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As you know, I love Italian films. So I was delighted to find out about the work of Davide Melini, an emerging Italian director whose short films have gotten plenty of buzz from their showings on Italian and Spanish TV. Melini has also won 3rd Best Italian Film at the Rome International Film Festival for “The Puzzle,” the first film embedded below.

“The Puzzle” is the very short story of a woman alone in her home at night, who is putting together a jigsaw puzzle, when the puzzle supernaturally depicts a very unpleasant end to her evening. “The Sweet Hand of the White Rose” is a longer piece which serves as a cautionary tale about anger, as well as the importance of paying attention while driving. Like all the best dark Italian films, it mingles horror with a strange beauty.

Both films are laden with atmosphere and allow the visuals to dominate. It’s easy to forget that film is a visual medium when so many directors fill the mouths of their characters with self-aware, clunky dialogue, but Melini veers away from that modern tradition and lets the images tell the stories.

I’ll take my own advice and stop talking here, but let me finish by saying that I’m happy to be reminded by these shorts that I don’t feature the work of newer directors often enough on the site, and that I look forward to seeing more from Mr. Melini. You can find his IMDB page here and his blog here. Enjoy “The Puzzle” and “The Sweet Hand of the White Rose.”

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