James Senese, Franco Del Prete, John Vignola
festivals & awards:
Son of the war, born of a Neapolitan girl and of an American soldier after World War II, raised in the outskirts of Naples, of which he witnessed the transformation from countryside to suburb, in a fifty-year long career James Senese has searched for an identity in a changing world, pouring his conflicts into his music. The documentary paints a portrait of the man and the artist, finding the beating heart of his trajectory in the formation of the band Napoli Centrale in the early seventies, and investigating the latest evolution of his musical project.
When I told James I would make a film about him, his answer was: "bear in mind, I'm not dead!" I did. The film is not a hagiography, not an attempt to secure for James a place in the firmament of music. It is rather a picture of a living thing, hence the choice to be as close to him as possible. While investigating his influences and how his music came to be, I left much of the context for the history books. If one should find Naples in the film, that would be through what James himself calls ‘o sentimento. I tried to catch a glimpse of it and now look forward to sharing it with an audience.