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VENICE 2018 Competition

Mario Martone • Director

"Emancipation via a group experience in Capri"

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- VENICE 2018: Neapolitan director Mario Martone is competing at Venice Film Festival with Capri-Revolution, and talked to us about it

Mario Martone • Director
(© La Biennale di Venezia - foto ASAC)

Mario Martone concludes his trilogy on a founding period in Italian and European history with Capri-Revolution [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Mario Martone
film profile
]
, in competition at Venice Film Festival, after We Believed [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Mario Martone
interview: Mario Martone
film profile
]
and Leopardi [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Mario Martone
film profile
]
, about the poet Giacomo Leopardi. Written, as always, with his partner Ippolita di Majo, the film focuses on an artistic naturist community in Capri at the turn of the century and the emancipation of a twenty-year-old goat herder, played by Marianna Fontana, who gave an authentic performance two years ago at Venice with her twin sister Angela in Indivisible [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Edoardo de Angelis
film profile
]
.

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Cineuropa: How did you go about writing Capri-Revolution?
Mario Martone: The initial idea came to me when looking at the Certosa di Capri – paintings by the spiritualist painter Karl Diefenbach who, between 1900 and 1913 founded a commune in Capri to practice art in the context of human revolution and mankind’s relationship with nature. An experience similar to that in Monte Verità, near Ascona, in Switzerland, where modern dance was born, and homeopathy and vegetarianism were experimented with. I had no idea that these places even existed at the beginning of the 20th century, well before the events of the ‘60s and ‘70s. There was an immediate temporal short-circuit for me with Joseph Beuys, the revolutionary artist who created Capri Batterie – a light bulb plugged into a lemon. I was interested in the idea of ​​art, not as a means of aesthetic research but as an attempt, the result of a political vision, to find a different way of building relationships between people. The film doesn't bring Diefenbach to life, instead it focuses on a new figure, the young Seybu – leaving painting behind – because I wanted to concentrate on the idea of art and its relationship with people, which is why the group spirit of dance was fundamental, choreographed by Raffaella Giordano.

The film is set on an island that has always welcomed experimental artists, intellectuals and, as we see in the film, revolutionary workers and students.
Capri is a piece of the Dolomites that fell into the Mediterranean. It’s a metaphor for the world, famous for its hospitality. The film is dialectical. It promotes doubt and indicates comparative paths. To this day, instead of closing itself off and building walls – it’s important, to quote my friend and the playwright Antonio Neiwiller – "to feed the illusion."

Yet the film’s protagonist is an illiterate girl, raised herding goats, who is attracted by Seybu's community.
Lucia's tale – someone who rejects the male-dominated world and who rebels against her brothers without turning her battle into one of hatred – shows the start of a process towards independence, re-evaluating lost purity and the possibility to grow without rejecting our roots. At the end of the film, a woman travels into the unknown, we do not know where she will go or what she will do, but Lucia is now emancipated, with an open mind to the future. 

The film summarises an environment in which artistic experience matures.
Absolutely. With theatrical performances, collaborations and the richness of group experiences, the feeling of being together – all of which affirm individual and group values. 

You always show your actors a classic film before shooting a new film. What did you choose to watch this time?
We didn’t watch just one film this time. We watched clips from three great films: Il miracolo by Roberto Rossellini, Contempt by Jean-Luc Godard and Zabriskie Point by Michelangelo Antonioni.

(Translated from Italian)

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