“Anna” in Ieri Oggi Domani

(Renzo and Anna have just switched seats. Renzo is driving now though he owns a Fiat 600 and expresses hesitation driving Anna’s Rolls Royce. He seems unsure of the buttons and dials of the car but he is light-hearted about it.)

Renzo: A little music?

Anna nods.

Anna: Well, Renzo?

Renzo: Anna, I like you a lot.

Anna: But you don’t think I’m sincere, do you?

Renzo: I don’t know. …I don’t know.

Anna: Do you like traveling? (Renzo nods. Anna continues speaking rapidly.) I do, too. The minute I can, I go far away from everything. I’m so tired of my world, the people I¬†know.

Anna: Don’t you get it? I like you precisely because you’re different, unlike the robots I know, busy making money all day. You write, you’re intelligent.

I never think about money, Renzo. I swear I don’t.

Renzo: Because you have it.

Anna: What am I supposed to do, throw it out the window?

Renzo: Yes, throw it all away: money, cars, jewelry, those Cleopatra bracelets.

Anna: (Proudly.) I got these at the hardware store.

Renzo: Did you get this hunk of steel at the hardware store as well? But that’s not it. The fact is you have money in your veins.

Anna: In me there’s only emptiness, a profound emptiness.

(He touches her cheek softly. She leans in closer and rests her head on his shoulder. But only for a moment.)

Anna: You like me. I can tell.

Renzo: Anna, if you hadn’t called me this morning, who would you have called?

Anna: Nobody. Nobody. I’m alone.

Renzo: With all the people you know?

Anna: With all the people I know.

(He touches her cheek again. This time she pulls his hand away and joins her hand with his.)

Anna: I can’t tell which are your fingers and which are mine. This is so lovely, Renzo. Unbelievable.

Renzo: I- (He is cut off. His answer is inconsequential.)

Anna: (With sudden urgency.) Renzo, help me. Let’s go far away. To the Sun. To Rome. To Naples.

Renzo: Yes, let’s go.

– – – – –

What happens next is just the kicker. I won’t ruin it… but it’s very funny how people perceive their life, how others see that life, and how that life is in reality. Sophia Loren shows just such beautiful range in Ieri Oggi Domani, which I watched yesterday. The second part, “Anna” of course struck me as just beautifully perfect.

It seems Anna is so completely unhappy with a perfectly happy life. The everyday vapidity of her life she understands as emptiness. What’s funny is that her materialism makes her void of substance (maybe) but also that nothing is capable of making her happy and so she cannot fill the internal longing with anything whatsoever.

And Renzo, her lover? How quickly in the dust Anna leaves him…

Nothing is ever enough.

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