Oscilloscope Laboratories has acquired U.S. rights to Matteo Garrone's "Reality," a film in the Cannes main competition about an Italian fishmonger whose life is turned upside-down when he thinks he's going to appear on a reality-television show.
In a release announcing the acquisition, Oscilloscope's David Laub called the film "a complex, provocative, and deeply compelling look at our media-obsessed culture, executed by one of the most interesting and talented filmmakers working today. Garrone pays homage to classical filmmakers such as Fellini and Scorsese while crafting a fresh and very relevant contemporary story."
The company plans to showcase the film at additional festivals throughout the fall, and to follow with a theatrical, DVD and digital release in 2013.
"Reality" stars Aniello Arena, who won acclaim at Cannes for his portrayal of the fishmonger. The actor could not appear at the festival because he is in prison for murder; Garrone discovered him in a prison theatrical troupe, and Arena was allowed to shoot "Reality" during the day and return to prison each night.
Garrone's previous film was "Gomorrah," a gritty crime drama from 2008.
Oscilloscope's Laub, Dan Berger and consultant David Frankel are working to move the company forward in the wake of the unexpected death earlier this month of its co-founder, Adam Yauch.
In a review from Cannes, Sasha Stone wrote, "'Reality is a revelation in that it reaches a kind of truth about the times we're living in."