Nisimazine Cannes 15th - 26th MAY 2013
‘Salvo’ by Antonio Piazza and Fabio Grassadonia
A Magazine by NISI MASA, European Network Of Young Cinema
Salvo Fruitvale Station Antonio Piazza and Fabio Grassadonia
picture of the day
Fernando Vasquez (Portugal)
“Old habits die hard”, so they say. Vices tend to be even harder to let go apparently. Imagine then one that has been prolonged for eight solid years, pretty much since the conception of a daring and ambitious project started off by a group of film obsessed friends. Eight years later it is almost impossible to think of Nisimazine and not at least envisage a short reference to the Cannes Film Festival Special Edition. NISI MASA – The European Network of Young Cinema has been “battling” in the Cannes front alongside its dedicated and tireless army of young European writers, who year-byyear have been courageously facing the ins-and-outs of the world’s largest and most influential film festival. This never-ending search for what the new generations of filmmakers, from all corners of the planet, are doing or heading towards, leads us straight to the inevitable Caméra D´Or Competition, which just in the last few years opened many doors to now household names such as Steve McQueen, Etgar Keret or Miranda July, only to name a few.
2013 will be no exception, and Nisimazine is infiltrated deep in the Theatre Debussy, Miramar and the Croisette to make sure the world knows what is going on. Shorts are another frequent addiction of ours and as such the good habbit will be feed as usual. Nisimazine Cannes 2013 is preparing a full and extensive coverage of the Official Shorts Competition, The Cinefondation, Quinzaine and La Semaine de la Critique´s short film programs. With the largest team ever, composed by some of the promising writers and photographers from France, Germany, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom, the yearly ritual is being fulfilled, following every detail of the process religiously. A full and all-embracing Ebook on some of the best works by the elite of young promising filmmakers is on its way. Meanwhile, here is a first of many glimpses to heighten your appetite before the main dish is served. Enjoy!
15th - 26th May 2013 /# 1 A magazine published by NISI MASA in the framework of a film journalism workshop for young Europeans with the support of the ‘Youth in Action’ programme of the EU
Director & Editor Fernando Vasquez Layout Lucia Ros Tutor Lee Marshall Photography Lucía Ros
CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS ISSUE Robyn Davies, Filippo Spreafico
99, rue du Faubourg Saint-Dénis 75010, Paris, France Phone: +33 (0)9 60 39 63 38 in Cannes: +33 (0) 6 32 61 70 26 email@example.com www.nisimasa.com
reviews Fruitvale Station Ryan Coogler (USA) – Un Certain Regard
Plucked straight from Sundance, the much-anticipated Fruitvale Station tells the story of 22-year-old Oscar Grant, a turbulent but good-willed young man who was fatally shot by police officers in Oakland, California several years ago. Ryan Coogler´s first feature is a modern tragedy that walks the line of convention until its explosive and subversive end. The tale of troubled youths trying to make a change for the better is not a new one, and Fruitvale Station begins in a largely familiar way. We follow Oscar through a not-so-typical day, during which he vows to quit his life of petty crime, remain faithful to his girlfriend and be a good father to his daughter. Yet, these scenes you might have seen countless times before manage to retain originality through a couple of methods, both of which are essential to the film’s success. First, there’s the film’s focus on human emotion. We’re presented with frequent scenes of interaction between Oscar and the people in his life allowing for a sympathetic point of view of an otherwise ‘bad man’. Perhaps even more significant is the real subtlety behind the overall execution. The film never seems to be forcing sentimentality upon the viewer, allowing instead personal conclusions to be drawn about how affective the subject matter is. It’s very discreet about building a sense of community throughout, from the in-
teractions previously mentioned to impromptu party scenes on the subway. This makes the ultimate act of violence all the more destructive, not just an effect on a single person but an intrusion into a whole community, respecting the viewer’s understanding rather than spoon-feeding them controversy. The performances are collectively solid, with Michael B. Jordan succeeding in focussing on his honest yet feisty character, Octavia Spencer strong as ever in a matriarchal role commanding respect, and Melonie Diaz giving a fraught and tender performance. All are aided in part by Coogler’s effortless script and his handle on natural dialogue.
by Robyn Davies (UK)
script that has its strength in a teaching and not in the narration. For this reason Salvo’s story responds to a sociological reading that most probably speaks only to an audience that is already well aware of the cultural stillness afflicting Sicily and more generally Italy.
