Outdated gender roles meet the 21st century in THE ACADEMY OF MUSES. Raffaele Pinto, a middle-aged professor, teaches Italian poetry to a class of young women. His goal is to revive the the ideal of the muse – that women may inspire men to write great poetry. Or is he just trying to sleep with his pretty students? As the semester proceeds, several of them are attracted by his charm and wit, whereas his wife sees right through his high-flying theories.
The film starts out as a documentary, bombarding us with references to Dante and classical literature. But pretty soon it turns into a romantic comedy of sorts, beautifully shot and with razor-sharp dialogue, where men and women try to satisfy their desire for knowledge and romance. THE ACADEMY OF MUSES is full of surprises – including a trip to Sicily for a fascinating demonstration of Sicilian shepherd songs.