The film, made of four episodes, depicts four different love stories seen through the eyes of a movie director (John Malkovich): a portray of the dramatic and inevitable incompleteness of any love relationship. The first story, set in the area of Ferrara, a draining pump technician, Silvano (Kim Rossi Stuart), and a young teacher, Carmen (Inès Sastre), meet in a guest house and fall in love but they will never make love because Silvano renounces passion, he prefers to extend the pleasure given by unfulfilled desire.
LOCATION The first episode of the film is entirely shot between Comacchio, Lido di Volano and Ferrara.
It is possible to recognize the Loggiato dei Cappuccini of the lagoon city, where the two protagonists meet and fall in love, and also the building currently home to the headquarters of the Po Delta Park, used by Antonioni as set for the sequences in the guesthouse.
The final sequence, where John Malkovich sits on a swing thinking about the love story between the two youngsters, was shot at the bathing establishment Bagno Jamaica at Lido di Volano, still existing today.