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Gabriele Salvatores, Toni Servillo and the maramao life at the cinema

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Gabriele Salvatores, Toni Servillo and the maramao life at the cinema

The new film by Gabriele Salvatores is titled The Return of Casanova and opened the evening screenings at the Petruzzelli Theater in Bari, place of honor of the Bif&st. The director accompanied the film to the Apulian capital, together with the protagonists Toni Servillo and Fabrizio Bentivoglio.

Gabriele Salvatores he has the great advantage of being a director who never repeats himself: he never tells the same story, he knows how to switch from one genre to another with ease and can make a well-known actor or a newcomer the protagonist of a film. In addition, whenever he is measured against a novel, and it happens frequently, Salvatores he always manages to tame it to his vision while respecting its essence. In his latest film, presented in world premiere at the Bari International Film & TV Festival 2023, the director went to bother the Austrian writer Arthur Schnitzler to address the theme of old age, which coincides not with the absence of desires and impulses but with the decay of the body. In the long story “The return of Casanova”published in 1918, there are many other ideas, but, while taking them and dwelling on some of them, Gabriele Salvatores he chooses the formula of the film within the film, inventing the character of an egocentric director named Leo Bernardi who is working on an adaptation of the novel by slicer. Fiction and reality continuously intertwine in the film, sliding smoothly into each other, the former in color and the latter in black and white. And if to impersonate James Casanova And Fabrizio Bentivogliowho more often than not was a sort of alter-ego, if not Antoine DoinelOf Salvatores, Leo Bernardi has the face of Tony Servilloin his first collaboration with Gabriele and like him a director (albeit in the theatre).

The Return of Casanova opened, on Saturday 25 March, the International previews of the Bif&st. The film was presented at Petruzzelli Theatre at the end of a day that began with the masterclass of Gabriele Salvatoreswhich from the Festival then received the Fellini Platinum Award for Cinematic Exellence. This morning, however, in the Margaret Theatrethe director presented the film not only to the press, but to a large audience of non-experts who applauded for a long time Salvatores and its actors, among photographers almost lying on the ground, a couple of children sleeping peacefully in their strollers and even a cute little dog on a leash. Salvatores opened the dance, at the invitation of the moderator Henry Magrellitalking about the idea of The Return of Casanova: “The Return of Casanova Of Arthur Schnitzler it was something that had been in my heart and in my head for a long time, even since I was doing theatre. At the time I had read the novella with great interest, because it dealt with a variety of topics. I was especially interested in the theme of the double. The author had developed it in several works, for example in ‘Double dream’. In the following years I discovered many more things in the story, for example the theme of the passage of time. As he rightly says Toni,The Return of Casanova‘ is one of the most ruthless works about the passage of time. slicer he even invents a duel scene between Casanova and a young lieutenant fighting completely naked, and Casanova he realizes he is old only when he sees himself in the opponent lying lifeless on the ground. This element made me think a lot, and I thought I could revive the concept of the double by inventing another seducer, who is not Casanova but the director who I then entrusted to Servillobecause the director is somehow a seducer, he must be, and so my story became the story of a director who is not going through a creative crisis but an impasse on a human level”.

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Also Tony Servillo has something to say about his Leo Bernardia man who laughed a lot together with Gabriele Salvatores: “Someone said that life is what happens while we are busy with other things. Leo Bernardi he is obsessively dealing with his film, with his vanity, with his career, and while he does it, and has always done it, life takes up his space, goes towards him, and so Leo tries awkwardly to juggle between what he considers to be his whole life, which is his profession, and real life, which is a love encounter with a girl younger than him who has nothing to do with the world of cinema Do. In this regard, I take the liberty of adding that in my opinion the film gives an excellent suggestion. I see with concern that 7 out of 10 young people want to be either directors or actors, and God knows, however, how much competence we need in so many other professions, and the film suggests that life probably runs faster than cinema at certain moments, then he turns to look at him and says: ‘Maramao”, and this is exactly what happens to Leo Bernardiis that Gabriele tell gracefully.”

Tony Servillo knows the story well slicer, and even he considers it almost ferocious in describing the transformation of the body: “The Return of Casanova it is not a film about lost youth. Both the novel and the film insist on the physical decay caused by old age, and awkwardly Fabrizio he tells it very well in a scene in the mirror and even more extraordinarily and generously in the duel sequence, in which it is no longer two characters, or rather two rivals in love, who face each other, but youth and old age. The movie of Gabriele he has the merit of putting in place, while talking about a romantic topic, a lot of irony and self-irony. We had fun teasing each other a bit, making my character a vain full of frivolities. He belongs to a universe that we know well, and this leads me to say that when you have the opportunity to give something of yourself or people you know well to a character, it’s beautiful. Sometimes, however, exactly the opposite happens: a character is so extraordinary that he is the one who lends you something and enriches you. And therefore I believe that in this passage of energy from the actor to the character and from the character to the actor a third thing can be born, which is on stage or stands out on a cinema screen”.

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A Fabrizio Bentivoglio it is instead the task of speaking of James Casanovahis character, whom he approached with affection: “What moved me about James Casanova it’s his being totally unprepared for aging. Not having seen my parents age, I myself am surprised, indeed amazed, to see them age. Casanova can’t get over it and I think this is basically the element that makes him human”.

The ball passes back to Salvatoreswhich still has something to say about James Casanova: “One of the things that most impressed me about Casanova, while I was writing the script, was that in reality the character is doomed to fail in his attempt to repeat the same script over and over again. The character of Tonion the other hand, has a certain kind of social and artistic status, but in the end it opens a small door to the future thanks to an encounter with a woman”.

Leo Bernardiwhich in the name contains a tribute to Bertolucci, lives in a domotic home or smart home. At a certain point something starts to go wrong and it almost seems that the rooms in which man lives and works have a life of their own. Gabriele Salvatores explains the reason for this choice: “This is the first film in which I talk a little about myself. It is not an autobiographical film but the first in which I put some of my fears, my anxieties, my doubts and the questions that I made myself in recent years. One of these concerns the domotic house that I bought three years ago. The fact is that I have always been fascinated by the idea of ​​technology that takes power, but basically all the independent American science fiction of the ‘ 70 talked about this, starting with Philiph K. Dick. And so I ask myself: does reality exist or does fiction exist? Is life a dream or what? We are made of the same stuff dreams are made of – he said Shakespeare, and perhaps he was right. I say that if we give too much space to technology, sooner or later it will replace us. It is something that terrifies me, just as it worries me to think of a house capable of feeling the melancholy of its owner. It might even exist, who knows? I take comfort in the fact that there is one thing that will never happen. They tried to exploit artificial intelligence for works of art, and they came out with crap. Luckily the soul and emotions are a uniquely human prerogative, so they will never belong to technology“.

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