Zampaglione: From pop to noir comedy
by Vittoria Scarpa
"Everyone thought I was crazy”, said musician Federico Zampaglione, leader of popular Italian band Tiromancino, referring to his directorial debut, Nero bifamiliare [+see also:
film profile] (lit. “Black Duplex”), a noir comedy he also co-wrote (with producer Rudolph Gentile) and scored.
The film, which will be released locally on April 13 on 180 screens by Moviemax, stars Zampaglione’s companion and “muse”, Claudia Gerini, alongside Luca Lionello, Max Giusti, Cinzia Leone, Gianfranco Barra and Remo Remotti.
In fact, the director’s musical background emerges often during the film, many scenes of which feature his songs. “No, I didn’t want to make a ‘mega-video’ with this film”, said Zampaglione, who has directed his own videos before, in response to journalists’ questions. "However, I think that certain scenes work better with music, they convey immediate sensations".
A lover of the most disparate genres – from the “commedia italiana” of the 1970s (by Mario Monicelli, Luigi Comencini, etc.) to the horror of Dario Argento, from Sergio Leone’s westerns (to which he pays tribute in the film, albeit in a somewhat forced manner) to Quentin Tarantino’s pulp – Zampaglione took inspiration for this period tragicomedy primarily from Spanish cinema, from Almodòvar and the dark atmospheres of Alex de la Iglesia.
The film comically depicts the exasperation to which conflicts between neighbours can lead. Above all, the problems of understanding and acceptance they hide when two diverse cultures come face to face; in this case two families, one middle class and from Rome, the other working class and made up in part of immigrants.
Zampaglione’s foray into cinema is a “passionate [one] of love and respect”, which perhaps would not have come about if he had never met Gerini, whom he considers to be "one of Europe’s most versatile actresses".
(Translated from Italian)
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