A. Piazza and F. Grassadonia (Italy) - Critic’s Week In the summer’s heat of Palermo, Salvo is the merciless mafia hit man who decides to spare his recent victim’s blind sister, Rita. The ancient theme of rebelling against one’s fate returns in this variant of the story, that conceptually uses quite well the notion of Salvo’s ethical and Rita’s physical blindness to explore the possibilities of change intrinsic to our human nature. In fact, the trumpeted notion of ‘salvation’ (Salvo in Italian is also a verb, ‘to save’) from a brutally oppressing Palermo does not find its filmic realization. Plot and characters do not convey the emancipatory message and rather seem to take far too literally a
The non-developing plot unfortunately eclipses the film’s synesthetic and cinematographic efforts, aimed at technically rendering the character’s process of ‘de-blinding’. The subjective perspectives of both characters are conveyed with an impressive game of chiaroscuros, first person shooter cameras and a plethora of diegetic sounds that are added to the fine camera work with stills that echo early renaissance compositions (in one scene bodies assembled in triangular fashion as in Paolo Uccello’s Battaglia di San Romano). Sara Serraiocco’s laudable performance consigns to her hands the ticking heart of the film, made of long takes that keep the viewer’s suspense high only during the first twenty minutes. Overall the film does not convince, despite its intended message. Grassadonia and Piazza’s emotional investment into a story of their land “devoid of misused stereotypes”, as they say, probably diminished the necessary lucidity to fully frame their characters’ dilemma of emancipation. A discreet level of technical virtuosity and the discovery of the promising Sara Serraiocco might give the Italian directorial duo the necessary ambition to fully nail down their next narrative attempt.
by Filippo Spreafico (Italy/Germany)
interview alternatives, a society which is in turn reflected in Rita and Salvo’s different blindness’s. The collision of the two produces something impossible, forcing the characters to create a new form of life that the world they live in does not allow. Here we find the tragic. However, this is a tragedy that is not complete as it transforms into ridicule, it becomes ironic. The perennial reiteration of the tragedy of failed renovation becomes in fact a farce. Farce and tragedy are the two indivisible traits of Sicilian culture.
Antonio Piazza & Fabio Grassadonia
Directors of Salvo (Italy) - Critic’s Week
As italian cinema slowly recovers some of its past glory, Filippo Spreafico spoke to one of its most promising duo. Rita, the short you made in 2010 thanks to the support of European Short Pitch, already contained most of the elements of the feature Salvo. What is the process that brought you from Rita to Salvo? Fabio: In reality we made Rita after having written Salvo. Since we worked a lot on the characters, we made Rita in order to test some of the most fundamental scenes of Salvo and most specifically to reflect on how to visually render the perspective of a character who does not see. Our choices convinced us and helped us to secure the necessary funding to make the feature. Salvo was
written between 2008 and 2009 and the short was shot in summer 2009. The film’s sense of paralysis is palpable both in the dialogues and in the depiction of Palermo. Is Rita’s blindness a metaphor for this inescapable condition, a sort of tragic and ineffable fate? Fabio: We are from Palermo and we strongly questioned ourselves on what kind of society our characters would have found themselves. This society is oppressed and lives in this oppression without knowing anything else. It is a blind society that does not look for
Antonio: Also this sense of immobility derives from a general condition felt throughout the country. This impossibility of change derives from a certain social context. We believe in the possibility of individual change through a path that in our film is described by redemption and the quest of freedom. The film’s theme is imprisonment. There are many prisons in the film: Salvo lives in a tiny room; Rita is put in a prison cell. But the film speaks of the possibility for the protagonists to take a free choice that obviously is in conflict with the world they belong to. In the end Rita survives and leaves and will probably be able to take free choices. Therefore, the hope is there, but it is linked to the change of the individual, it must be your change, your personal responsibility and it is not up to social or political change, in which we believe less. So we can say that Salvo is Rita’s savior? Antonio: Yes, hers and of himself. Fabio: The roles are mixed, complicated, upturned. Destinies are indissolubly linked together. True, Salvo does not manage to leave but the change that the meeting of the two produces allows him to give a full and totalizing sense to his life. You finally arrived at Cannes. What do you expect to happen now for your future projects? Antonio: Salvo starts as a very local story but then one realizes that it contains universal themes that go well beyond its geographic connotation0 Fabio: So we believe Cannes will help Salvo being shown also outside of Italy. We are counting on the possibility of making a second film which we are already working on.
Interview by Filippo Spreafico