White Nights on The Pier: the law of love
by Giovanni Melogli
- A night owl, a woman seduced and abandoned, a mobile phone and a light house – these are the ingredients that make up Paul Vecchiali’s new film competing at Locarno
Inspired by the works of Bresson and Visconti, Paul Vecchiali endeavours to take on Dostoyevsky’s White Nights. In his film adaptation, White Nights on The Pier [+see also:
film profile], competing at the 67th Locarno International Film Festival, Vecchiali uses passages from Notes from Underground and The Idiot with the aim of highlighting the masochism that permeates and unites many works by the great Russian writer.
Every night, a night owl on a year’s sabbatical in a port town goes out for a walk along the jetty. There, he meets a young woman who is waiting for the man she fell in love with. For four nights, as real as they are dreamt, they talk about life and love. Natacha and Fedor are hauled by Dostoyevsky into the abyss of the human soul where love is much scarier. Like a dance; spinning, coming together, breaking apart, supporting one another and finally separating, leaving only the sound of two souls that had once touched.
The two characters “feed off the pleasure caused by their sadness”, in this way portraying the masochism which, according to the director, is a distinctive feature of Dostoyevsky’s work.
The film, produced by Dialectik, is considered by many critics to be “dostoevskyesk”, as Vecchiali so proudly reported in a press conference… the problem is that Dostoyevsky wasn’t the director!
(Translated from Italian)