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"Oil in the backyard, a metaphor for modern-day Italy"

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Marco Pontecorvo • Director


- At the Bif&st in Bari we met Marco Pontecorvo, the director of Tempo instabile con probabili schiarite

Marco Pontecorvo  • Director
(© La Repubblica)

The comedy by Marco Pontecorvo Tempo instabile con probabili schiarite [+see also:
interview: Marco Pontecorvo
film profile
 opened the 2015 edition of the Bari International Film Festival. The film, selected in competition in the International Panorama section of the Bif&st, will be released in cinemas on 2 April and stars Luca Zingaretti, Pasquale Petrolo (from the duo Lillo&Greg), Carolina Crescentini, Lorenza Indovina, with the outstanding participation of John Turturro

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Set in a tranquil town in Le Marche, the film tells the story of two friends who unexpectedly find oil in the backyard of their sofa-making cooperative, on the verge of bankruptcy. The oil turns the village upside down, but above all it jeopardises friendship and the moral and political integrity of the protagonists. It’s a metaphor for the vices, faults and virtues of modern day Italy.

Cineuropa: This film is entirely different from the previous one, Clown [+see also:
film review
film profile
, about children living in the Bucharest underground. Why this choice?
Marco Pontecorvo:
The two films are linked by a similar focus on social issues, but while the first was a drama, this one takes a light, ironic approach. There’s a desire to laugh at ourselves but there’s also a focus on values like friendship and life problems. Oil is a metaphor for something that could leave you spellbound with dangerous consequences.

How did you interest the actors?
I convinced Luca Zingaretti because while chatting I touched on some of the film’s themes simply by taking our lives. And he liked this character of the small businessman who seems unperturbed by everything, but whose life fulfils a parable. 

There’s a reference to Enrico Mattei and obviously that brings to mind Francesco Rosi’s The Mattei Affair.
I grew up with those films about civil engagement. Discussing oil it seemed important to mention it as the controversial death of Mattei, an advocate of national energy independence, is one of the motives that stirs Turturro’s character, in the quest for damages from the big companies.  

In the film there are long scenes about anima manga.
That’s true; one of the themes of the film is the relationship between generations. I thought that it could be a key to showing the father son relationship, with the son’s view of events that include the parent. 

(Translated from Italian)

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