The Taobuk Award goes to Sorrentino: me, bewitched by the seventh art after seeing Nuovo cinema Paradiso


By John

Coincidences and consequences. Do you want to know when Paolo Sorrentino decided he wanted to make cinema? «When I saw “Cinema Paradiso” by Giuseppe Tornatore. It’s funny that I was pushed towards cinema by a film that won an Oscar, and that many years later I also passed through that point there”. Do you remember? It was 2014 and “The Great Beauty”, told by that Neapolitan eye that had reimagined Rome for all the eyes of the world, conquered the Americans. Last night Sorrentino was awarded the Taobuk Award at the Gala and on October 24 “Parthenope” will be released, with previews starting on September 19, but only at midnight: “A new distributor’s idea that seems beautiful to me. Maybe not for me but for the kids”.

Do you prefer to sleep?
“I’ve always been an insomniac, actually.”

Is there a relationship between insomnia and your imagination?
“I don’t even know if I have an imagination, but waking up early in the morning helps me work.”

In Parthenope there is Naples, a lot of it, but it seems like a less autobiographical film than “It Was the Hand of God”.
“Films are always autobiographical, but sometimes the autobiography is disguised, sometimes it is made explicit. And it is not only about what you have experienced, but also about what you would have liked to experience, much more powerful. Parthenope is a very simple film, about the memory of youth, about the vertigo of youth, the one that makes you believe that anything can happen.”

You are considered a talented director. How do you maintain talent?
«I don’t believe in talent, that thing that one possesses innately and that flows in the form of inspiration. A false myth. I believe, however, that an individual finds himself having his own inner world, even a little atypical compared to that of others, and therefore worthy of being told. This inner world must be cultivated every day. And I work constantly, even when I chat with my wife who always understands that my mind is elsewhere. My job consists in building a reality parallel to the daily one, the real one. I think, I read, I watch films. Even if less than before.”

How many books and how many films in a month?
“Three books a month, even fewer films. When I travel I don’t like to watch films by colleagues: if they’re good I get depressed and think mine is bad. If I don’t like them I get excited and think mine is a masterpiece.”

How much were you influenced by the cinema of the past?
«A lot, especially from the nineties, I was twenty years old and I went to the theater every single day. Spike Lee, Tarantino, the Coen brothers, Scorsese, David Lynch. They trained me because that was also their best season.”

A whole generation of American directors, independent. And male. And women?
«Jane Champion. However, I don’t love Kathryn Bigelow, nor her ex-husband James Cameron.”

The relationship with the passing of time.
«The palpitations of the decade between 40 and 50 have passed, expectations and the need to experience certain emotions already experienced have been reduced. Greater serenity takes over. Depressing but reassuring.”

He wears a ring with the effigy of Maradona on his finger…
«A gift from my children. It’s hard for me to talk about him because he represented so many things. For me he is a semi-divinity.”

Sex in his films…
“I am not interested. I prefer what’s around: seduction, eroticism, the very subtle power relationships between people. The final act is uninteresting. Perpetual gymnastics.”

Do you feel like “The Extra Man” of our cinema?
«I don’t feel better than others. I feel like I do what I like to do, just as my colleagues do what they like to do. I’m more comfortable losing.”