Adelmo torna da me (IT)

Directed by Carlo Virzì
Ansedonia and Roma, June 2005

Carlo Virzì – Director
I was offered to make a film on a book I had read and enjoyed very much. It just happened; I was made this proposal without my even asking. I was working around films but I never thought I would ever end up behind the camera —or maybe as a hobby, but not in a professional way. This is the story of a ‘non-love’, the sentimental adventure of a teenager from Rome on holidays with her family in Argentario in the 80’s. She leaves Rome with something in mind, giving her first kiss, and the chosen ‘victim’ is the young local who cleans the pool of her parents’ villa. He seems obedient and easy-going, which makes him a reasonable target. Thus, a seduction process starts on the part of thirteen-year old Camilla to conquer the young guy, called Adelmo. But I don’t want to spoil it for you…

 

Teresa Ciabatti – Writer
This book is clearly biographical; it is based on my own teenage years. It is difficult to describe how I felt about the character when I saw the film, for it was like seeing myself at age thirteen on a big screen. On the one hand, I was really moved, especially by her —but I had many other feelings. The novel aims at describing the life of a thirteen-year-old girl of the upper class in a realistic way. What appears then are weaknesses, lacks, and fears —three elements which I reckon are too seldom dealt with in relation with the upper class, maybe for fear of not escaping the classic cliché of the nasty superficial rich guy…in any case, it is necessary to transcend that and see a reality which is in fact common to everybody from whatever social background. At thirteen, there are girls who already understand everything about men and how to handle them (you need to be evanescent and mysterious), and others who don’t… I was part of the second group. I tended to obsess about the guys I liked. I would pick one and never give him rest, following him everywhere, making anonymous or silent phone-calls. Eventually, I was the victim of my own behaviour.

 

Blasco Giurato – Cinematographer
For me, it was easy. In general, creating a film implies that the team decides together how to do it, but for this film, I already had all the images in mind. We are using bright colours to imitate the kind of photography used in the 80’s. It was all very easy to put together. When ideas are clear, they serve the story. Nowadays, we use fast reel because it is more convenient. Unfortunately, we had big problems to work with the sunlight, so I decided to rely on an ‘antique’ formula less sensitive to the light. To allow the actors to use their eyes even in bright daylight, we had to use filters and lessen the contrasts; it helps them, for they are all beginners. The actress has particularly bright eyes, which makes it difficult to focus a light on her, so we softened the lights to allow her to express herself.

 

Gigio Alberti – Actor
The name Raimondo Florinelli Nardi says a lot about my character. He is a popular successful man, therefore has a specific way, as all important people, to relate to the others: he must have what he wants when he wants. He is used to having people below him and to being looked up to by them, which naturally makes him demanding and more difficult to approach. He is very self-absorbed. Success has this effect, if everybody praises one for this or that reason, that person will start to think he or she is superior, which will prevent him or her from having normal relationships, perceiving the others’ pains or difficulties, etc. Although this guy is writing a book about the education of adolescents, he has big problems with his own daughter and far from being able to solve this, he cannot even grasp it. He lives in another dimension, a couple of miles away from the surface of the Earth, and does not even notice it.

 

Gabriela Belisario – Actress
I had auditioned for Caterina va in città —in which I only got a walk-on part— and was filed amongst their videotapes. When they started casting for this film, they found the tape and thought ‘Let’s see if this Gabriela girl can act…’ 800 girls wanted the role, but they chose me… This family is not very happy and does not communicate, which is hard for this girl. There is a tragic moment when she makes up a lie (which is not really a lie) because she really wants Adelmo to understand of state of mind —and it is a good way to get closer to him. This moment is important; that is when Adelmo, out of kindness, takes her out. This moment is important because it is the first time Adelmo and Camilla share something.

 

Andrea Renzi – Actor
I am really happy about this first experience of comedy. This genre requires a lot of team work, trust, and light-heartedness I really like and enjoy exploring. I reckon Carlo and the Virzì family in general represent, for my generation, those who perpetuate best our great tradition of cinema. The main focus of the film is the adolescence of thirteen-year-old Camilla and her little friend Adelmo, after whom the movie was named. What convinced me was the fact that the script also developed the other characters in this 80’s context; indeed, the action takes place in 1987, at a time when Italy was more hedonistic and a little superficial. It is a universal human defect but was more pronounced then.