Ulysses of Italian cinema Gabriele Muccino is back home: after a long and successful period in the USA, the film-maker best known for “The Last Kiss” and The Pursuit of Happyness” is set to return to the big screen in 2018 with a completely personal work: “L’isola che non c’è, my latest film, gives a totally autobiographical image of direction – he explained this afternoon during the last meeting of Giffoni Masterclass 2017, in partnership once again with BadTaste.it.
“When I arrived in the USA to shoot “The Pursuit of Happyness” and “Seven Pounds” I used to count on a few elements which I considered unavoidable for my art. I often started from talent and personalization of actors, from the mere technique of acting and directing and also happened to change the script along the way. Now that I’ve made the return journey, I keep from the New World an incredible will to carry on the way of experimentation, in the pursuit of productions that may be considerate bold. I’ve placed these endogenous features beside the need of going back to films that I could feel totally mine, that is films marked by a clearly many-sided character until the very last frame. L’isola che non c’è is the quintessence of what I am now”.
For the Giffoni Film Festival youths – who awarded him the Truffaut Award 2017 – he had a single message: “Don’t rush into things but try to enjoy even the smallest achievements. That will help you complete the wonderful puzzle that can make you unique”. To a juror asking how come his “The Last kiss”, which had been awarded at the Sundance Festival, has given birth to the flop American remake of the same name, he replied “The Last Kiss is not a good film, there’s nothing more to add. It could count on Paul Haggis’ excellent script, but unfortunately the producers messed things up and the director himself proved not to be equal to the original narrative urgency.
Muccino’s Hollywood career has also arisen great curiosity among the Giffoners, and the director confirmed once more the key role played by Will Smith in his American rise. His last remark was about the essential skills to become a successful director : “This career should not be taken up under the illusion that it is something simple. If you’re not talented nothing can help. And you also need a great deal of stoutness, in order not to become demoralized in the pursuit of your dreams”.