Romantiche is a comedy in which Pilar Fogliati, who is also the director and wrote the screenplay with Giovanni Veronesi, plays four characters who each tell an area of Rome and a character. The film was presented to journalists today and arrives in theaters on February 23rd.
When Charles Verdone he directed Big, Big and Verdone, said that characters like those who populated his first episodic comedies hardly existed in Italy anymore, because reality had become less and less interesting and people more and more aggressive, cynical and unpleasant. Fortunately, not everyone thinks the same way, and today it’s the turn of the thirty-year-old Pilar Fogliati bring to the cinema a gallery of overwhelming portraits that arise from a careful observation of the variegated social fabric of Rome. When I was younger Pilar she frequented different circles and always felt a little uncomfortable. Some of the girls she has known have become fictional characters and four of her appear in her first film as a director, which she co-wrote with John Veronesi. Out Feb. 23 via Vision Distribution, Romantic follows the vicissitudes of Palermo Eugeniaaspiring screenwriter who lives in Pigneto, di Raisinswho belongs to the aristocracy and lives between Rome and a country village, of the good girl from Guidonia Michela and the pariolina Tazia, strong-willed and “command”. The director tells us about these women on the occasion of the presentation of the film to the Roman press. She is John Veronesi they are accompanying the comedy around Italy, in a tour of about 30 stages in which even the public who do not know, for example, the differences between the southern and northern parts of the capital enjoyed seeing the film.
“We were curious to understand if in other cities people would be able to recognize themselves in characters who live in Rome” – he explained Pilar. “To our surprise, we discovered that viewers had understood and appreciated them because their environment came before the dialect. In short, we tried to trap Eugenia, Raisins, Michela e Tazia in a series of clichés, and we did it through tics, a certain language and customs. Our goal, however, was to make them all human, recognizable. After each screening, we asked the audience which of the four young women was the most recognizable. Raisins e Tazia they were the ones they liked best. The younger people, on the other hand, especially appreciated Eugenia. In the part of the film about Eugenia there is the ghost of failure, the fear of precariousness, the idea of not making it, the desire to never give up, in short, the “you can do it” philosophy that is typical of my generation. In general, each protagonist asks himself: ‘Am I special? Do I have something more than the others?’ These are problematic questions, which can send a lot into a crisis”.
Per John Veronesi the experience of Romantic constitutes a unicum in his career as a screenwriter, because he wrote and made films in which the protagonists (and directors) were male. The filmmaker to whom we owe Manual of love and related sequels, he has already directed the films in episodes.
“The idea of a film in episodes didn’t scare me”- he says in fact – “because I happened to make them. And in any case what interested me the most – as a sixty-year-old male who has always written comedies together with male comedians in which women were relegated to marginal roles – it was being able to change, do a double backflip, shift perspective and see everything from a female point of view.I found myself for the first time treating men like I’ve never treated them before , that is, like assholes. Men should see these films, because they would realize how women see us and predict our behavior. This is the film of a 30-year-old girl, and I really put myself in service , as I haven’t done for a long time, of a person, lowering the crest. I put myself there and I stayed there until the end, giving myself, as a man, clamorous beatings. In reality it was Pilar who gave me clamorous beatings. I took them and thought: maybe they’re good for me.
“At a certain point” – intervenes the leaves – “during one of the screenings, a guy said to me: ‘Listen, look, I liked the film, but I’ll tell you, men come off a bit moronic, they’re a bit of pheasants’. To which I thought : ok, you point out to me something I’ve never thought about while writing, and that is that I’ve really made men stupid, and that’s not because I think they’re idiots, but because they have an ancillary function in my story”. Then the director and screenwriter returns the compliments to Veronese: “The fact that Giovanni he had the desire and the curiosity to write with a 30-year-old girl is incredible for me, he is an artist who never stops searching. He is curious and wants to get into trouble, for example by looking after something he knows less, or that interests him less. He became passionate about these characters in a way that was incomprehensible and moving for me.”
John Veronesi she immediately said yes to Pilar Fogliati because he felt that theirs would have been a special artistic union: “If I were to be reborn as an animal – he explained – “I would be a lagotto, which is a truffle dog, because in my life I have always smelled good things. For example, I happened to meet Francis Nuti: I smelled him and realized that my place was there next to him. Then, when Francesco took a bad drift, another train arrived, which was to Leonardo Pieraccioni, who was nobody at the time. Once again I sniffed and realized that there was something there that could interest me too. Finally, when I met Pilar, his train was very important to me, because this time too I smelled an extraordinary talent. I like living among talents, together with the people I meet and who I think have a lot to say”.
Obviously John Veronesi put his experience at the disposal of an artist who, despite her abilities, was nonetheless making her debut behind the camera: “We built the film together with Fabrizio Donvito and to Vision in a very minute, very specific way, because it was useless to send Pilar in jeopardy. He would have been foolish. There is no speculation in the film. NoWe didn’t think, for example, of a feminist film that would appeal to womenA me Pilar it made me laugh, as a comedian who makes me laugh always made me laugh, and therefore, as I already said, I based myself on this instinct that has always brought me luck”.
Let’s go back to Charles Verdone. If we have mentioned him it is because his films have influenced us Romanticas he explained Pilar Fogliati: “I began to love cinema by seeing the films of Charles VerdoneIt’s a genre that I really like. In Italy many masterpieces have been made on characters that belong to different types. So yes, actually the first cinema of Charles Verdone was my reference. And anyway, when one tries to do something for the first time, one is obviously trying to imitate one’s own myths, and it would have been silly to try to imitate someone else. I’ve always loved the bitterness that Carlo she put into her comic characters, which as a spectator I found funny and at the same time moving”.
At the end of the meeting, a journalist asked the director and protagonist of Romantic what was the most difficult movie character to play. There leaves he doesn’t even have a moment’s hesitation and replies: “I think Taziabecause there will be some things about me in the Tazia, but in general a woman who yells things in your face is far from me. She’s assertive, which is a quality I don’t have, and I like that my characters don’t look much like me.” Then Pilar aadds: “I’ve met many Uvette and many Tazi in my childhood, then, at the age of 18, I entered the Silvio D’Amico Academy of Dramatic Arts in Rome, where I met many Eugenie. In that world populated by intellectuals and artists, I felt like a foreigner. I felt out of place when I was with Tazi and with the Uvette, and also when I entered the Academy. Bourgeois circles are often called snobbish, but there’s snobbery even when you’re dealing with art, with aspiring actors. I must add to all this the fact that I have lived for a long time in Mentana, near Guidonia, and therefore I was lucky enough to go through all the Roman environments that are in the film. For Eugenia the speech is different. I frequented Palermo a lot because I was engaged to a Palermitan for 5 years. That accent was perfect for the character. Because like her he is a bit “annoyed”.