As part of the Gala programme of the 51st FEST, the film ‘Caravaggio Shadow’ (Lombra di Caravaggio) directed by Michele Placido is shown in the Belgrade halls, and can be seen in the cinema Cineplexx Galerija on 28 February and 1 March in the Yugoslav Film Archive. Federica Vincenti, producer of the film, spoke to the accredited journalists of FEST about the Italian-French co-production.
‘I am very happy to be here at FEST, which I know a lot about. I know Michele Placido is popular with you and he is sorry he could not come, but he has a play tomorrow and we could not risk letting 20 people down because of a flight delay. He sends you his greetings’, stated Federica Vincenti at the beginning of the meeting with journalists.
‘I have been working with Michele Placido for many years and he is truly a genius as an actor and a successful director, and when he told me that he wanted to embark on the madness of writing a script for a film about Caravaggio, I knew I wanted to be a part of this project’, said the producer.
She stated that 13 million euros had been spent on the film, which was a lot even for Italian conditions, where ten million was the average film budget, adding that, in addition to Riccardo Scamarcio, the big star of European and French cinema, Isabelle Huppert, played in the film.
According to her, it is not a classic biographical film, but something that leans more towards a thriller.
‘Thanks to Placido, the films dramaturgy is very fluid, the plot flows. A special segment of the film was the research work, which particularly attracts me, because I am a lover of art, painting, art history, and that part was certainly the most interesting to me’, she said, adding that for the film it had been necessary to make 17 reproductions of Caravaggios paintings with original colors and dimensions for which permission from all the museums and galleries of the world that owned the paintings of this artist had had to be obtained. She stated that instead of the standard seven or eight weeks, the preparation of ‘Caravaggios Shadow’ had lasted for as many as 20 weeks.
‘Those were very complex preparations, work on costumes, scenography. We prepared extremely well so that the shooting lasted only 11 weeks’, revealed the producer.
‘In this film, we have a character who is an investigator and questions all the friends and enemies of Caravaggio. It resembles a thriller, which is so characteristic of Michel Placido. Without such a story in the script, the film & Caravaggios Shadow; would be just another biographical drama, and that was not our goal. That is why there is the Shadow, because it is everything that darkens and hides a talent’, she said.
She told the journalists it had been intended for the ball to fall from the ceiling in one scene. ‘It was complicated to do, but I did not want to give up on the idea. I said to Placido: “Do you want a ball that falls from the ceiling? You are going to have a ball that falls from the ceiling.”
We, therefore, provided cranes and everything that was needed to shoot that scene. That is why with Caravaggios Shadow; we go beyond the usual, we push the boundaries’, concluded Federica Vincenti.