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Journey to the end of love

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Michele Placido

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- Michele Placido in Venice with Un viaggio chiamato amore, the story of the crazy passion between Sibilla Aleramo and Dino Campana

Michele Placido

Love is all in Michele Placido’s latest film Un Viaggio Chiamato Amore, starring the latest “hot” couple of Italian cinema, Laura Morante and Stefano Accorsi. Set in the early years of the last century, it is the story of a passionate and scandalous love affair between writer, Sibilla Aleramo and poet, Dino Campana, and is the second of Italy’s three films in competition in Venice 59.

Un Viaggio Chiamato Amore is the fifth film you have directed. Is this the film you always dreamed of making when you started out?
“I never thought I would ever direct a film. My debut, Pummarò was a tale of immigration that became known as a tale of militancy. I was inspired by what I read in the papers. The same applies to Le amiche del cuore, about teenagers from the suburbs looking for work. It was a little like the films of De Santis or Le Ragazze di Piazza di Spagna. I focused on the poetic nature of the characters and in my work, I am always looking for the emotions that extend beyond the mere screenplay.”

Which director would you most like to be compared to?
“Italy has a very exciting tradition of filmmaing with poets like Fellini, Visconti and De Sica. More than anyone else, I was influenced by the work of one of my contemporaries, Marco Bellocchio. We worked together on L’uomo dal fiore in bocca. He inspired the tough, no-nonsense characters in my subsequent films, one of whom is Dino Campana.”

What do you think of recent attempts to bring more culture into the purely industrial aspects of filmmaking?
“I would like to be inspired by an industry. In Italy we have both organisational and productive skills but where are the Pontis and De Laurentiis’ of yesteryear?”

What do your films have in common with the Italian tradition of realism?
“We always remember people like De Sica and Visconti and forget about “lesser” exponents of realism like Pontecorvo, Maselli, Rosi, Zurlini and Petri. Realism civilised us and tried to improve Italian society. That is also what I am trying to do. I’d like to be remembered for this love story between Sibilla Aleramo and Dino Campana. I loved Magnolia, a film that focuses on the reality and problems of the human condition with sincerity.”

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