Piccole Avventure Romane translates through Google to “Little Roman Adventures“. And ‘little’ is exactly what this film is: there is very little dialogue, narrative, or much action to speak of. Its brilliance lies in this nuance. We open on a pair of models resembling Adonis and Aphrodite, frozen on the cusp of a kiss as a photographer snaps away, badgering them to hold the pose. Having left a lens in his car, he exits the scene telling them to hold still. After some time, however, they break the pose and begin wandering the empty streets of Rome, where the magic begins.

Like most of Paolo Sorrentino’s work, Italy is shown at her finest. The weightless camera sweeps around the Trevi Fountain illuminated by spotlights – through quaint alleys, and along canals. There is a sweetness to this tale; in a rare moment of not being photographed by the media or general public these two find a private bliss to enjoy without observers.

Yes, this short was created for Rinascente’s first anniversary, but Sorrentino approaches the brand from a deconstructionist perspective, leaving the glamour of the photoshoot for the company of a kindred spirit. A coy hide and seek ensues around the store before the protagonists find themselves spontaneously dressed in high fashion, watching the sun rise over Rome from the rooftop.

As they come together in the final moments of their Piccole Avventure Romane, the photographer is back, the quiet has been disturbed and the advert is in motion. This short film/long advert walks a fine line between being a strangely media-critical commercial and endearing micro-romance. In the end Sorrentino’s story overcomes, its private moments and cherubic chemistry engrossing the attention by hijacking the senses with the help of Lele Marchitelli’s fantastical score and Daria D’Antonio’s brilliant camerawork.

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CAST: Francesco Aquaroli, Lidia Vitale

DIRECTOR: Paolo Sorrentino

WRITER: Paolo Sorrentino

SYNOPSIS: Two models find human connection on a photoshoot in Rome in this gorgeous snapshot.