Thursday, 28 July 2022 19:20

Gary Oldman at #Giffoni2022: "You are the future of cinema"

Oscar-winning Gary Oldman started his day at the Giffoni Film Festival with a dance, on the notes of the waltz number two of Shostakovich, which he began on the stage of the meeting with the jurors of the Impact section and continued with the manager Claudio Gubitosi in the stalls of the hall. “Guys, make yourselves an armour”: this is the advice to the future filmmakers among the giffoners. “There will be moments in which everyone will put you down and tell you to give up, to change path, to do something else. Youl’ll be overwhelmed by a wake of negativity but you have to look straight ahead, don’t lose sight of the objective that guides you and pursue it at all costs”.

The British artist has encouraged the young audience with great enthusiasm and positivity: “We need you because when you get a certain age like me, it’s time to leave the witness to the new generation. I started thinking about retirement but I’m at ease because you are the future of cinema, fresh blood, new energy, passion and healthy ambition. That’s why I’m excited to convey to you a little of my experience”. Many questions about Harry Potter, saga based on the novels by J. K. Rowling in which Oldman interpreted Sirius Black, godfather of the protagonist, the famous boy wizard, and best friend with his parents. “Whether you interpret a fictional character or one who actually existed, – he added – I want to stay true to its essence. If the family of the character I play is still alive, I pay even more attention to ensure it’s decent, or, at least, acceptable to them. I don’t like doing impressions but, on the contrary, I like to live the soul of the role. Have you seen the biopic Elvis? Well, in that case, Austin Butler has really embodied the King and I really admired him. As for me, the most important thing is always fidelity to the intent”.

During the meeting with the journalists, the Oscar-winner has confirmed the thrill of being at the Festival: “I wasn’t expecting a welcome of this kind. Well, I attended other meetings and events and they were interesting, but this time it was clear that the hall was full of young people truly interested in the film industry, who want to work in it and are curious to know what happens”. On future projects and the possibility to come back to directing, he shared his own experience: “I have a job and it’s that of the actor. Surely, I have some projects that I would like to direct but I keep them aside for now, because many compromises are needed. And I have witnessed scenes in which many pages of script were ripped off to fit the costs and I’m not willing to do that”. Retirement, which before seemed round the corner, doesn’t seem so near anymore: tomorrow the actor will leave for London (“this explains my long ponytail”) to return in the second season of the AppleTV+ serie Slow Horses.

Later on, in Sala Truffaut, the actor met the jurors and then received the Truffaut award. He showed his emotional side and broke down in tears while watching the video presentation giffoners dedicated to his career. During the meeting he answered empathically lots of curious and enthusiastic questions from the jurors. When he was asked how did he manage to perform and act well even when at the same time there were some troubles going on in his personal life, he explained that it was just “doctor theatre” playing its game: life can be tough, but when an actor is on stage nothing else matters anymore. In this way, he is able to forget his life’s problems for a while. “When I was on the set of ‘Sid and Nancy’ - he said, providing an example – I received a phone call and knew that my father died. I hadn’t seen him in fiftheen years, but the day after, I was on set”.

Oldman proved to be genuinely moved while receiving the award, which he compared to a second Oscar. He finally added he was deeply honoured to own an award that is named after François Truffaut, who stated that this Festival is “the most necessary one”. He dwelt on Truffaut’s quote: “It’s very true, among the film festivals this is the most necessary. I believe that those words are as true today as they did then because what really is remarkable is that you are children, young adults, adolescents coming from all over the world and are exposed to world cinema and analyse and discuss that cinema, you also judge. There’s no other place or festival which offers that.

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