The first ever Italian Film Festival is coming to town! Organized by the Consulate General of Italy in Guangzhou, 8 Italian movies will be shown on Chinese screens from June 4th - 10th in Guangzhou and Shenzhen, giving a different perspective on Italian society and culture.
ORECCHIE (EARS), the festival’s opening film, was first screened in Italian cinemas in May 2017 and has won Arca Cinema Giovani award for best Italian film and Talent Award for best debut actor was awarded to his main actor, Daniele Parisi at the Venice International Film Festival the same year.
Newsgd.com talked to Alessandro Aronadio, the director and script writer of ORECCHIE. It is the second film from this post-70s Italian director, filmed in black and white, it tells a tragicomic story set in Rome. Let’s follow Aronadio's thoughts on this film.
Black and white is not a mainstream shooting medium now. Why did you shoot Orrechie in black and white? Is it to create a nostalgic atmosphere?
When I was writing the movie, the images just came to me only in black and white. For me, the main reason is that it’s the most realistic choice from a graphic point of view. It doesn’t have any distractions. It just goes straight to the point, to the faces, eyes, expressions and the characters.
Most people said that it was a surrealistic film. The world in Occrechi is an Italian one, and is very absurd and surreal. But what I want to do is to use a realistic way of portraying that surrealistic world. Like a line from a German film, “life is in color, but black and white is more realistic”.
What’s the biggest challenge during the shooting?
It was an untypical movie. It has been selected as one of Venice Film Festival’s Biennale College projects (Editor: the project mentors filmmakers to produce their films within a year and on a tight budget). And it had to be shot within the Biennale College budget of 10,0000 Euros, and in only three weeks. A very small budget. We needed to find the crew and cast with just this small amount of money. Luckily a lot of people wanted to be part of this film simply because they love the story.
Many young directors have to face a conflict between money and art. Have you faced the same problem? How did you deal with it?
After my first film, “ONE LIFE, MAYBE TWO”, a tragedy that was chosen to compete in the Berlin Film Festival in 2010, I really wanted to make a low-budget film. Because then I would have the freedom that I wanted, thanks to poverty.
I don’t think poverty is the problem. It’s a different way of thinking about a story. Occrechi was born to be a low budget comedy. If I could have had a bigger budget, it would be our worst film. You should use a small budget to write films in the best way you can. After all the idea is what really matters.
What other countries have you traveled to to promote this movie and how did audiences from different cultural backgrounds react?
Most are European countries, and South America, the United States and Korea. The reactions are quite interesting. Different audiences laugh at different parts. I usually don’t like to be in the theatre during the screening of my films. But this one has been an exception. I like to be in the theatre and to check out different cultures views from the comedy point of view.
I saw audiences interpreting the story in different ways, probably according to the way they live or how they relate to the outside world. For some it’s a tragedy, and for some it’s encouraging in the end, as it tells people to embrace the world.