Laura Luchetti • Director of Nudes
“The lack of education over other people’s personal space and the inability to manage emotions like anger and jealousy is a ticking time-bomb waiting to explode”
- The Italian director talks to us about her debut in the world of series, which sees her adapting a Norwegian production on the thorny topic of revenge porn
Based upon the Norwegian teen drama of the same name, Nudes is the first Italian series to home in on revenge porn. Produced by Bim Produzione together with RAIFiction, and available exclusively on the RaiPlay platform from 20 April, the series gathers together the stories of three adolescents who are forced to deal with the fallout of private images of themselves being shared online. In the director’s chair for all 10 episodes of the series, we find Roman director Laura Luchetti, who is also the author of the highly acclaimed title Twin Flower [+see also:
film profile] and the stop-motion short film Sugarlove, which earned itself a Nastro d’Argento.
Cineuropa: Revenge porn is a phenomenon which young people are very familiar with, but adults less so. How did you first become aware of it and how did you go about researching the film?
Laura Luchetti: The first time I heard about it was when I was reading a newspaper article about a young woman’s suicide: I thought it was a one-off event. But when producer Riccardo Russo proposed this film to me, because he’d developed a love for Norwegian series, I set about educating myself: I spoke with a therapist who treats young people and, above all, given that I have a teenager at home (my 16-year-old daughter), I started to question her, and I discovered that it was a far more widespread phenomenon than I’d thought, ranging from the publication of a photo of any kind without your consent, which is the first way in which you appropriate someone else’s life, to a real violation of trust. The idea I got was that there’s a real lack of education over other people’s personal and sexual space: anything can be published. Moreover, there’s a real inability to manage emotions, such as anger and jealousy, and instead these feelings are managed through spiteful acts, with no thought of the consequences. The fact that such a fast medium, and the wider arena of social media, is within reach of youngsters who aren’t very well-educated on how to manage their own emotions, is a real ticking time-bomb.
How did you approach these three different stories?
The three stories are all very different from one another, in terms of their tone and of their setting. They’re like three mini films: the characters never cross paths and they’re also different ages: 16, 18 and the youngest, who’s 14. The episode about Ada (Anna Agio) is the one where I allowed myself the most artistic license: it’s a story about female purity and insecurity at that age, when a compliment from a stranger can make you do the wrong thing. My approach was naturalistic and instinctive, not very academic, and a little bit punk. I worked so hard with the kids: I always try to find out who they are and to draw out their emotions, rather than forcing a character upon them. Then I try not to talk down to them from an older adult viewpoint; I get in amongst them, which is the part of the job I like the most: in the party scenes, me and the DoP Sara Purgatorio were in there dancing alongside them. With the exception of one or two of them, such as Nicolas Maupas (Vittorio) and Fotinì Peluso (Sofia), they were all newcomers: 18 youngsters all experiencing a set for the very first time.
How did you adapt the Norwegian series to fit with Italian tastes?
The Norwegian series is more modest: videos are talked about but never seen, whereas I got up close to the skin and the sweat of these youngsters, I got my hands dirty; if there was a video, it needed to be seen, like a sexual relationship. Then there’s the passionate side of the story, which is a storyline through and through; that of Vittorio, who’s a perpetrator but also a victim of his family and of his impulses which have never been benefitted from guidance; it’s a story about passion, and we show it. Our screenwriters also shone a spotlight on one particularly important factor: the group, the family, the relationships, from which revenge porn victims tend to remove themselves, isolating themselves. Our version is more sensual and sullies itself more with the lives of teenagers from an emotional point of view. I had the freedom to go slightly further, to look behind closed doors, and I’m thankful to my producers for this. We also added many things, and improvised. For example, there’s the role played by the teacher Mr. Mori (Luciano Scarpa), who wasn’t such a developed character in the original film, but I really wanted to expand his part: he’s that typical adult/non-adult character who’s very warm and empathic, and who’s the only person who wants to help Ada, yet she shuns him.
(Translated from Italian)
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