“We are in Naples to personally thank you for how you are welcoming Caravaggio’s L’Ombra. Naples was providential for the film making us feel at home in the middle of Covid in a delicate moment. We stayed here for a month and we worked very well. Thank you “are the words of Michele Placido when he meets the audience of Modernissimo cinema during the promotional tour of L’Ombra di Caravaggio, a film that began shooting at the Capodimonte Museum in Naples in autumn 2020 in the highlight of the Pandemic and that Michele Placido has been carrying around for 54 years, when he arrives from Puglia to Rome to study at the Silvio d’Amico Academy. A path not too far from Michelangelo Merisi known as Caravaggio, the man who revolutionized painting in the 17th century by giving it a new aesthetic sense, giving it a line that today would be defined as politics, in fact, according to Placido, if Caravaggio had lived today: ” He would have been a photo reporter ”.
The interpretation that Placido gives to Caravaggio is that of a neo-realist artist ante litteram, inspirer of what centuries later will be Pasolini’s stylistic code. As he says in the film, “I paint reality” and in the name of this reality he seeks and portrays those who were considered last: homeless, commoners, prostitutes, thieves, seeing them according to his personal concept of spirituality. Placido worked for 4 years on this film doing research on a character told through historical chronicles, also explaining the reasons for his art combined with his unregulated life made of violence, fragility, arrogance, reserving his pity only for outcasts and women. of the people.
A masterful cast
A mega Italian-French co-production that unites an international cast. Riccardo Scamarcio plays the role of Caravaggio. He tells it as a pop star of the time between genius and recklessness. Then there is the Shadow Louis Garrel, a fundamentalist priest who investigates him while he is in Naples, an essential moment in his art, waiting to receive the grace from the Pope for killing Ranuccio (Brenno Placido son of the actor and director).
This is the pop element that the public likes because through the investigations of the Shadow, Caravaggio’s nemesis, the names and lives of the subjects of his paintings are known, the women he meets and influences like his patron and patron Costanza Colonna, interpreted by the divine Isabelle Huppert, and the high-class prostitute Lena who has the face of Micaela Ramazzotti, Caravaggio’s muse and lover.
Then there are many characters played by many Neapolitan actors such as Gianfranco Gallo who plays Giordano Bruno, one of the crudest but revealing moments of the film where one imagines that Caravaggio in one of his nights spent in prison meets Giordano Bruno the night before he is barbarously executed. .
A truthful reconstruction
L’Ombra di Caravaggio is a film that meticulously reconstructs Caravaggio’s 17th century, not only in the scenography and costumes, but also in the smallest details. With docufilm precision, Michele Placido wanted to restore the dilapidation and brutality in that era where from the splendor and elegance of the halls of power we pass to the dirt and misery of the streets, where even the most beautiful costumes are shrunken and mended and full of holes.
It is faithful to the concept of reality that Caravaggio always wanted to represent and which today also rewards at the cinema by being at the top of the box office in the first four days of programming and then being launched internationally in many countries around the world.
Video interviews with:
Michele Placido, director and actor
Gianfranco Gallo, actor
Lea Gavino, actress
Maurizio Gemma, director of the Campania Region Film Commission