Brunori Sas and “life as it is”. Conversation with the singer-songwriter from Cosenza, who wrote a song in Alessandro Bardani’s film


By John

It’s cinema, baby. But sometimes we forget that. Luckily there are events that remind us of the exuberant charm of the rooms: «The most beautiful century of my life» was staged at the Citrigno cinema in Cosenza, with Sergio Castellitto and Valerio Lundini. Sitting in the audience, two exceptional guests: the director Alessandro Bardani and the singer-songwriter from Cosenza Brunori Sas who embellished the soundtrack of the film with his unreleased song «La vita com’è».

A first viewing for Cosenza, that of Bardani’s feature film, already a great success at the last Giffoni Film Festival where it received the prize in the Generator +18 section, crowned by an emotional standing ovation. «The most beautiful century of my life» is a story that reveals its theatrical origins in tones and notes, the play of the same name was written, directed and brought to success by Bardani himself together with Luigi Di Capua.

There’s a meeting. Opposite is an elderly gentleman, on the edge of his century but consistent with the child of the past, and a young man who is losing the beauty of his being, still halfway between 20 and 30 years old, in order to delve deeper into his past with the risk of letting go of the present too. Last but not least, «La vita com’è» appears, an unpublished piece by Brunori Sas which explains the essence of the film in music and words. The Calabrian singer-songwriter is no stranger to the celluloid universe, which he entered by signing the soundtracks of two comedies by Aldo, Giovanni and Giacomo, «I hate summer» (2020) and «Il grande giorno» (2022).

Which came first: “Life as it is” or “The most beautiful century of my life”? Tell us how it went…
«No, the film that came to me in the form of a screenplay came first. I read it and it convinced me a lot. When Alessandro Bardani sent it to me, I was working on the film by Aldo, Giovanni and Giacomo (“Il grande giorno”) and I was sorry not to be able to compose the entire soundtrack. But I promised him a song and reading the script the incipit came to me: “Being twenty or one hundred, it doesn’t change that much if you can’t live life as it is.” And from that little idea, which I worked on with Riccardo Sinigallia, who produced the song, and seeing the first one pre-edited, there was the turning point.”

The soundtrack of «Odio l’estate» and then that of «Il grande giorno», we can now say that you have taken the place of Samuele Bersani in the musical heart of Aldo, Giovanni and Giacomo…
«No, I would say no, but I am sure of the fact that they, as well as Massimo Venier, who is the director with whom I collaborate most closely in the creation of the soundtracks, have always had an eye on the music and songs of the movie. The songs were never included as a simple companion and this is something that convinced me. Furthermore, when I composed the soundtrack for “Odio l’estate” it was a total jubilation because it was practically the memory I had with my parents, with my father in particular, of fantastic evenings. And for me it represented a sort of reminder of those family evenings.”

Writing and composing for cinema: how does Brunori Sas prepare the soundtrack for a film?
«At the beginning, actually, I threw myself! I have always written songs so the very first one was almost just songs, the one I created with Lucio Pellegrini, then I got a taste for it and began to understand that it could be interesting first of all to work in the service of another. In films, the artist is the director, and this is something your ego has to deal with. But it’s a very interesting sort of friction that is created with the musician. Because then the rhythm of the film and that of the music go hand in hand. So, first, I always wanted to read the script carefully and understand, with the director, what he expected from the songs: whether they had to be didactic or frictional compared to what was seen on stage. Having established this, I first work on some main themes, always singable things, because I am a song writer, and I must say that I am having a lot of fun. It’s a good game because it takes you out of the nightmare, of the prison that sometimes is the song, which is a pleasure but also a pain.”

Has anyone ever told you that you have a movie face? And maybe, after that cameo with Colapesce and Di Martino in the film “The Spring of My Life”, you thought: almost almost…
«I’ve always made cameos in films as myself, so it’s clear that directors aren’t counting on me, obviously what you’re saying is your personal thoughts (laughs). I always try to get in, even with Colapesce and Di Martino I’m an unlikely Jim Morrison, but the results, actually… in short, we still have to work from that point of view (laughs). But it’s because they don’t exploit my potential, they always make me play the fool. I’m a dramatic or rather melodramatic actor, I’m a bit like Mario Merola but they haven’t understood it yet. They should make me make a Calabrian neo-melodic film like Mario Merola, like a digger… a digger won’t forget his mother.”

Obligatory question, what do you have in store for the near future? What are you working on?
«Definitely writing a new album. I’ve been working on new songs for some time, I would really like it to be a regeneration album. I have reached the sixth album and therefore I think it is a milestone that should be celebrated in some way, not with confirmation with reiteration, perhaps with a shift, not a revolution, but, precisely, a regeneration. I would like it very much. We are writing now, let’s see when and how it will come out. I don’t give myself time frames because I prefer things to come naturally… I hope by 2030!”.