Search DVDBeaver

S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Nebbie e delitti' or 'Fog and Crimes Season One" )

 

directed by Riccardo Donna
Italy 2005

 

FOG & CRIMES follows the investigations of obstinate Chief Inspector Franco Soneri (actor turned right wing parliamentarian Luca Barbareschi, CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST) newly transferred to Ferrara in the Emilia-Romagna region of northern Italy where he constantly butts heads with PR-minded Chief Capuozzo (Mariano Rigillo, IL POSTINO) and career-minded public prosecutors. In "The River of Fog" (actual Italian translation: "The River of Shadows"), Soneri's stubborn belief that the mysterious fall taken by aged Decimo Tonna was not an accident or suicide becomes hard to ignore when it is discovered that the man's brother Anteo disappeared the same day from his barge that had run aground in the Po as it continues to rise to flood levels. While retiring Judge Alemanni (Antonio Fattorini) is eager to write off Decimo's death as a suicide, the port police seem satisfied that Anteo's involvement with the illegal transports of drugs or people lead to his death. Soneri, however, begins to suspect that the link between the death and the disappearance goes back sixty years to the brothers' membership in the Fascist party in a Partisan village. The village's elders - including the members of the Seaman's Club - insist that the war has been all but forgotten, but the discovery of Anteo's corpse at the base of a Partisan monument leads Soneri to believe that time has passed more slowly for someone. While Alemanni is exasperated that Soneri is focused on Anteo's case rather than Decimo's, Capuozzo is somewhat pacified by Soneri's disdain for the press and willingness to let his chief handle them. Soneri's focus is further divided by his private investigation into the obscene and threatening calls and letters received by beautiful defense attorney Angela Cornelio (model Natasha Stefanenko, former host of ITALY'S NEXT TOP MODEL).

In "Rooms for Rent" (actual Italian title translation: "The Landlord"), Soneri misses a visit at the station from a woman who describes herself as an "old friend" Ghitta (Valeria Sabel, BARON BLOOD) only to discover the woman murdered in her rooming house, which he discovers has been without guests for a year other than loft lodger Elvira (writer/TV personality Marina Ripa di Meana) who at first seems the likely suspect by process of elimination. Soneri, however, is disturbed to learn from Angela - who he is now seeing - that the rooming house where his late wife Ada (Benedetta Massola) once stayed while in nursing school has been a brothel for the last several years. Elvira seems like even more likely a suspect when Ghitta's fey nurse friend "Pitti" (Franco Piacentini, THE NIGHT OF THE SHOOTING STARS) tells Soneri that Ghitta forced Elvira to sell her body; however, when Elvira tells him that Ghitta and Pitti made their real fortune by performing illegal abortions, Soneri starts to suspect that his wife Ada may have had one of those abortions since she died while pregnant from the hemorrhaging of a previous lesion. Angela thinks that Soneri is jealous that his wife had another man before him, and new Judge Saltapico (Jurij Ferrini) is pressing him to focus on Elvira; but the answer may indeed lie farther in the past and may reveal some painful secrets about Soneri's beloved late wife.

In "Trying to Forget" (or "Target, Forgetfulness"), Soneri tries to investigate the death of drug pusher Jocono (Giuseppe Oppedisano, DEMONIUM) without stepping on the feat of narcotics chief Bondan (Francesco Salvi, 10TH & WOLF) who is developing intelligence on the new operations in town since the police crushed the operations of "The Neapolitans" five years ago. As the murders of former Neapolitan gang members continues, suspects include their high-profile clients, former gang associates, someone attempting a takeover, a stripper with ties to the gang, as well as the gang's former leader (Luigi Maria Burruano, THE STAR MAKER) released from jail for health reasons and rumored to be out for revenge. When one of their turns up horribly murdered, Soneri wonders if he discovered something that cost him his life or if he might have been on the take as well. Meanwhile, Soneri and Angela decide that they may need some distance from one another when their careers conflict as Angela may be taking on the defense of more than one of Soneri's suspects when Capuozzo and Saltapico go behind his back and order mass arrests in order to quell public panic.

