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Ready (23/07/2020)

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Renaud is 85 years old and lives in Paris with his trusty wheelchair/caregiver. He’s a loner, stuck in his ways, uncomplainingly trapped for years now on the top floor of a building in Montmartre. He has everything he needs at home anyway; he makes toys and gets his meals and his favorite newspaper, and all’s right with the world. But what if a new neighbor appeared on his landing to shake up his routine? A lovely one of the same age, in a wheelchair herself, stuck at home? What if they both felt an irrepressible urge to give up their solitary existences?

"I will never make another stop-motion movie on my own." Buried under a sort of Italy in miniature, I’d vowed that, no matter what, I would never again spend months locked up in my house working. Then came Covid-19, and this time we were really locked up in our houses. For my previous projects I was in the habit of combing through DIY shops all over Rome. This time I had nothing, or just what I had lying around at home: a broken printer, the back of an old wallpaper sample, some watercolors, my phone to take pictures with and two pages of drawings. The last added up to a study of two characters made years ago by Giuseppe Di Maio, preparatory sketches for the leads in a treatment I’d written with my associate and co-writer Paola Rota. We had dreamed up Renaud, a solitary Parisian gentleman, a creature of habit happily holed up in an apartment on the top floor of a building in Montmartre. This idea from a few years ago turned into a little story that, after these recent months, might well now sound more familiar to us all.