Embark on a nostalgic and welcoming journey.
Here is an introduction to the transgender film “Something You Said Last Night,” the first feature-length film by Luis De Filippis, an award-winning Italian-Canadian transgender filmmaker. The work explores the complicated relationship between Renata, a young trans writer, and her mother Mona. A nostalgic and welcoming story that explores the importance of family ties in our lives and how they impact us!
“Something You Said Last Night” follows Renata, a young trans writer in her twenties who recently lost her job, and her party-girl younger sister Siena. Both reluctantly join their parents on a family vacation. Ren, whose temperament is reserved, feels both connected and isolated during these cramped family holidays. In the film, we see this tug-of-war between emotions in scenes that are sometimes tender and sometimes delirious. Ren struggles to find her place in the world and within her family; she feels seen and unseen by those around her without bridging the gap between the two.
At the center of this film is also Ren’s mother, Mona—a strong Italian matriarch who looks after her family even though she has a complex and complicated relationship with Ren, whom she affectionately calls “mama.” Highly nostalgic, Mona plays old Italian pop music and old family classics throughout the journey that takes the family to a seaside resort.
Carmen Madonia is clearly the star of the movie, perfectly portraying Ren's vulnerability and isolation. The most memorable scene in the film takes place in a karaoke bar. Ren lets go and belts out a song at full volume, a liberating moment that translates into vivid emotions for the viewer. The rest of the cast is also excellent and includes:
No trailer yet, but a video clip has been dropped to give you a taste of the movie.
“Something You Said Last Night” is a charming and moving debut film. The film touches on themes of family, relationships, and alienation, which are universal themes that resonate with us all in some way. Director De Filippis (pictured above) approaches these themes uniquely and intimately, drawing from her personal experience of feeling like an outsider within her family. Throughout the movie, she skillfully captures the nuances of human interactions between the various characters. She poses the question of what it means to truly be a part of a group — be it family or otherwise — while also carving out space for individual aspirations.
De Filippis also offers an honest and sensitive insight into human relationships, highlighting themes such as trust, betrayal, and forgiveness. The movie provides a poignant portrait of how individuals grapple with their need for connection and autonomy. And rather than delivering preachy sermons about these complicated issues, De Filippis allows us to reach our own conclusions through an insightful story. This will leave audiences emotionally moved. As we watch the characters navigate their relationships and deal with life’s highs and lows together, they help us gain perspective on our own lives. In addition, they remind us how unpredictable yet precious those ties can be.
The film's atmosphere is intimate and focuses on characters that are as endearing as they are believable and complex. This makes the movie captivating and stimulating. Ultimately, “Something You Said Last Night” is a thought-provoking and entertaining film. While it may not be a movie suitable for everyone, it provides a unique yet accessible view of family love with its tenderness and turbulence.
Similarly, breaking stereotypes typically associated with the transgender community is Ren, who marked a significant turning point by offering a pioneering approach. This was recognized at TIFF Next Wave 2022, where “Something You Said Last Night” won the Change Maker Award given for films opening up conversations about social questions by a group of passionate young cinema enthusiasts.
“Something You Said Last Night” made its grand debut at the 2020 Slamdance Film Festival, winning the audience award in the ‘Narrative Feature’ category. It was also screened at the Toronto International Film Festival that same year. It also won the Best Short Narrative Award at the Atlanta International Film Festival and the Special Jury Prize at Sundance. And right now, the movie is continuing its festival tour after being put on hold due to COVID-19, an impressive tour that reflects the excitement and optimism generated by the movie around the world. It was even recently screened at the Rotterdam International Film Festival in The Netherlands on January 26, 2023, and at the Manchester Film Festival on March 11. We’re hoping we can all enjoy it shortly!