Song Of The Day 5/23/2015: Il Volo – “Grande amore” (Italy)

I'm Ovision -- Eurovision! 2015: Italy is one of the "Big 5" countries (along with Spain, France, the U.K. and Germany) that always gets shot straight into the final round of Eurovision without having to play in the semi-finals. This free pass is based on how much of a financial contribution those countries make to the contest, and Italy's one of the participants who leaves their coffers wide open. Doesn't matter what the song sounds like or how terrible it is, it goes straight to the final round without passing Go. Italy could submit a tape recording of Roberto Benigni regurgitating bruschetta into a microphone with a drum machine going through only one stereo speaker, and guess what? Into the finals it'd go. How freeing it must be.

But this year Italy isn't tempting fate with avant-garde gurgling -- they're sending their big guns, the spring-chicken three tenors collectively known as Il Volo. (Not to be confused with Simon Cowell's rival gang, Il Divo.) They're the latest attempt to commingle junior pop sentiments with operatic bravura, following in the footsteps of Andrea Bocelli and the iPods of 40-something divorcees on treadmills. "Grande amore" is my dark-horse pick; if anything can thwart the Swedes' park jog to immortality, I believe it's this song. But the accompanying video perplexes me: It features each member of Il Volo recreating a famous sequence from three separate movies -- American ones: Back To the Future, Ghost and the Sam Raimi Spider-Man. Watching this splendid triptych unfold I couldn't help wondering how their countrymen -- the ones that gave us Fellini, Bertolucci and Antonioni -- felt about being skipped over in favor of the likes of Robert Zemeckis.

(To their credit, in choosing Back To the Future they did select Zemeckis' masterpiece. And if you tell me Forrest Gump was Zemeckis' masterpiece, I'm going to have to reevaluate our friendship. I mean, I won't break it off. But I have to be careful who my children might be indirectly exposed to. You understand.)
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