Desecrating, romantic and ironic. Close dialogues, almost fluid atmosphere.
A story of love and friendship, an escape from reality taken to extreme consequences. After being presented in competition in the lagoon, the second work written, directed and performed by Pietro Castellitto It’s called “Aeneas”.
Besides him, also in the cast Giorgio Quarzo Guarascio, Benedetta Porcaroli, Sergio Castellitto, Chiara Noschese, Adamo Dionisi.
We met the director. Here’s what he told us about “Enea”.
Pietro, introduce us to Aeneas, telling us who he is and how he moves in this contemporary Rome
“Enea is a boy of almost 30 years old who comes from a family upper class, but “respectable”. I want to specify this because Aeneas is moved from the need to feel alive and the paralysis he feels and fights against is typical of his time and it has nothing to do with his family who, among other things, is also profoundly human and this is an aspect that I would like to reiterate.
His best friend is called Valentino and he is a newly baptized aviator and together they frequent the most elite and fashionable clubs in Rome and slowly we will also understand that they deal drugs. Told like this it seems like an elitist film but it isn’t because their desire to feel alive is not alive at all, in fact it is typical of all young people in any neighborhood, in any city.
They try to feel the movement of life, they try to move.
Aeneas and Valentino had the courage to move their instincts against the values they inherited, values which perhaps protected them from some evils but which however caged them within pre-established horizons. Instead, they move in a world of their own with extreme freedom.”
How fond are you of this film?
“Very much, perhaps also because the last thing you do seems the most nostalgic. While I was doing it I realized that it was already “past” and it is a film that is on the edge of my youthseeing as I recently turned 32!”.
In the film there is a lot of youth but also decadence. However, you also managed to outline very beautiful adult figures, such as your father (played by your father in reality, i.e. Sergio) and your mother played by Chiara Noschese. Would you like to reach adulthood like them?
“No, as deeply human as they are people (characters), no I wouldn’t want to grow old like them in the film. I would like to reach adulthood as Aeneas would have arrived… if only!…(laugh).
However, this film is also a lot about people and human relationships.
What really interested me was to talk about the consequences of criminal drift in everyday life.
We therefore have a film made up of lunches and family situations and underneath there is a gangster story that you will never see and which every now and then suddenly reaches into the lives of the characters, taking them by surprise.”
Did it put any pressure on you in any way to have people you know, love and respect with you on set, starting with your father?
“No, honestly not. Of course, with my father I might have had some more fears, I wondered if I had ever managed to establish a relationship with him that was functional to what I wanted to achieve and I must say that I succeeded without problems, Indeed, meeting a person in an intimate context and then seeing them in a formal context, I find that it helps you get to know them better. I’ll tell you something: the other day I was in a changing room and a person passed by me who had the exact same smell as my father and I immediately felt a sense of desire to live, to do things, to work! I have therefore grasped what my father will leave me when he dies, I have grasped what his smell of him will leave me, that is, the desire to do things.
I think it’s a very beautiful thing that I thought about a few days ago but I didn’t tell my father because I’m ashamed of it!”.
Watching your film, reading your book “The Hyperboreans” but also reflecting on your first film “The Predators”, I personally always have the feeling that you like to amaze, that you like to “pull the strings”, and in some way even be disturbing . It is true?
“First of all I like to have fun, then obviously it’s not like someone makes a film a week, so when you do it you try not to amaze at all costs but to find symbolic metaphors.
To be able to be incisive you also have to try to disturb sometimes.”
I also find that in this film you have reached a further aesthetic maturity. How important is aesthetics in a film to you?
“More than aesthetics, the atmosphere is fundamental for me and I understood it especially in this film where it was even more decisive, because “Aeneas” is more liquid than “The Predators”. I find that the atmosphere is that invisible cage within which the characters move and if that cage is credible everything they do will be credible, even the most extreme things.
However, if that cage is missing, the spectator will not accept the trick.
I really think this, I repeat, aesthetics must be functional to the creation of the atmosphere and you can also find the atmosphere while you write, while you make the first inspections and it cannot always be the same because the films also reflect the periods of life in which someone makes those films.”
How do you hope “Aeneas” will be perceived by the public?
“Everyone naturally chooses how to welcome it, but I believe that if one watches it without ideologies and preconceptions it is impossible for them to say “ah it’s the classic film of the rich, the bourgeoisie, the Parioli, cocaine… no, it has nothing to do with it! So whoever says this will be talking bullshit, then they may not like it, but don’t say this that Rome is small and I will pinch you all and find out!” (laugh…)