“Enea”, Pietro Castellitto brings the desire to feel alive to the competition in Venice


By John

The festoons and the highs, the drug dealing and the exclusive club, Enea acts like the king of entertainment, traffics in a world of luxury where he belongs, entrepreneur of his own and others’ extreme well-being, always all designer. He is a tennis instructor, but in reality he is a young entrepreneur who aims for maximum success in a good Rome that he himself inhabits. He is the eldest child with his student brother and yet he also plays with them, he talks to his very bourgeois parents, his father is a psychologist and his mother is the presenter of a book program on TV, he confides in them. With his best friend Valentino, an aviator by profession, he also manages a sushi restaurant in Northern Rome and at a party he meets a beautiful girl with whom he falls in love. Aeneas is the protagonist of Pietro Castellitto’s film in competition at Venice 80.

After the award-winning debut of Predators, the 31-year-old son of an artist seeks confirmation with this film whose godfathers also include Luca Guadagnino, producer for Frenesy together with Lorenzo Mieli for The Apartment (Fremantle group) and which Vision Distribution will release in theaters January 25th, a date that has always been strong in the Italian distribution panorama. And the hope is to be able to find, from the premiere of Enea, also an opening to the foreign market.

For Pietro Castellitto who is the protagonist, director and author of the screenplay of the film, «Aeneas is a romantic hero. Is it a non-elitist desire to feel free, transversal to all young people, in any city in the world, in any neighborhood and in any era – he underlines – is his family bourgeois? Yes, but she’s not apathetic, it’s a cliché that you generate nihilistic children, here her family is full of humanity. Aeneas lives the tragic paradox whereby one feels life better if she is at war, and he and his friend will invent their own war.” Talking about «the desire to feel alive, I think of a feeling typical of my generation, of young people today. The need that drives all of Aeneas’ choices is to feel the movement of life within himself. And while perhaps the restaurants and places he frequents may be elitist, his vitality is not, it is incorruptible. We all want to make our lives an adventure, a place where anything can happen.”

Aeneas is also a family film: the father is Sergio Castellitto, the brother is Cesare, one of his real brothers. «I tried in every way to make the film without my father, but I knew it would have that necessary irony, no one like him, maybe Adam Driver – he jokes to applause – I felt it was a bit of destiny and I’m happy with the choice, it was the way to get to know each other better, hang out in a different environment. The set allowed us to discover ourselves”, he says. Sergio, a father’s heart, proud since Predators and then with the first novel The Iberboreans, clearly dotes on it.

Aeneas “It’s a gangster movie without the gangster part. A Gender Story Without Gender»jokes Pietro Castellitto.