Ferzan Ozpetek’s Mine vaganti (2010): Wandering Between “the Comic”
and “Humor”

Margherita Heyer-Caput


A powerful expression of Ferzan Ozpetek’s narratives of displacement, Mine vaganti (2010) represents an open-ended journey of multiple characters and their tentative pursuit of happiness through the transformative power of “humor.” More specifically, the inherent potential for change that defines this quest emerges from an oscillation between “il comico” and “l’umorismo” in light of modernist theories of humor, as they are articulated in Luigi Pirandello’s and Henri Bergson’s seminal essays, Saggio sull’umorismo (1908) and Le rire (1900). While following an auteurist perspective, this analysis focuses on the significance of the film script, coauthored by Ozpetek and Ivan Cotroneo. Moreover, it highlights the role that other elements of film form, such as sound, editing, cinematography, and mise en scène play in tracing the emergence of an “etica dell’estetica” (Zagarrio 2012). Mine vaganti’s aesthetic poignantly renders Zygmunt Bauman’s concept of “liquid modernity” (2005) and advocates for a community in which identity is a liminal, fluid, and ever evolving creative endeavor that brings to the foreground marginalized agents of social and political change, in this case the homosexual and the elderly.

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