Your short The
Sweet Hand of the White Rose - in a few words, what is it about?
The idea was do talk about street accidents and trying
to analyze the driver's behaviour.
me, The Sweet
Hand of the White Rose had all the ingredients of an effective
ghost story (though strictly speaking, it isn't). A comment you can live
with, and would you at all like to elaborate?
It’s impossible to label it under just one specific
genre, because this short contains many genres: drama, fantasy, horror…
It’s sweet and scary at the same time, real and fantastic, clean and
dark, soft and rough, dream and nightmare… It’s a very elaborate film.
sources of inspiration for The
Sweet Hand of the White Rose?
is a difficult question. I don’t know exactly when and why I write a
screenplay. I don’t wake up in the morning and I think about writing,
because if I do that, the story isn’t good. I have to feel free and my
mind has to fly. The inspiration comes to me on its own and enters in my brain
like a small flame. Day by day I feel the flame growing stronger, until
it’s impossible to keep it inside me. And this is the moment when I’m
ready to write.
ending of The
Sweet Hand of the White Rose. How, when and why did that come into
in this kind of movie the most common plot is that the kid takes the
revenge for her murder. But I didn’t want to be “classic” and so I
tried to tell something different. The murderer has the time to realize and
understand the wrong he has done. And at this moment the kid's hand
reaches for him. The “White Rose” is calling him. She’s ready to forgive
I think the chapel and graveyard used in The
Sweet Hand of the White Rose contribute greatly to the film's
atmosphere. Were these studio-built or actual places, and what can you
tell us about these sets/locations?
was a real chapel, situated in the Monumental Cemetery of San Sebastián,
located in Casabermeja, the purest and most beautiful cemetery in
Málaga. We shot most of the short in there.
Your short The
Puzzle - again, what's that one about?
about a woman who refuses to give money to her son and afterwards decides to relax
with her favorite pastime – doing puzzles.
But in one of them there’s something wrong…
You use a
puzzle as the key metaphor in your film. Would you like to elaborate on
that, and do you
have any real-life connections to puzzles?
The puzzle, for me, means “the fate”. Everyone of us makes puzzles in
our lives. We can try to fit them the way we want, but there will be always
a piece that doesn’t fit.
sources of inspiration for The
I said before, I don’t know how to explain why I write one story instead of
another. All depends on my mind.
Puzzle and The
Sweet Hand of the White Rose are extremely atmospheric films. So
how would you describe your directorial approach?
can say I live every film in different ways. For The
Puzzle I had
just one night to shoot. What could I do in one day? Not too much. So I
focused on the visual aspect (camera, light, editing, music,
Sweet Hand of the White Rose on the other hand, I had more days to realize it, more
time to tell a real story. And in this case the screenplay is the most
go back to the beginnings of your career: What got you into filmmaking in
the first place, and did you receive any formal education on the subject?
to say that I’ve grown up in the cinema world, because I’ve got an uncle
who works in there since 30 years. I started to visit him while he was
working, and I loved this world from the beginning. For me it was
incredible to discover the world “behind” a movie. Step by step
(and very slowly), I started to study it and many years ago, I wrote my
first screenplay. I’ve continued to write until I directed my first
short film, in 2006.
can you tell us about your films prior to The
Puzzle and The
Sweet Hand of the White Rose?
I said before, the first two films I directed in 2006. The first one
was entitled Extreme Love. It was a thriller, but I don’t have any
problem to say it is an amateur film. It was the first time I was
working behind the camera, and I didn’t know how difficult it was to
bring a screenplay to life.
The second one was entitled The
Screenplay. It was a horror film. With this one I started to see the
things in a different way. This short isn’t perfect, but I consider it the first professional movie I made.
So far, all the
films you have directed were shorts. Could you ever be tempted to make a
Making a feature film is the dream of my life. I
think the only way to make it happen is making short films: they
are my business cards. I’m a kind of guy that doesn’t like to ask favours
from people. I like walking alone, on my own legs. I have to add that in
the past I’ve been very close to direct my first film. In 2008, an Italian
production house called me, offering me the direction of a film project. It was
a film with a budget of more than 1 million Euro. The producers and I
presented this project to the Italian Department in Rome, but we failed to
receive the money by just a few votes (we classified as
number 12 of more than 60 projects, and there was only money for the first
Future projects you'd like to talk about?
I’m working on a new short film. The idea is shoot
it the next year and do the premiere in 2014.
Why in 2014?
the giallo (as an
Italian cinema genre) celebrates its 50th anniversary. The
first giallo film ever was The
Girl Who Knew Too Much (1963), directed by Mario Bava [Mario
Bava bio - click here]. But the
same director shot another film entitled Blood and Black
Lace one year later, where the emblematic element of the giallo
was introduced: the masked murderer with a shiny weapon in his
black-leather-gloved hand. And my short film is a giallo, so…
So what is it about? And could you reveal the title?
want to bring back some classic 60's and 70's giallo films. I like the idea
to do an old style giallo short, using new technology. And about the
title, I can say that is my special homage to the two best Italian
directors of thrilling: Dario Argento and Mario Bava. My new short film is
entiled Deep Shock (the fist word homages the famous Dario
Argento’s Deep Red and the second one is for Mario Bava’s
Shock). And I want to add that this title is simply perfect for the
But what is it about?
no… I can’t say nothing yet… It’s too early. But I’ve already
started to work on it and step by step, I’m making progress. But
it’s not easy at all! I hope I can give some good news soon…
directing you have also been assistant director on a number of films,
including Dario Argento's La
of Tears: The Third Mother. For all the fanboys out there (me
included), you just have to talk about working with Dario Argento for a
bit, and are you at all influenced by his style of filmmaking?
Dario Argento is the
most important director of terror in Italy
and I’m Italian, so… I think there is a little bit of him inside me.
It’s normal. I was just a kid and while all my friend thought abut
having fun, I was watching Suspiria,
Inferno, Deep Red,
Bird with the Crystal Plumage, 4 Flies on Grey Velvet. All films
that are famous all over the world… What more can I say about him? Working
with him has been a fantastic experience. The best thing to do is seeing
him working and trying to understand his mind.
and large, your films seem to be firmly rooted in horror. A genre at all
dear to you, and why (not)?
love all kinds of movies: horror, thriller, drama, comedy, fantasy,
action… but when I write a screenplay, I always thing about dark
things… I hope to find somebody some day who can explain it to me.
and anybody. I learn every day, from every film I watch. But I also think
that you have to develop your own style.
Your favourite movies?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
I love so many movies… If I start to list all the films I like, we can
spend a lot of time… Anyway if I have to answer quickly, these are some
of my favourite films (in different genres): Ben Hur (William
Wyler), Psycho (Alfred Hitchcok) and Once Upon a Time in the West
and of course, films you really deplore?
don’t like nowaday's remakes. It’s something that I cannot accept. Why do
they spend money to do something that has been already done in the
past? And all the remakes are of lower quality than the original films. And I hate
Cinepanettoni (Italian Christmas Films).
Facebook, whatever else?
all! It’s getting more and more difficult to find the time to write… Anyway I
recommend people to visit my web, where they can watch videos &
trailers, see posters & stills, read reviews & interviews… in
there, they can discover all the news about my professional life, including
of course festival awards and premieres.
Anything else you are dying to
mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
me say thank you for giving me the opportunity to talk about my films. It’s
always amazing to show your work to new people. Thanks again!