‘Passion’ plays for laughs

Mazzacurati tackles contempo issues in Venice competition comedy

There is somewhat of a paradox in Carlo Mazzacurati’s comedy “The Passion,” which screens today.

The film is about down-and-out director Gianni Dubois (Silvio Orlando) contending with some typically Italian adversities, including an agent who wants him to make a movie starring a young, snotty Silvio Berlusconi-era TV starlet. But unlike Dubois, Mazzacurati did not have to put up with the constraints that can make being a director in Italy demeaning.

Produced by Domenico Procacci, and co-financed by RAI Cinema, the ?4.9 million ($6.2 million) pic shot over nine weeks in Tuscany and briefly in Norway after the complex script was finely honed. Sales are being handled by Fandango Portobello.

“It’s a very painstakingly made film,” said Mazzacurati. “For me it’s emblematic, because living in fear of a creative block has always been part of this job. So in that sense it is autobiographical.”

While rooted in contemporary Italy, “The Passion” draws on age-old Italo ills, avoiding the trap of any political leanings.

“I tried to work on material that had plenty to do with our times, but at the same time I tried to give the impression that gradually the film went into an almost timeless dimension,” he said. “The dynamics of the story needed to be clear; not too tormented or clouded by current events.”

After his small-town racism drama “The Right Distance,” Mazzacurati said he “needed to make a fun movie,” adding, “the film reflects that and also the rapport I developed with the characters, which is more emotional than ironic.”

The only pure comedy in the Venice competition, “The Passion” is Mazzacurati’s fifth time in the running for a Golden Lion.

His last contender was “La Lingua del santo” (Holy Tongue) in 1999.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety

Loading