Copro Berlin Eng
24 October 2017

Malamènti

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Malamènti

Malamènti

Malamènti

original title:

MALAMÈNTI

directed by:

set design:

costume design:

Giovanna Napolitano

production:

country:

Italy

year:

2017

film run:

13'

format:

colour

status:

Ready (17/07/2017)

festival & awards:

What is the thirst for power? An aberration or a basic human instinct? Ciccio “O' Pazz” and Ciruzzo “Pesce bello”, are two powerful, blood-soaked underworld characters. The legacy left to them was thus: a violent, depraved narrative of murderous dominion over the weak. But still, enemies muscling their way into this realm of the wretched. These apparently harmless enemies are nevertheless viewed as potential usurpers by Ciccio and Ciruzzo, who, alienated by their imposed surroundings, develop a deep paranoia towards two animals ... These “enemies” are Severino the Donkey, leader of the famous donkeys of Campu Perdu, and Piero the Boar, top boar around the Olive field area. The day of reckoning is near. There has to be a showdown. They have to get rid of the two animals. There's no way around it. A letter is delivered. A Pinter-like ultimatum with a crystal-clear demand: it's you or us. Men or animals. Coexistence is out of the question. Power has room for only one big chief.
The final, inevitable apocalypse draws near. In this particular world - even if it's just a patch of land in the sea – there can be one master and one master alone. It’s like a stand-off from an old western, against the backdrop of a scorched Sardinian landscape. Then two figures spring out of nowhere; it's unclear whether they really exist. They recite verses from the Oresteia, the use of which serves the purposes of the story and gives weight to the impending showdown. The death of two animals consecrates the absolute power of the humans. As the victors awake the next day, in that little world, in that little patch of land, peace and tranquillity reign supreme. Finally, they are the absolute masters.
But history teaches us that there have never been two masters, that power is a solitary endeavour. This is the thought that burrows into the brain of Ciccio ‘o Pazzo: two is not a perfect number. “Me alone! It has to be me alone! The world is mine!”

DIRECTOR'S NOTES:
The germ of this short film grew from a contemplation of organised crime and society, a re-imagining of Harold Pinter’s one-act play "The Dumb Waiter" as a multi-hued but disintegrating vision of humanity. Hence the use of the short film form for this story of two organised crime Camorra leaders, Ciccio “O' Pazz” and Ciruzzo “Pesce bello”. They find themselves alone on the island of Asinara, having already exterminated all other inhabitants of the place. The island is in fact the habitat of donkeys and wild boar: Severino the Donkey, undisputed leader of the donkeys of Campu Perdu, and Piero the Boar, top boar in the Olive field area. Ciccio and Ciruzzo, totally obsessed by their mania for power, don’t accept that men* can be leaders and therefore refuse to accept that the island might contain other “bosses” even if they are non-human forms of life. So they start a turf war to carve up the territory. As a child, I naively thought that if we isolated the mafiosi, left them free to mix with only their own kind, and if everyone else went away and left them to their own devices like they were in a vacuum, then the power of organised crime would end. This thirst for power is like a disease: men blinded by monomania, always looking for a rival, someone to challenge and crush, to show their dominance over others. A compulsion towards ruthless domination, as if driven by an invisible force, a feeling of power beyond reason that descends into degeneration and madness. This short film was also intended as a kind of sociological experiment: take a couple of hoodlums, the usual tyrannical, low-life gangsters from the projects, obsessed with money and power – and leave them adrift and completely alone on a desert island so they can throw their weight around in the middle of a parched, endless desert. This project has already attracted the interest of actor Ciro Petrone (previously in Gomorrah by Matteo Garrone), who worked with me on the script, and also Sergio Rubini and Nicola di Pinto, who have declared themselves eager to be involved in the project. This short was shot on mobile phone and a "comic strip" filter was applied to the images to accentuate the theme of omnipotence and to stimulate curiosity and empathy in the viewer. Often the realism of video images, so sharp and crystalline, takes us aback; this doesn't happen so much with cartoon animation, which provokes an instinctive desire to know, even when based on reality.