Fokua : Pietro Marcello = Foco : Pietro Marcello = Focus : Pietro Marcello
From documentary to fiction. From fiction to documentary.
Pietro Marcello is one of the most interesting contemporary filmmakers. In 2019, the film Martin Eden premièred. The character is an adaptation of Jack London’s novel of the same name, yet the story takes place in Italy. Pietro Marcello received various awards for this full-length feature film: the award for best actor at the Venice Film Festival (Luca Marinelli); best film, best director, best actor, and best screenplay at the European Film Awards; and the Golden Giraldillo for best film at the Seville Film Festival. It could be said that, in some ways, Pietro Marcello earned his recognition and fame thanks to Martin Eden, but what were the filmmakers first steps? It is always interesting to retrace a film director’s journey, and this autumn at Tabakalera we will have the opportunity to enjoy Pietro Marcello’s complete filmography.
The director was born in Naples, and studied painting and art history. He wanted to be a painter, but ultimately ended up making films. He took his first steps producing documentaries, and says that was how he learned the main structure of his films: he learned to direct surprises and resolve problems, to be his own camera and make films.
His first full-length feature film was Crossing the Line. According to Pietro Marcello, he made the film because he ran away from home at 15 and took a train to Paris. He loved trains from that moment on because they take you somewhere else while leaving behind the past, as the future remains laid out in front of you.
His second film is a combination of documentary and melodrama. It is called The Mouth of the Wolf, and “tells two stories: the first, a romance between Enzo and Mary, and the main story about the city of Genoa, all through archive images”.
Pietro Marcello’s third film is an homage to a filmmaker he admires: Astavazd Pelesjiani. Marcello creates a portrait of the Armenian director while Pelesjiani remains silent throughout the entire film. It is a beautiful portrait. We could compare this film with For Lucio (2021), where the musician Lucio Dalla is honoured in this latest full-length feature film. In this case, archive images also prevail. As such, we can now draw a connection between Marcello’s films: Italy, archive images, individuals he admires.
In 2015, Pietro Marcello’s leap into fiction was produced. Here, the film was based on a book by writer Guido Piovene, where the relationship between human beings and nature is examined, while simultaneously narrating the history of contemporary Italy and the Carditello castle. It reflects lost beauty with the castle, and the personal individual struggles. In 2019, the previously mentioned Martin Eden came out and, in 2021, the director produced two films. On the one hand is the aforementioned For Lucio, and, on the other, is the film Futura directed together with Francesco Munzi and Alice Rohrwacher. In the latter case, the three directors travelled to Italy to ask teenagers and adolescents about their lives and dreams. As such, the trip depicts a specific country at a specific moment. It is curious as his two last films are documentaries. We could say that another of Pietro Marcello’s trademarks is the continuous journey between documentary and fiction.
We gave Pietro Marcello carte blanche, and he knew what film to offer up: The Spirit of the Beehive from Víctor Erice. The films that filmmakers choose are clues that help us better understand them. What will the relationship between Pietro Marcello and Víctor Erice’s film be? Before hearing his explanation, each of us should imagine a possible response.
Ultimately, we have found a pleasant surprise in this retrospective on Pietro Marcello: as it were, he loves Luis Buñuel and, by chance, the spotlight on Marcello will coincide with the last quarter of Tabakalera’s cycle on Buñuel. So, in a way, in October, November, and December, we can enjoy a conversation between the two great directors in Tabakalera’s Hall.
October 1, Friday, 19:00
Il passaggio della linea, Pietro Marcello, Italy, 2007, 60'
October 21, osteguna, 19:00
La bocca del lupo, Pietro Marcello, Italy, 2009, 76', EU
October 30, larunbata, 19:00
Il silenzio di Pelesjan, Pietro Marcello, Italy, 2011, 52'
November 4, osteguna, 19:00
Bella e perduta, Pietro Marcello, Italy, 2015, 86'
November 27, larunbata, 19:00
Martin Eden, Pietro Marcello, Italy, 2019, 129'
December 2, osteguna, 19:00
Per Lucio, Pietro Marcello, Italy, 2021, 79'
December 16, osteguna, 19:00
Futura, Pietro Marcello, Francesco Munzi, Alice Rohrwacher, Italy, 105’
December 25, larunbata, 19:00
PIETRO MARCELLO: CARTE BLANCHE
El espíritu de la colmena, Víctor Erice, Spain, 1973, 94'