With Cannes film festival in full swing, Swide exclusively interviewed designers Domenico Dolce & Stefano Gabbana for their unique insights into the world of film.
WHAT TYPE OF CINEMA DO YOU LOVE WATCHING?
SG: I appreciate all types of cinema. I love films that entertain but equally at the same time films that are strong visually. I like comedies and certain directors. The cinema is a magical place to me; it’s the most beautiful language in which to tell a story.
DD: I don’t prefer any one type of genre. I like films that push a question, films that when I leave the cinema I remain thinking about afterwards. The cinema gets me thinking in way few other things can.
DO YOU WATCH OLD FILMS ON DVD?
SG: I even watch them on videocassettes. I still have lots. I like to re-watch Italian neorealist cinema, but also Italian comedies from the 1960’s. I have a personal collection of Toto, Tarantino, and Marilyn films, films that star Sophia Loren, and all of De Sica and Antonioni’s work.
DD: In general I prefer to watch films at the cinema. I have lots of DVDs that I use above all for my research; the cinema is a great inspiration for our work.
ARE THERE ANY FILMS THAT HAVE INSPIRED YOUR WORK, AND IF SO WHAT ARE THEY?
DG: We draw a lot of inspiration from the film "Il Gattopardo" (The Leopard) by Luchino Visconti. It’s the film that has influenced us the most. This season’s collection contains many references to the film. Then of course there’s Fellini, perhaps the best of all and definitely, Michelangelo Antonioni, his work remains incredibly modern and always will, and I'm a big follower of the latest film releases.
ARE ACTRESSES ALSO A SOURCE OF INSPIRATION FOR YOU BOTH?
SG: There are lots. Ingrid Bergman in "Stromboli", Claudia Cardinale in "Il Gattopardo", Anita Ekberg in "La Dolce Vita", Sophia Loren in "Divorzio all'italiana".
DD: These actresses were really muses to us. We can’t also fail to mention Sophia Loren in "La baia di Napoli" and also Anna Magnani and Silvana Mangano.
DG: Marcello Mastroianni, Massimo Girotti, Alain Delon, Giancarlo Giannini, Enrico Maria Salerno, Gian Maria Volontè. Also Gregory Peck, Clint Eastwood and Sean Connery.
DO YOU THINK CONTEMPORARY CINEMA IS AS RELEVANT AS CINEMA OF THE PAST?
SG: Cinema has obviously changed, because the world has changed. The cinema of today maybe appears less interesting because of nostalgia. But who knows, in thirty years maybe two young designers will watch today’s contemporary cinema to find inspiration for their collections.
DD: Cinema has lots of power in that it can not only tell stories, but it can also showcase entire periods, habits, ways of dressing and speaking unlike photography. I think this is why cinema remains relevant.
WHO DO YOU CONSIDER THE GREAT DIRECTORS OF TODAY?
SG: Woody Allen, Wong Kar Wai, Baz Lhurman for "Moulin Rouge", a film I adore. Definitely Pedro Almodovar. The Italians that I consider excellent in their field are Paolo Sorrentino, and I like Virzì.
DD: Martin Scorsese above all. Danny Boyle for "The Millionaire", a really incredible film. In terms of Italians, I like to mention Ferzan Ozpetek, who although is actually Turkish, I think we can consider him part of our culture.
ACTORS AND ACTRESSES THAT YOU ADMIRE?
SG: I consider Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts the true great storytellers. In terms of actors Leonardo DiCaprio is great. Also Sean Penn and Javier Bardem.
DD: I’m a fan of Scarlett Johansson, who is of course also the face of our new make-up collection. I think she’s incredibly talented, and has a natural on screen presence. Actors, let me think... Matt Damon, Keanu Reeves?
WHAT DO YOU LIKE THE MOST ABOUT EUROPEAN CINEMA AND AMERICAN CINEMA?
SG: I think they are increasingly similar. Honestly speaking I don’t think there exists a unique European cinema as there doesn’t exist a unique American cinema.
Generally speaking, American cinema’s strengths are to draw me into their films but it’s an extreme generalisation – I don’t usually tend to ask myself where a particular film is from. I do believe though a new generation of Italian directors and actors are emerging, and as such I think it’s correct to give them encouragement and support. We’re very passionate about this upcoming generation, and follow them carefully.
DD: The Americans tell stories like no other. I admire their capacity create fascinating stories, to the credit of their actors, and also the industry’s commercial approach.
Today, though, like the rest of the world American cinema and European cinema are mixed. Take for example "The Millionaire", an English director, American Production Company, and Indian actors.
WHICH FILM WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO HAVE DIRECTED?
SG: I don’t think I could ever be a director, actually as a boy I wanted to be an actor.
DD: I’ll confess that I would have liked to direct "Scarface" but I’ll admit I wouldn’t have been able to do anything as brilliant as what Scorsese did.
WHAT FILM WOULD YOU HAVE LIKED TO FEATURE IN AND IN WHAT ROLE?
SG: (Laughing) "The Witches of Eastwick", but in Cher’s role!! Brilliant!
DD: A Totò film. He’s a total genius.
To celebrate the final night of the Cannes Film Festival, Dolce & Gabbana will host "A Dazzling Night In Cannes" - an exclusive star-studded party. As usual Swide will bring you all the backstage gossip, celebrity news, exclusive images and video to ensure you get the scoop on the evening's events. Stay posted for more.
With special thanks to the designers Domenico Dolce & Stefano Gabbana
Source: Dolce & Gabbana
Photo Credit: Photo by Mario Testino courtesy of Dolce & Gabbana