The venues of the Festa – 7. Favino and the outskirts

Pierfrancesco Favino is one of the most noteworthy faces of new Italian cinema, having starred in films such as The Last Kiss, El Alamein: The Line of Fire and Crime Novel. The Roman-born actor talks about his relationship with the outskirts of the city where he was born. Several neighborhoods in the outlying areas of Rome – such as Ostia, Tor Bella Monaca, San Lorenzo and Cinecittà – will host a number of RomeFilmFest events scheduled during its programme from October 13th to the 21st. These are urban areas that Favino has come to appreciate thanks to the movies. “The outskirts of Rome are a natural film set. I’ve had a fondness for them since I was a child, when I watched Pasolini’s Accattone and Mamma Roma. I realized that those suburbs were the beating hearts of the city, places that shouldn’t be set apart. That’s why I think it’s important for the RomeFilmFest to hold events in neighborhoods like Torbellamonaca and other suburbs. Being an actor, I’ve had the opportunity to work in some of these areas, which I wouldn’t have got to know otherwise. For example Ostia, where we shot some sequences for Crime Novel, including the one where Libano (Pierfrancesco Favino) and Freddo (Kim Rossi Stuart) take a stroll at sunset.”
Another district I like a lot is EUR. We filmed a scene from Muccino’s The Last Kiss there. It was the stag party of the character I was playing, Marco. In this scene we are a bunch of friends partying like crazy, bathing in a fountain not far from the lake in EUR. Loads of champagne bottles and lots of jokes. We had a great time filming there, also thanks to the water, the broad, orderly streets and the feeling of doing something normally not allowed, splashing about in a public fountain. It was really exciting. The actors in that film still remember that feeling. Every time I meet Claudio Santamaria, Stefano Accorsi or Giorgio Pasotti it’s like a party, we became good pals.

If I have to talk about Rome and the movies, I can’t help but thinking of Crime Novel again, especially the scene where Libano dies. Firstly, I’d like to point out that the picture reminded me a lot of Pasolini’s Accattone. I think the characters in Michele Placido’s Crime Novel were the boys that Accattone meets when going home. Actually, Libano, Freddo and Dandi closely resemble the lads from the outskirts depicted by Pasolini in his books and films. We thought it was very relevant for Libano to die in a place with clear links to Rome. His final gaze must fall on a typical Roman spot, to emphasise his closeness to famous Romans, like Julius Caesar. As a result, for us Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere was just perfect as the place to set his death. The square and the church, with the sculptures and paintings on its walls, give a sense of decadence and glory. They are martyrs, but nevertheless the way they look at us can be frightening. Now, every time I go there with a friend, I point at the exact spot and say: “See? I’ve died here”. It’s nice to be able to say so: the magic of cinema.”


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