Cinema for me is…
Denis in 23 Frames
1. Describe yourself in ten words.
I’m a motivated, diligent elf napping in santaclausland.
2. Your best quality? Your worst habit?
Precision, in either case.
3. Your dream job?
Film director and video editor.
4. What do you like most about your country?
Daily news and history (which is the same thing but projected into the past). You never get bored. And directors find inspiration too.
5. Your favorite dish in your country?
A parent cannot pick a favorite child.
6. Which word or phrase in your native language do you like the most and what does it mean?
“Hai voluto la bicicletta? E adesso pedala!” or just “Pedala!”: “You wanted the bike? Now you’ve got to ride it!”. Head down and work hard.
7. What European capital have you visited lately?
I’ve lived in Paris, but not so lately.
8. Other than your own, which European country would you love to live in?
France. Solid film industry and tasty food.
9. What does Europe mean to you? 3 values.
Cultural roots, social stability and free movement.
10. What film made you fall in love with cinema?
“Galeotto fu Stanley”. (Stanley Kubrick films).
11. Your favorite film theatre? What do you like about it?
The Arcadia of Melzo for the high quality of screenings and the Anteo Palazzo del Cinema for the rich schedule of movies in original version.
12. Who is your movie hero?
Mabuse from Die Tausend Augen des Dr. Mabuse (Fritz Lang, 1960, DE).
13. Which movie director would you like to be?
Me in twenty years.
14. Briefly describe your favorite scene.
A dusty desert road, full of empty wooden chairs. A man is waiting, holding a bunch of binoculars. A police car arrives smashing all the chairs one by one. Then it stops. A police officer comes out of the trunk and grabs a glass of water he will never drink. Addressing directly the spectators he explains that in cinema, or at least in the best movies, stories are based on countless unexplained events. The beginning of Rubber (Quentin Dupieux, 2010, FR) is a surrealist non-sense: probably the worst among the best scenes or the best among the worst. It doesn’t work precisely because it explains too much. Yet it delivers the right message: it’s all about organized chaos in the end. The coin toss scene from No country for old men (Ethan and Joel Coen, 2007, US) would have worked fine as well.
15. What are the 3 best European films you have seen in the last year?
Import/Export (Ulrich Siedl, 2007, AT)
La Mort de Louis XIV(Albert Serra, 2016, FR)
Gräns (Ali Abbasi, 2018, DK)
Honorable mention: La terra dell’abbastanza (Damiano and Fabio D’Innocenzo, 2018, IT)
16. Which film character do you most identify with?
To find such a character we should ask Daniel Plainview to prepare a milkshake of Theodore Twombly and Sheldon Cooper with a sprinkle of Fitzcarraldo.
17. Your favorite soundtrack or song?
Any piece of music able to enhance images and take the story on a new level, like the soundtracks of Aleksandr Nevskij and Fargo (Ethan and Joel Coen, 1996, US) or The Lobster (Yorgos Lanthimos, 2015, GR).
18. If you had to live in a movie, which one would you like it to be?
The pompous craftwork of an epic worldmaker, like Lawrence of Arabia (David Lean, 1962, GB).
19. Your life becomes a bio-pic. Who plays the role of you?
Tom Holland (with blue color contact lenses) or Tye Sheridan (after strict diet) for a huge American production or a non-professional actor for a tiny Italian production. Cinematic distortions.
20. Which talent would you most like to have?
21. What is your most treasured possession?
My precious… Gollum!
22. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Having established a clear target in life.
23. What is your motto?
A wise man once said: “Mai tornare indietro, neanche per prendere la rincorsa”, a quotation from the Italian illustrator Paz who was freely interpreting the thought of Che Guevara. “Rincorsa” is when you run to get a momentum, for instance before jumping. The phrase warns not to go back, not even to get a rincorsa. It sounds like a contradiction: to get a rincorsa you should always step back before running. That’s what makes it meaningful.