|Directed by||Gabriele Salvatores|
|Produced by||Vittorio Cecchi Gori
|Written by||Gabriele Salvatores
|Music by||Federico De Robertis
|Editing by||Massimo Fiocchi|
|Distributed by||Vittorio Cecchi Gori|
|Running time||111 minutes|
Nirvana is a 1997 Italian science fiction film directed by Gabriele Salvatores. The film stars Christopher Lambert, Diego Abatantuono, Sergio Rubini, and Stefania Rocca. It was screened out of competition at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival.
The film tells the story of a virtual reality game designer, Jimi (Christopher Lambert), who finds out that the main character of his game, Solo (Diego Abatantuono), has achieved sentience due to an attack by a computer virus. Asked by his creation (who feels everything the character in the game feels, including multiple deaths) to eliminate its existence, Jimi sets out to erase the game from his employer's server before it's commercially released, and thus spare Solo further suffering.
Jimi feels desperate because his wife Lisa (Emmanuelle Seigner) left him. He starts to search for her as he tries to delete Solo from the game. These two paths of his life complement in the story throughout the whole film. By the end, Jimi hacks into one of the company's servers. This hack is in the world of virtual reality interpreted as encounters with persons from Jimi's life. That is the way the network defends itself. It tries to keep the hacker's mind in the loop of his own memories as it burns the hacker's brain. The only way to pass through the network defence mechanism is to free one's mind. To forget about life before or after, to forget about bodily feelings, and to enter a state of pure concentration where one focuses only on the target (in this case the server with the company's bank account). It is similar to meditation where one tries to concentrate on breathing; people who are able to do this are called angels (they are invisible to the system, can go anywhere they want, and their possibilities are limitless). In the end, Jimi feels enlightened. He is in inner peace with himself. He saves the character, understands why Lisa left, and understands why the things happened the way they happened. He is in the state of Nirvana.
- Christopher Lambert as Jimi Dini
- Sergio Rubini as Joystick
- Diego Abatantuono as Solo
- Stefania Rocca as Naima
- Emmanuelle Seigner as Lisa
- Amanda Sandrelli as Maria
- Claudio Bisio as Red Rover
- Gigio Alberti as Dr. Ratzenberger
- Antonio Catania as Paranoia Vendor
- Ugo Conti as Sicilian Tourist
- Leonardo Gajo as Gaz-Gaz
- Silvio Orlando as Indian Desk Clerk
- Paolo Rossi as Joker
- Bebo Storti as Meditating man
The director, Gabriele Salvatores, shot the film mainly in "Portello" the old Alfa Romeo assembly plant in Milan. The whole place was converted in this sci-fi set where many ethnic sides of the city are shown. From the Indian to the Japanese to the Chinese, the film moves around the dynamic and the futuristic realms that the future created.
Despite a poor box office reception amidst accusations of weak plotting and simplistic rendering of the main themes, Nirvana has achieved something of a cult status, especially in Europe.
- "Festival de Cannes: Nirvana". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 2009-09-27.