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IFFR 2023 Tiger Competition

Giovanni Bucchieri • Director of 100 Seasons

“We all grew to be like a family during the making of the film”


- We spoke with the filmmaker, artist and dancer about his very personal film which is a portrait and a love story at the same time

Giovanni Bucchieri • Director of 100 Seasons

Swedish director Giovanni Bucchieri presents his docu-fictional directorial debut 100 Seasons [+see also:
film review
interview: Giovanni Bucchieri
film profile
in the Tiger Competition of this year's International Film Festival of Rotterdam. He processes in it his love story with actress Louise Peterhoff. We talked to the director about his struggles to cope with life, the background that led to the making of the film and its production process.

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Cineuropa: What do you have in common with the protagonist?
Giovanni Bucchieri: I myself suffer from bi-polar disorder. Sometimes a sickness can be a weapon. When you are focused, it helps you create something. I experience that in the same way as the protagonist of the film. I am him, he is me. But in the film, I accentuate some aspects.

What is the core emotion you want to transmit with the film?
I always thought about, what is art? For me, art is comfort in life. All artists from the beginning of time have been sharing their experience, while they are trying to understand something about life through their art. But they never do understand, actually. It's impossible to understand death. Death is a big part of art, though. I wanted to put everything in this movie, to incorporate all the art forms I practice in one movie. Each one influences me and can have an influence on others.

What is the background story of the old videos of you and Louise?
I filmed a lot when I was young, around 15 years old. I wanted to document what it is like to be bi-polar. Having this condition, you feel that the past, present and future all happen at the same time. It is difficult to tell everything apart. One of the first things I wrote down was “everything happens now, and I don't want to miss any of it”. With Louise I had a relationship for five years when we were around 17 years old. We went to the same dance school, she was my first love. It was some kind of Victorian sexuality, in this sado-masochistic ballet world we lived in. When our first love ended, I was so depressed. After a while she had a new boyfriend, but I kept looking at the cassettes I had with the videos of us. I showed them also to other girls. I was so bad that I was suicidal.

Was there a particular trigger that made you think that you had to do this film now?
Louise and I didn't meet for 10 years. Then, I wanted to go to the dramatic theatre school in Stockholm, in 2009, and it's where I met her again, because she was in the same class as me. I had already started working on the film, since it's a process that started nearly 15 years ago. But then I called her one night drunk and told her about my idea. She thought it would never happen, but then a few years later we begun. It grew on me that I wanted to do a goodbye film, to have a proper goodbye I never had with everyone I ever loved, a goodbye not only from Louise, but also a cathartic goodbye from the world. In the film I am able to have a harmonious and nice ending of relationships, that never happened in real life.

Wasn't it difficult to share your material with others?
I had 200 hours of material and needed help with the editing. I worked with Robert Krantz, who is a genius, just as much as cinematographer Axel Petterson who shot the film. I had the chance to work with very talented and committed people. The movie wouldn't have been possible without my magical producers Isabella Rodriguez, Mathilde Dedye, Daniel Oliva Andersson at French Quarter Film and Ludvig Andersson at RMV Film. Stefan Levin is one of the most talented composers I've every heard. We all grew to be like a family during the making of the film.

How was it to work with Louise on the film?
It's has been hard, it was also fantastic sometimes. But mainly it was really hard. We were fighting, and it was tougher than I thought it would be, I respect Louise very much both as an artist and as an actor. She helped with the script. Today, we don't know each other anymore, but we know the versions of us from the past. So I felt I knew her, but at the same time I didn't. We were at the same time so close and so far away.

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