Salvatores: "My bad father, who teaches hate with love"
A rainy, desolate landscape in the North of Italy is the setting for Gabriele Salvatores‘ hotly-awaited new film, As God Commands, based on the 495-page novel of the same name by Niccolò Ammaniti, who co-wrote the screenplay along with the director and Antonio Manzini. On his second screen adaptation with the Oscar-winning filmmaker -- the first was the acclaimed I'm Not Scared [+see also:
interview: Gabriele Salvatores
film profile] In 2003: Ammaniti explains, "We decided to use only the key characters".
They are Rino (Filippo Timi), the bad father, his son Cristiano (newcomer Alvaro Caleca), and his mentally retarded friend Quattro Formaggi (Elio Germano). The result is a Shakespearean threesome: Rino, the wounded animal who "teaches [his son] hate with so much love" (in Ammaniti's words) then Quattro Formaggi who plays the role of the Fool, elf-like but given to sudden bursts of rage. The three drift around identical houses all in a row, factories, shopping malls, and into the woods, losing their souls and getting mixed up in a horrendous crime.
"I find that Ammaniti's novels possess an ancestral dimension, an archetype that goes well beyond a portrayal of Italy today by way of the noir genre," Salvatores claimed during a press conference this morning in Rome. "On the one hand, all the figures show that 80% of all crimes are committed within the family: love turns dangerous. On the other, I felt moved by a Latin sense of pietas for these characters.”
The result is high drama, achieved with long tracking shots in the rain and mud, interrupted and reassembled in the editing; lean, fast-paced dialogue; moments of silence; and rapid-fire monologues by the three protagonists with quite complex characters to play.
(Translated from Italian)
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