We All Fall Down (Tuti giù per terra)

Director: Davide Ferrario
Screenwriters: Davide Ferrario

Institute History

  • 1998 Sundance Film Festival


We All Fall Down is a modern coming-of-age story full of odd, self-conscious camera angles, rapid jump cuts, and edgy framing and pacing. Davide Ferrario puts a fresh face on this timeless story of a confused youth who mirrors the uncertainties of his society. Set in Turin, the film depicts Walter, a restless young man trying to make sense of the world. Steeped in Nietzsche, his voice-over thoughts crowd the sound track; he observes that kids are having oral sex at fourteen, intercourse at sixteen. He’s twenty-two and still a virgin. He’s called up for military service, goes to college, and almost loses his virginity before his exemption comes through. Needless to say, he doesn’t get along with his father.

The film is less a worked-out narrative than a series of moods and incidents which capture the haphazard, incomplete nature of Walter’s personality and the world he is attempting to live in and understand. He flits randomly from job to job—everything from walking people’s dogs to a stint as a salesman—before setting out to write short stories. Ferrario’s New Wave inventiveness is engaging, especially when so many first-time directors are afraid to challenge current conventions. We may have seen much of this before, but he takes great pleasure in reinventing it. Ferrario and his hero thumb their noses at society while seriously trying to grapple with what it means to be young, intelligent, and restless in the nineties.

Davide Ferrario, Director
Davide Ferrario, born in 1956, is also a novelist, screenwriter, and noted documentarist. He began to work in the movies with his distribution company in the 1970s, making connection with the American independent scene. He worked with John Sayles and released films by Jarmusch, Seidelman, and Reggio in Italy. We All Fall Down is his third feature. A hit in its own country, it received, among other awards, the prize for best acting performance at Locarno.

— Piers Handling, Toronto Film Festival

Screening Details

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