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Italy’s 2016 Eurovision Entry

May 13, 2016


Perhaps Francesca will smile a bit on stage on Saturday, but she’s not smiling in the video.  Oh no.  Not at all.

A lot going on in this video.

Unsmiling Francesca is solemnly vertical, standing between two rows of equally solemn people wearing very cheap looking 3D glasses.  These people pass a magic crystal back and forth between them.  Also a book.  Also a balloon.

The song, as I understand it, is really all about whether you can ever really be truly and extra specially yourself while at the same time being part of some other completely different thing.   A weighty sort of topic and never more relevant for twenty-first century Europe.

Actually, as a vocal performance, it’s quite stirring stuff.  3/4 of it is, quite properly, in Italian (and why would you ever sing in any other language if you were Italian?) but there’s a bit in English which, understandably, is less impressive.  Although… there’s something rather elegant about the moment of transition from Italian to English, which is so imperceptible as to make a point about the title of the song – no degree of separation between Italian and English – see?

At the beginning and the end of the song, you can see an animated heart beating just where her real heart should be.  Not a heart shape such as you’d see on a playing card, but an animated rendering of an actual heart – a working pump with ventricles and everything.

One of the interesting facts about Francesca is that she talks to her piano.  That’s not so weird when you stop and think about it.  I talk to our photocopier at work – if a very one sided stream of threats and obscenities counts as  “talk”.  The real question is, does her piano “talk” back?  I mean, using actual words?

Tired and lazy cultural stereotypes promote the notion that Italy is a more frivolous nation than Germany.  This year’s Eurovision entries do a little to subvert such stereotypes…

Here’s Germany.

Now Belgium is not particularly silly.  Just linguistically clumsy

For a more sinister “fairy tale” unheimlich – go Albania

You may (indeed should) prefer Georgia.

If you want something very mainstream – go Norway…

Or, if you favour a keening wail of historical pain and suffering – here’s Ukraine…

Most people will want something a bit more optimistic.  Like Denmark’s effort – see below…

Bulgaria could learn a lot about positive thinking from Søren.

If you’re keen on Balkan Country and Western Music, then you’ll like Slovenia’s entry…

Australia, bizarrely, are back…

If, in the meantime,  you want to watch an implausible love story involving a sex worker from Vilnius – try Lithuania’s entry…

Here, by the way – is Macedonia’s offering…

Meanwhile, Ireland’s entry – Nicky Byrne out of Westlife – is sort of all growed up.

Here’s Serbia, in case you were wondering…

Then again there’s Ivan from Belarus, who may or may not be dancing naked with wolves…

In the meantime, here is Israel:

You might prefer this GameofThronesy offering from Switzerland

Here, on the other hand, is Poland.

And here’s cheery Latvia,

Someone else who doesn’t look cross at all is Malta’s representative  –

Meanwhile, I found Bosnia and Herzegovina somewhat intriguing this year – see below…

More interesting than Montenegro, anyhow

Far, far more conventional is Azerbaijan

More chillingly, here is Estonia

But here, by way of some (but not much) relief is Cyprus

On a lighter note, see the Czech Republic’s offering…

And Russia…

San Marino – folks…

Meanwhile, here’s the Netherlands…

And Croatia

And Hungary

And Moldova

And Greece

Greece’s 2016 Eurovision Entry

And Finland

Finland’s 2016 Eurovision Entry

Here’s Austria by the way…

Austria’s 2016 Eurovision Entry

Here’s Armenia

Armenia’s 2016 Eurovision Entry


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