The Invisible Player (Il Giocatore Invisibile)


Vogue Theatre Thu, Nov 17, 2016 9:10 PM
Film Info
Running Time:100 min.
Director:Stefano Alpini
Producer:Stefano Alpini
Maria Elena Bianchi Bandinelli
Francesco Monceri
Screenwriter:Paolo Serbandini
Giovanna Massimetti
from the novel by Giuseppe Pontiggia
Cinematographer:Antonio De Rosa
Editor:Marco Guelfi
Cast:Luca Lionello
Sergio Albelli
Francesco Turbanti
Guenda Goria
David Riondino
Paolo Benvenuti
Paolo Cioni
Ludovica Bizzaglia
Lorenzo Alessandri
Cristina Gardumi
Sergio Sarubbi


Professor Nari is an eminent university professor in Pisa slandered by a mysterious anonymous letter “accusing” him of making a banal error in an article about betrayal. Who could hate him so much as to denounce him publicly? In this masterfully shot drama, suspicion turns into obsession and not even his dalliance with the young Olivia can assuage his anxiety about the loyalty of the people who surround him. Nari’s wife Anna betrays him with a former student, while Professor Daverio—Nari’s departmental nemesis and rival for Anna’s love—appears a likely suspect. Once sure of Daverio’s “guilt,” Professor Nari grows increasingly uncertain of his attacker’s identity. The Invisible Player, Stefano Alpini’s riveting drama (and first narrative feature), is based on the novel of the same name by Giuseppe Pontiggia. Enhanced by Pisa’s beauty and a driving sound score, this taut narrative effectively demonstrates how an accusation can trap a man in the mystery of his own mind. Alpini’s film deliciously teeters between a detective story, a comic treatise on the neuroses of academics, and a tribute to Godard, whose work is a touchstone for Professor Nari (and probably for Alpini, too). Luca Lionello (Judas in The Passion of the Christ) is brilliant as a professor with an overactive imagination and an academic’s appreciation for nuance and departmental treachery.

About the filmmaker

Stefano Alpini has a degree in Political Science from the University of Pisa, where he obtained a research doctorate in Visual Sociology. He taught Sociology of Communication at the University of Pisa and the University of Florence. He is an author and director of documentary projects aimed at scientific and social dissemination for the Scuola Normale Superiore of Pisa. He directed the documentary Muzika Rom, which was acknowledged a project of cultural interest by the Cinema Department of Italy’s Ministry of Culture. He was assistant director of the films Sostiene Pereira, Marianna Ucria, and L’amante Perduto, all directed by Roberto Faenza. Alpini was the producer of Paolo Serbandini and Giovanna Massimetti's 211: Anna, a documentary about Russian journalist/human rights activist Anna Politkovskaya, shown in competition at the Sundance Film Festival in 2009 and winner of the Ilaria Alpi award at the festival of Annecy.