Finally, in the oddly-titled "The Mystery Film Club" (more accurately and aptly translated "The Secrets of Women"), the body of socialite Emma Rancati - daughter of a prominent cardiologist and an Austrian aristocrat - is discovered in the cinema audience of a horror movie shot through the back. Because of her family's status, Capuozzo and Saltapico urge discretion in Soneri's inquiries even though Emma's mother (Anna Orso, THE LIFE AQUATIC WITH STEVE ZISSOU - who also urges discretion - believes the killer to be one of Emma's many men. Her ex-husband (Paolo Sassanelli, ROMAN SUMMER) appears to not only be aware of her affairs and unfazed by them, but also is able to point Soneri to her last lover (who in turn, suggests that her more recent lover was someone important). Saltapico once again loses patience with Soneri as he tries to psychoanalyze Emma's behavior, which all who knew her admit was self-destructive; however, Emma's terminally-depressed friend Anna (the show's casting director Loredana Scaramella) may provide a key not only to Emma's choices but possibly also to her killer. Meanwhile, Angela has formed a strange friendship with fellow attorney Virginia (Carola Stagnaro, Dario Argento's OPERA) whose very presence Soneri finds alienating as he cannot figure out whether the women is interested in Angela or in him (and for what reason). Also, Soneri also makes time to give romantic advice to his timid assistant Inspector Juvara (Gianluca Gobbi, WE HAVE A POPE) who is on the verge of meeting his internet date in the flesh.

FOG & CRIMES paints the Emilia-Romagna region - and specifically Ferrara - as an area at once rural and metropolitan, where modern attitudes interlope upon tradition. Tradition is sometimes embodied by the conservative attitudes of the people, sometimes by the hypocritical approaches to investigation of Soneri's superiors, and sometimes merely by the ancient architecture and the rarely-cozy environs of the characters. Soneri's democratic treatment of the victims and suspects of cases no matter their status, as well as his attempts to delve deeper when there is already an obvious suspect and motive seem just as invasive as the clandestine activities of the city's criminals and the dirty laundry of its respected citizenry. Whatever one feels about Barbareschi's politics in real life, Soneri is presented as the most admirable of the chief investigators here, if not the most relatable character. Other regulars include eccentric forensics expert Nanetti (Paolo De Vita, THE SON'S ROOM), Soneri's colleague Draghi (Giuseppe Antignati) who is willing to make press-friendly arrests (and who Soneri even tries in vain to have step in when he feels that he has a conflict with the investigation), hapless officer Musumeci (Cristiano Pasca) who gets all of the dirty work, and restauranteur Alceste (Eraldo Turra, Fellini's THE VOICE OF THE MOON) who serves Soneri and company whatever he feels like.

Eric Cotenas

Theatrical Release: 30 November 2005 - 21 December 2005 (Italian TV - series 1)

Reviews                                                                                 More Reviews                                                                 DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Arrow Films - Region 2 - PAL

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

Arrow Films

Region 2 - PAL

Runtime 6:20:17 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

1.67:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: ~5.5 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio Italian Dolby Digtial 2.0 stereo
Subtitles English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Arrow Films

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterboxed - 1.67:1

Edition Details:
• DISC ONE:
• Episodes:
• - 1.1: 'The River of Fog' (4:3; 1:37:51)
• - 1.2: 'Rooms for Rent' (4:3; 1:36:12)

• DISC TWO:
• Episodes:
• - 1.3: 'Trying to Forget' (4:3; 1:34:52)
• - 1.4: 'The Mystery Film Club' (4:3; 1:31:22)

DVD Release Date: October 27th, 2014
Amaray

Chapters 24

 

Comments

Arrow Films presents the four feature-length episodes comprising the first of three series on two dual-layer discs. The non-anamorphic 1.67:1 letterboxed transfers aren't all that hot, but the mid-level bitrates are probably less likely to blame than the compression of the original SD digital masters (presumably also 4:3). It doesn't detract from one's enjoyment of the series, but it does make it seem more antiquated that the characters' flip-phones, fax machines, and CRT computer monitors. The Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo tracks are fine in rendering dialogue, effects, and the scoring of Vince Tempera (THE PSYCHIC), while the optional English subtitles only have occasional grammatical hiccups. There are no extras save for some start-up trailers on disc one.

  - Eric Cotenas

 


DVD Menus
 

 


Screen Captures


Subtitle sample

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 


DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

Arrow Films

Region 2 - PAL

 



Search DVDBeaver
S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

Hit Counter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DONATIONS Keep DVDBeaver alive:

CLICK PayPal logo to donate!

Gary Tooze

Thank You!