In the beginning, I didn't know if I was supposed to laugh at this film or if I was about to witness the disturbing coming apart of a human mind. "With Anchovies, Without Mamma" is a dark mockumentary short that boasts high quality and strong actors from start to finish. Clever use of B-roll and expert shot composition create a deeply sensory film experience. The well defined identity in the composition of the shots creates a strong sense of atmosphere.
The delivery boy, played by Adam Scarimbolo, gives a real and vulnerable performance. Joli Tribuzio, who portrayed counter girl, Danni Danunzio, was fresh faced and sweet. Much luck to her in her career, as I'd like to see her talent again. At times these seemingly simple pizzeria workers waxed a little more philosophical than one would expect, but the sincerity of their portrayals made it believable.
To say that a story unravels is a cliche, but one that definitely applies to "With Anchovies, Without Mamma." This story existed, it seems, before the film was made. The film simply picked the story apart, revealing it piece by piece, until the whole fabric of the story was revealed. Not many films can achieve this level of expertise in creating and maintaining the sense of an alternative reality.
Many indie filmmakers are hobbyists or, much worse, fans playing at film. Writer/director, Thomas Justino, on the other hand, is a filmmaker. Every piece of B-roll had an artistic tone. "With Anchovies, Without Mamma," is weird; it's well done, poetic, tragic.