«Caracas» and its dreamlike Naples. A conversation with D'Amore and Servillo, this evening in Cosenza


By John

There is a destiny, often irreversible, that definitively binds an artist to his character. It is a sort of absolute theorem that can apply to all art forms, even the Seventh. He knows it well Marco D'Amore, universally recognized as Ciro Di Marzio, the Immortal, of the TV series «Gomorrah». And so, ours attempts to escape from his acting alter ego by interpreting «Caracas»protagonist of the film of the same name, taken from novel by Ermanno Rea «Naples Railway». He chooses the disguise well for his escape of Love, an intense and current mask, the epic of a young man with right-wing ideologies who seeks redemption through Yasmina's love (Lina Camélia Lumbroso)religious sentiment and the meeting with Giordano, a writer (Toni Servillo) also looking for a new light.
The characters are intense, gravitating against the backdrop of a dreamlike Naples full of dangers, made demonic by the magnetic force of crime. The narrative levels that intertwine and confuse each other are intense. Although starting from different assumptions and with different goals, Giordano and Caracas seem predestined victims of their own ghosts. And even the viewer, at a certain point, comes to wonder whether Caracas is real or the fruit of Giordano's imagination who, to exorcise his fears, invented a concrete figure to face them head on.
We don't know if Caracas, film and character, can distance D'Amore from his Ciro Di Marzio, but we are certain of one thing: the attempt is very well constructed. We talked about it with Marco D'Amore and Toni Servillo…

Marco, you described a dreamlike Naples, forged on the Sin City model, where it is difficult, and at the same time fascinating, to see the boundaries between dream and reality…

«You summed up our intent perfectly. Together with the chronicle of existence, we wanted to mix the dreamlike and creative process of a writer struggling with his own story. And by doing this, the cardinal points of life, such as the time and spaces in which we live, sometimes take on faded, distorted contours, because they are the children of a mental process that is much more in the sphere of dreams than in that of reality.”

It's a story written and directed from the gut, or at least that's what emerges from the film…

«Yes, above all in the hope of arousing mixed emotions and feelings in the public. I would like to be able to say that this film touches the gut, the underlying feelings, the strongest emotions, but it also leaves you thinking, making your heart beat. The great ambition of those who tell a story is to be able to involve the spectator's senses at 360 degrees.”

Impossible loves, inscrutable ideologies, new religious feelings, escapes from reality…

«It's very interesting to get lost in the journey of the characters in the film. We stage existence at the extremes, so they live their passions with incredible strength, even with fanaticism, just as they tell themselves. And this fanaticism is expressed in political affiliation, in this religious inspiration, in the desire to write, in love. I always hope that viewers are able to complete the film, which is a journey that has no end.”

The fascist soul of Caracas, the search for redemption through conversion to Islam. So many irons in the fire…

«Ermanno Rea, the wonderful author who gave us “Napoli Ferrovia” and more, put it before me. Among other things, a chronicle diary written twenty years ago, with the foresight of those who know how to intercept the future. These are not worlds that tell of extremism, but they tell of the extremes to which the character goes in search of a community, a place in which to be accepted, a meaning to his life and to the unbridgeable void that he feels.”

We don't want the parable of the pupil D'Amore who finds himself directing maestro Servillo… but what was it like?

«It was very complex. Because it's complex every time you compete with a giant like Tony. Which demands a lot, not only from me as a director but from me as an actor. However, it was a gift of life. Being able to find myself with him again to discuss characters, to exchange opinions, was certainly a further reason for professional growth but also human growth because there are 25 years of history that bind us. I made my debut in his company at 18 and therefore I believe that Toni is the most fundamental and significant experience of my artistic life.”

And we couldn't help but ask the same question, in reversed roles, to Toni Servillo too…

«We have reversed roles. Marco grew up in my company and it is very exciting that he is now directing me – replied the Neapolitan actor, a much-loved face of Italian cinema -. Among other things, the film uses language and deals with problems of his generation. And this is also why I welcomed participation in this film with joy.”

Furthermore, Servillo also focused on Ermanno Rea, «a writer who used to document himself in the field, before creating places and characters. Which he defined “Napoli Ferrovia” as an investigative book. And it is fascinating how the development of the plot then ends up in a dreamlike dimension. I asked myself – said Servillo – if Fonte and Caracas really met or if the young man is a character created by the writer for the novel that he is unable to write… ».
Tonight at 8pm, a special screening of «Caracas» is scheduled at the Citrigno cinema in Cosenza. At the end, Toni Servillo and Marco D'Amore will be present and will talk to the audience in the room. The only stop in Calabria, the event was organized and strongly supported by Giuseppe Citrigno, president of Anec Calabria.