06 September 2009

53rd Venice Art Biennale, "Making Worlds"

Making Worlds/3
Photo by marcomassarotto

Fare Mondi.
This year the Art Biennale is directed by Daniel Birnbaum, and it's a nice one. Here brief suggestions and hints: projects, artworks, pavilions worth to see.

In the Estonian pavilion Kristina Norman proposes "After-war", a complex project about identity in Tallin, based on the removal of a monumental statue of the "Bronze Soldier", wich represented for the russian minority the victory over Nazism. This led eventually to riots. The artist decided to replace a golden copy of the satue...
In the Italian pavilion the video installation by MASBEDO is just great: two screens that show in slow-motion the story of a woman always about to drown in the sea, and a man trying to get rid of a parachute in the snow...
Teresa Margolles in the Mexican pavilion collects blod of illegal immigrants and drug-traders killed along the Mexico-USA border, in order to use it to "paint", or to "clean" the floor of the pavilion. "What else could we talk about?"
The russian Pavel Pepperstein presents "Victory over the future", a collection of paintings, monuments in Europe till the year 5000. As an example there is the "Monument to the 3000 years of Christianity". Lots of irony and a rap soundtrack.
In Spain there are many works of the great Miquel Barcelò, no needs to say more...

03 September 2009

Metropia and interview with Vincent Gallo

Photo by Planka.nu

We saw today here at the Biennale the wonderful swedish animation movie Metropia: in 2024 the whole Europe will be connected with a high-speed metro system, an enormous subway between cities. The scenery is just great (lovely Berlin's Hauptbahnhof in decay!). Here a video.

Vincent Vito Gallo (Buffalo 11.4.1961) is an American actor, director, painter, musician and model of Sicilian origin. Here at the 66th Biennale in Venice he dubs the protagonist of Metropia, animation movie by Tarik Saleh: come half an hour late, Gallo, T-schirt, tight black trousers and leather boots, was very friendly in answering our questions.
In Metropia we face themes like environment's destruction, no hope for the future and apocalyptic human relationships: what is your own opinion about?
I would say that the film has its own view, which does not correspond to mine: if you just think that the sun is 8 and a half minutes away at the speed of light, you realize that all this things are just minor concerns, details. In the world there are lots of things that we do not even are able to imagine, so I direct my energies to a bigger goal.
How does this point of view influence your cinema?
Ma story is very simple: I come from a poor family, a tough experience for me; I started very pragmatically, elementary, without any artistic pretension or philosophy. My work was a way to earn some money, like when I used to wash dishes in restaurants, I was the best of New-York! Gradually I started to do a kind of performances, staring at the people eating in the restaurant, crying, and make them feel bad. To me it was an idea of “survival”: I started working in the cinema only when I was sure that I was going to be paid. Also in Buffalo 66 I was supposed to be only an actor, but when the producer offered me a better payment if I was also the director, I accepted. So I became director! That movie helped me to have a better relationship with girls too...
Do you like Italian cinema?
Years ago I used to watch many Italian, mainly in TV: after I became interested in B-movies, I like the camera movements, the photography. The problem with Italian cinema were financial aids: these work against the idea of “survival” as I said before; you have to really get involved in your movie. I took part in some Italian productions, but they lacked the genius...
Do you make music in the same way in which you make movies?
No: in the cinema everything is stressful, you have to work with a lot of professionals, lots of people; in music you can be relaxed: for instance I paint while I listen to music (Gallo was a friend of J.-M. Basquiat).
In Metropia love is a revolutionary power...
Actually I loved more things than people: for 10 years I didn't have a girlfriend, I always felt embarrassed: even now when I sleep with a girl I have the feeling that the bed does not belong entirely to me anymore, as if I couldn't reach every corner of the bed. Maybe because I had to sleep till 11 with my grandpa, who had eventually a wooden leg! So uncomfortable...
Differences in dubbing and acting?
It was easy to just give my voice to the movie: today one gives too much importance to the image, to the personal appearance; if I don't see me I cannot think “How ugly I am!”. For instance now I don't want you to take pictures because I don't like my hairstyle. (He is preparing for his next film). Anyhow I accepted Metropia because of the money they offered: even tough I never did a blockbuster, it's just because nobody offered it to me seriously.
Do you consider yourself an outsider?
We are all insiders: I would be so happy if everybody loved me: I don't know ho said that I am a difficult and hard guy...

02 September 2009

News from Venice

The Director of the festival and President of the Biennale patiently awaiting their guests.
Photo by BEAT NIK

Hi there: staying in Venice for a couple of weeks I will report news and opinions about the movies at the 66th Film Biennale. My pieces of writing will be hosted at Loudvision, together with many others.
Hope you'll enjoy.

P.S. Unfortunately everything is in italian...
P.P.S. I will also tell you something about the Art Biennale in a few days!