Last year, I was lucky enough to meet Giulio Squillacciotti, an artist and movie-maker originally from Rome, Italy, which is also where I’m from. I didn’t meet him at a hipster art party nor did I meet him in a well-hidden, underground hardcore club – I actually got to know him accidentally, a couple of meters away from my parents’ doorstep, in somebody’s living room at an improvised screening, because that’s how the best things always happen here in Vienna. I’m a bit wary of getting to know new people in an artistic context, where everything seems artificial, too real, too much, too everything, where people seem to measure themselves against each other, stuck in a conversation not also to listen, but simply to speak; Giulio however got me right away with his unpretentious, honest way of talking about his work. That evening, he showed his documentary R.M.H.C. about the hardcore scene in our hometown in the late 80s and 90s. That evening, I was completely mind-blown by a documentary for the very first time since I saw the 20-minute Yann Arthus Bertrand series released shortly before Home.
The beauty of R.M.H.C. is that, like Mr. Squillacciotti, it is completely unpretentious. It’s not trying desperately hard to explain or analyse everything about the scene at the time and how it developed and how it died – it succeeds, however, in giving people – even people who are not at all familiar with that kind of music – a glimpse into a huge family, a family whose bonds go beyond blood relations or musical preferences, a family where all that matters is that special feeling of belonging somewhere. Squillacciotti’s Roma Hardcore is like watching an old childhood tape your parents filmed of you and your siblings; like flipping through a photo album you’d forgotten you owned on the day of your 30th birthday.
Yeah, I liked the music – but I liked the rest of it more. All the things… All the people around.