The advertising spots director ventures into feature film direction: “Tutti i rumori del mare” will be released tomorrow in Italian theatres. A story about (re)discovery, love (for life) and the little things that make life worth living.
Can you tell us about yourself, where are you from, your career…?
I am half Sicilian and half Piedmontese. I studied at DAMS (Discipline delle Arti della Musica e dello Spettacolo, Arts, Music and Entertainment disciplines). I wanted to be a film director but I had this passion for music so I started to create music for fashion shows. Among the different designers I was doing it for, there was also Dolce&Gabbana, we are talking about 20 years ago. I also started to work doing videoclips: for Elton John, Litfiba, I even did a compilation for Dolce&Gabbana, D&G Music! I started with advertising too. I really didn't want to do it in the beginning because I thought it wasn't good enough but I then found out I could express myself through it, I could bring my taste for images there, no matter what. I started to work with luxury products, Audi, BMW. In the REina Sofia Museum they have shown 3 advertising films by me in the audiovisual section.
And now I am coming out with my first film, which is an independent one, self-produced. It is 100% mine.
At which age did you understand you wanted to be a director?
The very beginning. I was one of those went around in university with a video camera and always wanted to shoot. I was unbearable, involving all my friends in it.
How has the movie taken form?
After 20 years people recognise you as a good director for advertising, telling you you are a poet of imagery, you start to believe it! That is how I came to it. I said let's do something related to my gift for the sake of it, with no commission behind from a clientele. I feel I can represent and recount very well suspended atmospheres. Let's say that if nothing happens, I can recount that "nothing" very vividly, creating an intense atmosphere. This is a movie about that. The story is almost a pretext to do that. A man that has chosen to have no identity (he faked his death through his documents as he worked in the passport police department) is taking a girl from one place (Hungary) to another. That's what he does: he moves people and objects from one place to another. But actually the girl he is transporting is not the right one...But it's the one who will make him ridescover feeling, things. Not that he falls in love with her, but he is so eager to get back to life...
The protagonist actor Sebastiano Filocamo in a scene
What did you want to tell through it?
Well a part of me just wanted to do real author cinema for the pleasure of it. In Italy our cinema is overtalked. You would be able to just listen, most of the time, and you get the plot. But I wanted to recount everything through images. On the other hand I wanted to recount something positive. In the movie, we start from the lowest point of existence - which is, the non-existence - very well expressed by a really good actor like Filocamo - but in the end everything goes more than well. It's a message about life: life is amazing.
The protagonist actress Orsi Tòth
Any future plans?
A second movie! A comedy, this time, possibly a musical. I want to create fun things. We need them. And it's going to be a commercial movie - not in the bad way, it means it's sellable, it means you want to please and to listen to the public's taste. The first movie was about "this is me, this is who I am". The second is about me leaving aside a part of me, now that it's out there anyway, and to entertain the people.
You are an Italian who made it first abroad, and is now back in Italy...
After the first italian spot I went abroad to work because that's where I was getting jobs and collaborations. That's the weird part about Italy: people seldomly bet on you. They do that only when they see it has already worked somewhere else, when someone else already took the risk of hiring you. And so I am back here.
That said, yours is a co-produced movie with Hungary...
It is not because of co-production that I did it, but because of directing history: the landscapes were very important for the movie, and Hungary had perfect ones: desolate, monotone, dry trees that mirrored the protagonists' souls.
"Tutti i rumori del mare" stands for...
For the finale of the movie which of course I can't reveal. It's the coming back home and to the sea of this man, it involves all the soul's noises - just like waves, there is not one that's the same - and yet there is no logic in it, you just have to accept and embrace it's like that. Life has no logic.
The protagonists of the movie in a scene
What did you bring to your movie director career that you learnt and belongs to the advertising career?
The synthesis, which is one of the most difficult thing in movies. If you are a painter you are interested in perspective and space long before starting to paint whatever subject. If you are writing, even before recounting your story you know you want to play with words, with his musicality. When you make cinema you speak through images. That's how I speak.
Interview by: Elisa della Barba