The obstacle IS the path
Writer, director, cinematographer, and editor Matteo Troncone begins this fascinating and philosophical first-person travelogue with no job, no relationship, and no home.
While living in his VW van on the streets of San Francisco, he decides there is only one thing to do: trace his roots to Naples and learn the secret of Neapolitan pizza.
Once there, he discovers the art of arrangiarsi, the process of arranging yourself to make something from nothing. We meet a colorful crew of characters, from street artists to pizza makers, who find a path to live and love in the most joyful ways, regardless of circumstance.
This inspiring film combines a healthy smattering of foodie passion, little-known Italian history, and quirky Neapolitans to tell the tale of one man’s journey to find himself...and the greatest pizza on earth.
“Arrangiarsi (pizza... and the art of living)” chronicles my journey in search of the secret of the pizza in Naples. There, I also discovered “arrangiarsi”: the art of making something out of nothing.
Only the Italians have a common verb for this art form and the Neapolitans are known all over Italy as being the masters.
During the making of this film, I lived for five years in my camper van in California and in a tent in Naples, Italy where I made a total of nine trips for filming. I worked, bartered and “arranged” my life to create this film that I wrote, directed, produced, photographed, narrated and edited.
To truly understand the film's subject matter, it was important for me to actually "live it" -- not just go to Naples for two weeks with a big budget, a film crew, and be a “tourist,” but to immerse myself and deeply experience the culture.
The film also explores each element of Neapolitan pizza: the tomato, wheat and olive harvests, as well as Italy’s only organic buffalo mozzarella farm. In addition to each ingredient, the film examines the skill of the “pizzaiolo” (pizza-maker) and reveals their secrets.
From the beginning, I envisioned this project to be more of a non-fiction film with narrative elements rather than a documentary with talking heads. I wanted this film to be “alive” -- like Naples, and the pizza it created.
This eight-year project is my love letter to Naples, pizza, Italy, and the knowledge that “there is always a way.”
When Matteo’s life falls apart, he moves into a 1985 VW van, traces his roots to Naples, birthplace of pizza, and discovers “arrangiarsi,” the art of making something from nothing. He realizes he’s not only “living the film,” but needs to master arrangiarsi to survive.