Mixed by Erry (2023)

Mixed by Erry (2023)


A funny and fascinating period piece that tracks the rise of music piracy in Italy



Comedy, History, Music
Cristiana Dell'Anna, Emanuele Palumbo, Francesco Di Leva
113 min


It’s set in the past, but this movie is and will remain relevant as long as the line between piracy and accessibility remains blurred.

What it's about

Mixed by Erry tells the true story of how Erry Frattasio and his brothers transformed their pirated cassette business into the bestselling record label in Italy in the 1980s.

The take

Fast and funny with surprisingly tender moments in between, Mixed by Erry doubles as a fascinating period piece and a heartfelt family comedy. On a larger scale, it tracks the rise of musical piracy, which Erry and his brothers accidentally stumble onto with their cassette-copying business, Mixed by Erry. But what starts out as an innovative trade fueled by Erry’s love for music—Erry himself is like a Spotify algorithm come to life, instantly creating mix tapes for people based on what they like—soon transforms into a legal threat that catches the ire of record labels and finance regulators alike. It sounds thrilling and complicated, but the film’s lofty premise is grounded by the relatable dreams Erry and his brothers share. They genuinely believe they’re doing nothing wrong by distributing music and boosting the local economy, and as naive and misguided as that may be, there’s something heartwarming about their intentions. The film itself doesn’t take sides. Instead, it acknowledges the situation for what it is—a landmark case in musical history ripe with educational and entertaining moments.  

What stands out

Period pieces set in the 1980s have a tendency to look unreal and kitschy, but Mixed by Erry manages to capture the revolutionary spirit of the era. The hair, the costumes, the technology all somehow feel trendy and novel, especially when set against Naples’ ancient cracked streets and crumbling walls. Details like this get overlooked in many movies, but in period pieces, they’re essential in establishing credibility. Thankfully the production designers behind Mixed by Erry rose to the challenge and delivered with flying colors.

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