ITALY / FRANCE
2013 / WORLD PREMIERE
1H43 - IN ITALIAN
A hitman for the Sicilian Mafia, Salvo is solitary, cold and ruthless. When he sneaks into a house to eliminate a man, he discovers Rita, a young blind girl who powerlessly stands by while her brother is assassinated.
Salvo tries to close those disturbing eyes, staring at him yet unseeing. Something impossible happens. Rita's eyes see for the first time.
Salvo decides to spare her life. From then on, these two beings, both haunted by the world they belong to, are linked together forever.
director: Fabio Grassadonia & Antonio Piazza
screenplay: Fabio Grassadonia & Antonio Piazza
cinematography: Daniele Ciprì
editing: Desideria Rayner
sound: Guillaume Sciama
production design: Marco Dentici
Luigi Lo Cascio
Italian nationality. Born on June 8, 1968.
Italian nationality. Born on February 24, 1970.
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Who are you, Antonio Piazza and Fabio Grassadonia?
We are writers and our studies were not specifically in film but in literature and storytelling. For many years we have been working as writers and as script consultants for a few Italian production companies. In 2009 we directed our first short film and Salvo is our first feature film as directors. We still consider ourselves mostly as writers and we do think that the artistic success of a film starts with the script.
You worked with Daniele Ciprì, one of the best Italian DOP. What were his intentions in terms of atmosphere?
Not only is Daniele Ciprì an amazing and generous DOP, he is also from Palermo like us and he has always tried in his own films to tell our city avoiding any possible cliché. We especially agreed on the idea of playing with different genres, not only in terms of story but also with its cinematic representation. The noir, first of all (the mise en scene of the house of Rita as a house of shadows is an intentional use of the genre and Daniele Ciprì is the Italian master of “chiaroscuro”); the love story; the black comedy provided by the lower middle class couple who protect the mafia killer’s day to day existence, acting as both guardians and jailors within their petty and grotesque world; finally, with the help of the epic and deserted landscapes of inland Sicily, we have toyed with spaghetti western settings and visual image.
Salvo could be a distant cousin of Melville’s Samurai. Was it a conscious filiation?
Yes. Melville is one of our favourite filmmakers. And we had in mind Le Samurai, especially conceiving the character of Salvo. The very first scene of Salvo in his room, a larder that has been converted into a confined makeshift bedroom, is an homage to the first scene of Le Samurai.
||interview by Pamela Pianezza