Rituals and memories animate a day in the serene life of an Italian grandmother

In her essay on the power and meaning of daily rituals, Jay Griffiths writes:

Given half a chance, habits seem to want to augment themselves into ritual: embellish a habit with attention, stylise it slightly, and it will elbow its way into the domain of rites, until even a cup of tea can be ceremonious.

In deliberate, precisely framed shots, Piva applies this same attention to her grandmother’s daily habits, stylising them through her particular blend of live action and animation, to elevate these practices into rituals and ceremonies. And we sense that this filmic technique is a reflection of the care and attention that Angelina herself brings to bear on these habits, as she anoints herself with perfume or prepares a meal with care. Food, religious icons and the tools of Angelina’s beauty routine (hair rollers, a tube of lipstick) are granted equal care and importance, hinting at the talismanic value of each of these items in the rituals of daily life. And it is objects, too, that come to represent the welcome intrusions of memory into everyday moments, in the form of fishing lures that dance and dangle improbably around Angelina as she sits down to a fish lunch, or a choir of alarm clocks chiming to wake her up in the morning.

By Director: Maria Piva for Psyche Magazine

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