After giving herself to the substance, Q wishes to escape the world that she finds herself in and return to her past and return to her former self. She is unable to escape her current fate as agents of the substance continue to manipulate her reality and when Q's pusher tries to to help her, she becomes trapped by a cinematic mad man who wants to torment Q for his latest filmmaking endeavor.
Much like what he did with his "VigasioSexploitation" movies, Sebastiano comes back with a follow up film to "K, smette di fumare" that expands further on his concepts while delving further into one of his worlds where farce meets art. "Q, smette di ricordare" continues on with a few of themes from it's predecessor but this time around it feels like the campy-noir was replaced with a stark atmosphere.
A woman named Q has been seduced by the substance -- the tobacco product that allows people to engage in a life that they didn't know what was possible. An almost alternate reality. Except Q finds out that this isn't just a sensation brought on by have the substance in her system, it is a reality. As she attempts to regain her past and former self, Q is manipulated and tortured by the agents of the substance. Now she must decide: give herself to the substance or try and find her real self.
Where "K, smette di fumare" had the characters indulge in deviant behavior when they fell to the power of the substance, "Q, smette di ricordare" seems to explore characters who've gone past that point and are now trying to go back to who they were. The opposite side of the coin, if you will. "K, smette di fumare" was a lot of fun; it was a movie that seemed to openly embrace the campy and pulpy world of noir. Some of that styling is still in "Q, smette di ricordare" -- such as the sound effects being spelled out on screen -- but the movie felt much more somber this time around.
There are a few comedic moments but the overall atmosphere was heavier and it seems as though "Q, smette di ricordare" is more interested in exploring the themes and ideas that were started in "K, smette di fumare". While there was an existential theory being drawn from cigarettes to life and death, "Q, smette di ricordare" draws a philosophy of what cigarettes are to existence, or rather, the perception of reality. To me, it seemed like the idea of the movie looks to show how the perception of reality can change when a person is addicted to a substance. What they think is real to what actually is -- a reality and an alternate reality running in parallel. In the case of Q, she is able to see her world for what it actually is and wants to reclaim her past before the substance came into it.
Then again…I could be completely wrong. That's one of things that I love about Sebastiano Montressor as a filmmaker and what I also find frustrating in a way. I know reviewers, critics or whatever you to call them, are never suppose to admit that they don't understand a movie but Sebastiano's movies are some that I can never tell if I'm actually seeing them for what they are intended as. I have my own ideas, certainly, and "Q, smette di ricordare" is a challenging movie (in all the right ways) but because of that I can't help but feel like I didn't full grasp what was intended.
And you know what? I'm okay with that. "Q, smette di ricordare" is a complex movie that is filled with ideas -- as are all of Sebastiano's movies -- and I'm not ever sure if I could come up with an analysis of those ideas that I think could do the movie justice. A bit of a cop out, sure, but again, I'm okay if I'm not fully understanding what Sebastiano is saying in his work. I just appreciate his work for what it is. "Q, smette di ricordare" is an exceptional movie because of how the ideas are explored and examined. In this case, reality and what is relative to that reality and finding a way to communicate it. The unusual style of having a movie embrace the ridiculous to a point that it almost becomes a farce with the serious nature of existential philosophy as well as Sebastiano's own personal philosophies. Sebastiano's Agrestic Cinema movement plays a heavy part in "Q, smette di ricordare".
"Q, smette di ricordare", like all of Sebastiano's movies, is incredibly well crafted and intelligent but it never feels pretentious about it. Mostly in part due to the movie never shying away from the more ludicrous moments and not being afraid to have fun with art and experimentation. It's why I don't feel ashamed to admit that I don't know whether or not I was able to grasp what Sebastiano was saying. He allows his movies to exist in a state where anyone can view the movies how they please without ever feeling insulted by how they view them. It's a big reason why I like his movies as much as I do. They are such well rounded pieces that are able to conform contrasting styles into one cohesive movie.
With that said, "Q, smette di ricordare" is my personal favorite so far because I enjoyed the darker and more somber tone that it had. The stark, contrasting black and white greatly brought out that darker atmosphere as we watched Q try to reclaim her past as she fought to regain what she thought was thought to be her real self.