Storia di Vacanze, an intense social drama directed by Innocenzo’s brothers, hit theaters on October 13. Zoom in on these very promising young directors, who embody the future of Italian cinema.
Aged 33, Damiano and Fabio D’Innocenzo conquered Italy in a few years. These twin brothers from Tor Bella Monaca, on the outskirts of Rome, started in 2017 in collaboration with the famous Matteo Garrone (Gomorra). When the latter meets them in a pizzeria, he is quickly seduced by their energy and their thirst for cinema. He then offers them to work with him on Dogman’s screenplay.
“We met Garrone in a pizzeria, by chance. We went to say hello to him and we ended up spending the evening talking about the cinema. The next day we were at his place; that’s where the collaboration for Dogman was born.”, they confided to the microphone of AlloCiné in November 2018.
“Garrone taught us a lot of things; he’s an incredible screenwriter, always in the concrete, never in the abstract or the confusion. In addition, he is a producer of his films, in this way, he writes sequences that it is always certain to be able to turn, never anything too expensive or too complicated “, they added.
In 2018, Fabio and Damiano directed their first feature film, Blood Brothers, a poignant story of friendship against a background of crime. The story takes us to the outskirts of Rome. Manolo and Mirko are inseparable. They go to high school and do odd jobs. One evening, Mirko, at the wheel, runs over a pedestrian and Manolo makes him flee. The opportunity of their life! The man was wanted by a mafia clan who hired them. Their criminal career begins.
Featured in the Panorama section of the Berlinale 2018, Blood Brothers won several awards, including the Silver Ribbons for Best First Film and Best Screenplay. It also received four David di Donatello (Italian Caesar) nominations, notably in the Best First Film and Best Original Screenplay categories. The success of the feature film ensured them international fame and opened the doors to the prestigious workshops of the Sundance Institute. These are reserved for the most promising revelations of world cinema, under the direction of Paul Thomas Anderson.
After a difficult and disadvantaged childhood, the twins could have embraced the same fate as the heroes of their film; but it was without counting on their pen and the 7th art. “What saved us, before cinema, was writing”, they claim. “Children, since we had no money, we only used primary colors. Until one day we were offered a larger palette, and suddenly choosing the right shade became an exhilarating experience. We remained very connected to that, to the colors and to the emotions they produce “, specify the twins.
After this first successful experience, the directors set in motion their second feature film, Storia di Vacanze. This time, they move away from the mafia genre and move towards pure social drama, portraying an inglorious facet of Italian society.
In this film, the heat of summer heralds the coming holidays for families in a peaceful suburb near Rome. Joyful families, who manage to create the illusion of a real vacation despite their limited means. Normal families. Well almost. Because their children will soon pulverize the fragile varnish of appearances.
“Here, unease, loneliness and apprehension nestle in families. The home – once considered a nest, even if it could have something narrow – is today the place of intolerance, coldness and anxiety. One only has to look at the statistics of domestic murders to realize that this is often the case. We wanted to investigate the communication problems that exist within these families. , entangled in sterile routines, where only tragedy can possibly make things happen “, analyze the D’Innocenzo brothers.
With Storia di Vacanze, they follow in the footsteps of their mentor, Matteo Garrone, who has always claimed the “storytelling” side of his films, from Gomorra to Tale of Tales via Dogman and Pinocchio.
“This story could be straight out of the work of the Brothers Grimm. A world of sensations, vivid colors and smells, even if in the background, everything burns. And as in any fairy tale that respects itself, a narrator sets out the facts “, explain the filmmakers.
“A mocking narrator who likes to muddy the waters, detect ambiguity in the most innocuous gesture and trivialize the inhuman. After all, every film is a dream. Storia di Vacanze is about a shattered dream. generation of young people who envisioned the future with a sense of hope that has turned out to be in vain, and whose children do not even want to consider theirs “, they explain.
Selected in competition at the Berlin Film Festival in 2020, the film won the Silver Bear for Best Screenplay. For filmmakers, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Lynne Ramsay, Robert Altman, Brillante Mendoza or Rainer Werner Fassbinder are great references. They thus come to give a facelift to an Italian cinema which tends to rest on its laurels. The two brothers are part of a generation of promising directors such as Gabriele Mainetti (Jeeg Robot), Pietro Castellitto (I Predatori) or Alice Rohrwacher (Happy as Lazzaro).
“I find that there is a great visual and expressive force in young Italian cinema. Pietro Castellitto is very good, Jonas Carpignano (Mediterranea, A Ciambra) too. Alice Rohrwacher is extraordinary. And there are really many others. youth”, enthuses Damiano D’Innocenzo.
The twins have already shot their third feature film: America Latina, which also scratches under the varnish of the Italian petty bourgeoisie. They are currently in the post-production phase of the 4th, Travel Well, Kamikaze. This is their first English language film. The story is set in Los Angeles and follows a young man who intends to carry out a terrorist attack in the city.