30th FID Marseille | 2019
"We crossed miles of countryside on foot, learning to know every nuance of the landscape and its features, we ourselves sewed the costumes, fabricated the objects, learned how to use makeup and special effects."
CREATURA DOVE VAI? (CREATURE, WHERE ARE YOU GOING? | Dirs. Gaia Formenti & Marco Piccarreda
Première Mondiale / World Premiere
The sun is blazing, so much so the landscape has been shaped by it: aridity all around. In this characteristic setting of the South of Italy, the film takes place in the late 19th century.
Hello Gaia & Marco, many thanks for talking to TNC, how are you doing?
Marco & Gaia: Very happy to be here, in Marseille.
Are you looking forward to bringing Creature, where are you going? to FID 2019?
M: This selection comes really, really, really unexpected. From now on, everything will be a gift and a surprise to us.
This will be the World Premiere of your film does this add any extra pressure on you?
G: A sweet pressure indeed, resulting from the desire to share the thoughts we had during these months.
As ever, the meeting with the audience is a moment of discovery. Sometimes, one starts to understand what has really been done just through the eyes and the words of the others.
This intimate exchange is the nicest aspect of festivals.
What do you hope to take away from your experience at FID 2019?
M: As we do not have production resources, our way of working is inevitably a lonely one.
Also, for this reason, the possibility to show CWAYG? in public, to share it, to make it a collective moment is an exciting experience for us. The fact that it happens in such a prestigious festival is both flattering and weirding.
CWAYG? is a very personal and at the same time obscure work, which was carried out in a climate of great improvisation.
What we will take away from the FID, we will get it in the theatre, together with the spectators.
Can you tell me a little bit about Creature, where are you going?, what can we expect?
G: CWAYG? can be considered as a failed parable.
An old peasant woman, the Creature, receives a mysterious visit from a Saint who instructs her to make a pilgrimage to an unknown destination.
The meeting between the erudite language of the Saint and the naiveté of the Creature creates misunderstandings and incomprehension, and the Creature gets lost in a metaphysical landscape.
It is a disorienting story, which casts a troubled look on its lead character.
Sometimes ironic, sometimes cynical, other times compassionate.
"As we are alone, ours is a collaboration in which attention, constancy and solidarity play a fundamental and wide-ranging role."
What was the inspiration behind this film?
G: CWAYG? arises out of the crucial encounter with a place, in this case, the white clay ravines in Calabria, in the village
were my grandfather was born.
The visit of this place solidified our inchoate and volatile inspirations.
In some ways, the characters of the film have been extracted from the matter of those places: the light, the taste of time, the atmosphere and the stories linked to them.
“Gente in Aspromonte” by Corrado Alvaro, an early 1900s Calabrian writer, was a powerful source of inspiration.
What was the most challenging part of bringing this film to life?
M: I would not talk about real difficulties, for in our way of working hurdles, as well as accidents and changes of the programme are integral parts of the journey.
It is a wandering in which the film, step by step, takes shape in tortuous and unpredictable ways.
The film was set up and made in one month, in a climate of total immersion in the world we wanted to narrate.
We crossed miles of countryside on foot, learning to know every nuance of the landscape and its features, we ourselves sewed the costumes, fabricated the objects, learned how to use makeup and special effects.
The real challenge is to go the whole hog, without getting lost or discouraged (still, the reasons for dejection are not lacking). To live out any unexpected event, any defeat, as a possibility for the advent of something new, more alive and vibrant.
To remain receptive and proactive until the end, until the final copy is printed: this is the real challenge.
Have you always had a passion for filmmaking?
M & G: Both in CittàGiardino and in CWAYG? we hold rather outlined roles, which are the result of our experiences and our individual routes.
However, for as long as it takes to transform a vague intuition into a finished film, the flow of ideas, the circle of energies and the exercise of daily work never stop.
As we are alone, ours is a collaboration in which attention, constancy and solidarity play a fundamental and wide-ranging role.
It’s a way of working in which the willingness to carry heavy bags for kilometres across the mountains affects the film as much as a good writing idea or a happy editing intuition.
Looking back at your work is there anything you would like to do differently or change?
M: Any kind of errors occurs at every step, especially when you work with limited resources.
And in the film, inevitably, there are signs of them.
However, too many reconsiderations and the pursuit of an abstract idea of perfection is a luxury that we cannot afford (though we would like to!)
Thus one learns to play with limits, to look at the defects with curiosity, to scrutinize them, to understand their history and reasons.
We have learned a lot from this exercise.
All and all, what we do not like, what we may call error, when looked at carefully, turns out to be as rich of meaning and charm as a crystalline idea.
What is the best piece of advice you would offer an emerging filmmaker?
G: It’s difficult to give advice.
I teach in various film schools and what I usually do is to transform lectures, in which I do not believe too much, into practical workshops.
I try to support my students’ passion, to push them to believe in their imagination through and through.
Perhaps my only advice is: have fun like in a very serious game.
And finally, what do you hope people will take away from this film?
M: CWAYG? opens with lengthy images of clouds, transformed by the wind.
Clouds are a beautiful metaphor for the most beautiful relationship between spectator and cinematic telling.
A free relationship, in which each of us is called upon to project on the screen our own individual history, our obsessions.
With the willingness to be transported elsewhere.
The same that I wish to us and to all CWAYG? spectators.