We virtually met Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, Edoardo Pesce, Vincenzo Crea, Beatrice Grannò and director Leonardo Guerra Seràgnoli, who presented Gli Indifferenti, from the novel by Alberto Moravia, to the press.
It’s not easy to measure yourself against an important novel like The indifferent, written by a Alberto Moravia eighteen and published in 1929, when in Italy there was Fascism and the upper class had prestige and power. The adaptation of Leonardo Guerra Seràgnoli, which set the story of the family Ardengo and of Leo Merumeci in 2019, it is though a valuable work, which respects the spirit of the original text is that describes with attention and insight the dynamics of a family in which lack of affect, indolence and, in some cases, the inability to react reign. Distributed by Vision Distribution and out on major streaming platforms on November 24, The Indifferent relies on a pool of talented actors: Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, Edoardo Pesce, Vincenzo Crea, Beatrice Grannò. Together with the director they met the press “virtually” and Leonardo Guerra Seràgnoli first spoke of the challenge of bring Moravia to the cinema again: “I read Moravia in high school and it is as if the writer had accompanied me in different phases of my life. I was certainly afraid of the idea of adapting such an important author, brought to the cinema by directors like Godard e From Sica, But I always felt like a sense of familiarity with him, so I tried to find a dialogue with the novel and above all to free myself from performance anxiety “.
The director explains in detail the work done together with the co-writer Alessandro Valenti: “The first thing I and Alessandro Valenti we noticed, re-reading the novel, it was that at the end it left as a sense of precariousness, as if we were on the edge of a precipice. This kind of emotion, of sensation, was something we felt very present even today. The work was long and thorough, because we were based on two research areas, one on the work of Moravia, therefore on the evolution of the characters of Moravia, which they left with The indifferent and then they are inserted, re-proposed and with different facets, in a series of successive novels, passing through The girl, The inner life. On the other hand, we made a more ‘ours’ reflection. We asked ourselves if this sense of precariousness and the themes treated in the novel could still resonate now and in what way, and above all who were the indifferent today “.
Also Vincenzo Crea, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi e Beatrice Grannò have their say on the indifferent of today. “The indifferent“- the first begins -“they are all those people who live within dynamics that they take for granted and they don’t wonder what makes them cling so hard to what they are defending. I am 21 years old and I grew up in Rome, and di Micheli I’ve seen quite a few. “
“We are all indifferent“- he adds Valeria Bruni Tedeschi – “and I must first become aware of this kind of selfishness that makes us accelerate the pace so as not to look at a person close to us who is not well, who does not make us pay attention to what is happening in our societies and does not encourage us to participate in struggles, both internal to our families and more social. This lack of attention is indifference, and we should be aware of it every day and know that it does not bring happiness but unhappiness. If we really noticed this, we would naturally be drawn towards the other “.
“As for people older than me” – he explains instead Beatrice Grannò – “what I perceive is a desperate attempt not to want to change what has been built, to be afraid of losing the good things obtained in life. All this pushes to stop, to dilate time and therefore to sink into apathy. As for us young people, Internet is the problem, social networks, which have created a speed and immediacy in obtaining things that lead us to an inner slowdown, to not being able to do things well. Somehow it was we young people who invented social networks and we are the teachers of our parents, and this exchange of roles has dragged us into a state of apathy “.
The Indifferent proves once again how good he is Edoardo Pesce, here struggling with one of the most unpleasant characters of twentieth-century literature: the social climber Leo Merumeci. “The Leo in the book is a little more bleak than the one in the movie“- says the actor -” and it is also externally, he is described with baldness, he looks a bit like a pig. With Leonardo we built a slightly different version of Merumeci. We thought that Leo came from a province and therefore had a hunger for social status, a class leap, a thirst for aristocracy. Leo he is not an empathic character. How Mariagrazia and the boys, he’s a bit anaffective, anesthetized. “
Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, which gives us one Mariagrazia more beautiful and luminous than that of the novel, she has not seen the previous cinematographic transpositions of the book, but is grateful to Moravia for having filled the pages with so many details about the characters: “The book provides the actors with exceptional information that you never have when reading a script, information on inner monologues, detailed descriptions of the physicality of the various characters, of how Mariagrazia he moves his hands, for example. Having such a novel at your disposal is gold, and having such a perfect character is precious, and I also speak of Mariagrazia of the script, simple light, modern but completely faithful to the original. In these cases, one cannot help but let oneself slip into an archetype so perfect in its complexity. I didn’t judge my character, she didn’t seem like a Martian, I recognized all her ugliness, and I also understood her moving things “.
Between the year of publication of the book and the film by Leonardo Guerra Seràgnoli a lot of water has passed under the bridge. Wars and pandemics aside, society has changed, and social classes (assuming it is still possible to talk about social classes) have changed. “Compared to the times when Moravia wrote the book “- he explains Edoardo Pesce – “there is no longer the bourgeoisie, not even the one that was there for example in the 80s, 90s. It seems to me that today we are moving on one side towards luxury and on the other towards a poor people, which is what he runs away from Leo“. The director agrees up to a certain point:” The family unit is an archetype of a micro-society, therefore of relationships and problems that can go beyond social class, but I wanted to say with my film that in a historical moment like ours the bourgeoisie exists more than we think, maybe the media don’t talk about it, but it is there and it has a strong impact on society. This type of environment metaphorically and symbolically tells a life attitude, an aptitude to use any means to reach an end“.
Valeria Bruni Tedeschi it is connected from Paris, where there is a lockdown and where culture, just like in Italy, cannot express its voice. Someone asks the actress her thoughts on the choices of governments to close cinemas and theaters: “I think governments should give the right place to culture“- he answers -” and make people feel that we need culture just as we need food. The other day I was telling my son, who is six and a half years old, that we couldn’t go and buy a book because the bookstores were closed, and he replied: ‘Mom, I don’t understand, books are necessary’. This first necessity of culture could have been, in this terrible year, a pretext to highlight the function of culture itself, highlighting that during the first lockdown people lived on books and films. Entertainment artists are in a desperate situationHowever, I am convinced that as soon as the cinemas and theaters reopen, people will show that they need to go there, so I have not lost hope “.