwara Club, meets the most beautiful girl he’s ever seen: Eleonora. She immediately accepts a dinner invitation for the next night. Marco takes her to a peculiar medieval-themed restaurant serving exotic fusion-cuisine. Everything looks perfect for a nice dinner – and a fabulous after-dinner.

Marco starts flirting, but what Eleonora wants from him is not sweet words but a firm promise: he won’t run away in the next half hour. Marco, though puzzled – he’s having the time of his life, why should he run away? – promises he won’t leave, no matter what. But why the request? What is going to happen in the next half hour? No explanation from sweet Eleonora. The more she talks, the more mysterious and threatening she becomes. And she is not joking.

Half-hour later, mystery is unveiled: Rocco, a huge violent goon who delusionally claims he still is Eleonora’s boyfriend, enters the restaurant to scare Marco away from “his” woman. Despite feeling “like a doll’s house facing a Manhattan’s skyscraper”, Marco soldiers on and decides to stay, even at the risk of his own life, even after he has learned that all Eleonora’s previous suitors have ended up in hospital in critical conditions. The supposedly exciting romantic date turns into the most dreadful nightmare. But Marco’s resourcefulness – and some powerful connections – will eventually save the day, and his own life.

Comedy, noir, suspense are just ahead.

Premiered at the Cinema Centrale theatre, Imperia (Italy), 27 September 2007

See the Rome Independent Film Festival Catalogue

Watch the Film:

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Listen to a suite from Audissino’s film score:

1. Prelude
2. A Romance in Noir
3. Unhappy Ending

Cast and Crew

  • Story: Marco Vallarino
  • Screenplay: Marco Vallarino & Emilio Audissino
  • Original music: Emilio Audissino
  • Cinematography: Gianni Languasco & Elena Languasco
  • Video editing: Emilio Audissino
  • Set decoration: Francesca Cugusi
  • Make-up and costumes: Aurora Cataldo
  • Sound recording: Riccardo Etiopia
  • Assistant director: Fabio Zenoardo
  • Camera: Francesca Mantegna
  • Gaffer: Alberto Brancolini
  • Continuity: Cristina Bracco
  • Production manager: Emilio Audissino
  • Publicity: LinfaTV Agency
  • Extra casting: LinfaTV Agency
  • Produced by Associazione ERGO SUM
  • Executive producer: Marco Vallarino
  • Directed by Emilio Audissino
  • Running Time: 45′ (premiere) / 35′ (director’s cut)