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Marco and Antonio Manetti • Directors

"We're bringing traditional Neapolitan musical drama to the world of cinema"


- VENICE 2017: We chat to Marco and Antonio Manetti, creators of the first Italian musical to be presented in competition at Venice, Love and Bullets

Marco and Antonio Manetti • Directors
(© La Biennale di Venezia - foto ASAC)

The first Italian musical to be presented at the Venice Film Festival, Love and Bullets [+see also:
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interview: Marco and Antonio Manetti
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by Marco and Antonio Manetti, also known as the Manetti Bros, received a positive reception on the Lido and is due to be released in Italian cinemas on 5 October by 01. Starring Giampaolo Morelli, Serena Rossi, Claudia Gerini, Carlo Buccirosso and Raiz, the film is set in Naples, and resembles something between a thriller and a love story.

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Cineuropa: Why a musical?
Manetti Bros:
The film was born from a desire to bring traditional Neapolitan musical drama to cinemas with more contemporary music – a musical drama that’s more in-tune with our tastes. It's one of our films; we didn't reformat it, even if we did watch Grease to get a sense of the balance between songs and dialogue.

How did the idea come about?
Carlo Macchitella, who produced the beautiful documentary Passione, suggested that we create a sequel to John Turturro's film on Neapolitan music. We’re not documentary filmmakers, but we liked the idea and over time it slowly morphed into a crime and love story. Franco Ricciardi's version of Pino Mauri's 'O motoscafo ignited something in us. Franco is also one of the film’s main characters.

Were you at all influenced by La La Land or To Die for Tano?
We actually shot and edited the film before even seeing La La Land. Although it’s definitely made musicals fashionable, which could potentially help our sales. We love Tano, but we've taken a completely different path from Roberta Torre, who is the queen of the Italian musical.

Naples takes centre stage in the film.
Naples is so exuberant: a combination of strong emotions, some negative but many that are positive. For us, above all, it’s the capital of culture. Unfortunately it's also famous for other reasons, but from a theatrical, musical, architectural and cinematic perspective, it really has come out on top for many years. As we've witnessed here at Venice with Cinderella the Cat [+see also:
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interview: Alessandro Rak
film profile
, which is very highly artistic.

In the film's first scene a tour operator shows tourists around Scampia ...
We were kind of making fun of the idea of "gomorrah" because, despite having a panoramic view of the gulf of Naples, which is one of the most beautiful views in the world, the city seems to be known for the Le Vele buildings in Scampia. The Naples we know isn't just this gloomy and desperate city that you see in films or on TV, it's a place that stimulates people with its cultural buzz and inspires with its human empathy, despite having problems.

Pivio and Aldo de Scalzis’ work on the film's music and location is absolutely remarkable.
We worked on the score with musicians but also with Luca Tommassini who curated the choreography. Maurizio Gemma, director of the Campania Film Commission helped us out a lot with locations. He’s a man who is completely in love with Naples and offered us some beautiful and unusual settings.

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(Translated from Italian)

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