News from the Locarno Festival

Comencini: "Between Pain and Joy of Living"

Amori che non sanno stare al mondo - Piazza Grande

Comencini: "Between Pain and Joy of Living"



Francesca Comencini, the word is at the source of this new work. You wrote the novel Amori che non sanno stare al mondo and then turned it into a film, a film that finds a bond between actual images among the continuous flow of words...

Yes, the connection with words should be there from the start, also because the book – and consequently the film – are based on the inner and incessant discourse of a woman who reflects on the end of a love. And it does so at the moment in which it's experiencing the backlash of the loss, so the obsessive reinterpretation of the past can only happen in a disorderly and fragmented way. Something that, under the force of words, brings you to relive every scene of your love story and it's there that one holds on to the images. But the underlying fabric of those who question the condition of falling in love remains mostly verbal.


And it's no wonder.  The film, more than the narrative of a love story, becomes the account of a ghost of amorous obsessions: loss, abandonment, pain, loneliness...

It's inevitable that it's like this, since our culture is infused with texts that have preceded us and which have forged our sentimental views. Something that was obviously constructed using codes and models, almost always attributable to masculine points of view. Here I wanted to simply reverse the perspective, breaking into this universe of words through female empowerment. To set the story in a university context came to me quite naturally, where characters can all be very educated and scholarly, but like everyone, when they are struck by the sorrows of love, can find themselves naked and stupid in front of this unsettling condition.


A condition that can become grotesque, as evidenced by the dramatic interpretation which Lucia Mascino gives to her character. But is it she who becomes grotesque, or rather, do all of us become grotesque when we find ourselves in this state of amorous suffering? 

The grotesque is an effect that derives from that condition, because the great sensibility of which we become prey gives us continuous oscillation. Precisely those that give to the film's protagonist sudden occurrences of rebellion, or at other times, making her sink into a ridiculous dimension that can lean towards the comic. And from this point of view Lucia's interpretation was able to follow these two flows. With her lashes of Quixotic struggle and the more suffered recoils compared to the first symptoms of aging....


A discussion that maintains its contradictions without ever falling into feminine victimization. 

No, it is something that I wanted to avoid and it is also for this that a fundamental component of this woman is a sense of irony and especially the self-irony that she pours on herself. There is no one-sided vision, the dignity of a person is showed precisely in all its fullness, made up of both light and dark.


A sentimental complexity that in the film seems to become also a generational figure, since the lives of both the two protagonists are messed up by much younger people than themselves....

Of course, the younger generations in the film seem to retain a more immediate sentimental life, with fewer filters and fractures, but also because they simply show up and enter the margins of the lives of those who are my protagonists. I have always wanted to maintain a single solid point of view and therefore I had no pretence to talk through the eyes and the words of the younger generation. It is precisely from these choices, which went on to constitute that dual nature of the film, that weighs on the characters' shoulders: on the one hand there is the experience of pain, on the other a joy of living that despite everything remains unstoppable. 

Lorenzo Buccella

Follow us