Özpetek promotes new film ‘Napoli Velata’ in Italy
ROME – Anadolu Agency
The press screening for Özpetek’s 12th feature film, a romance-thriller, was made in the Space Cinema halls in Rome.
Following the screening, the director replied to questions with the film’s stars Giovanna Mezzogiorno, Alessandro Borghi, Anna Bonaiuto, Peppe Barra and Luisa Ranieri.
“When I staged the opera ‘La Traviata’ in San Carlo five years ago, I stayed in Naples for two months and I was very impressed. This story has been on my mind for 10 years. I had a small idea and we developed this idea,” Özpetek said on why he chose Naples as the set for his new film.
Özpetek answered the question of whether he faced any difficulty while filming in Naples, a difficult city like Istanbul.
“They say Naples is a difficult city but they opened all doors for me. I filmed in impossible places. This is very important,” he said.
The director said that when working on the script for “Napoli Velata,” he proposed a role to Giovanna Mezzogiorno, the leading actress in his 2003 film, “La Finestra di Fronte” (Facing Windows).
“I called her saying I had this story and if you accept it, I will write it with you in mind. We progressed in this way. It is very different to write a script while thinking of an actress. We are happy with the reaction today,” said Özpetek.
“Fifteen years ago, she was a young and thin girl. Now, she is a 43-year-old woman. I got old, she got old, but there are many good things brought by age,” he said, adding that it was a very different feeling to work with Mezzogiorno after all those years.
Özpetek is compared to the U.K.-born American director Alfred Hitchcock, who comes to mind when thinking of thriller films.
“They call me the ‘Mediterranean Hitchcock,’ I like it. Everyone has his own idea but as far as I see, the feeling here today was very nice. I understand from this press meeting that we are doing well. But the truth is, you know the most important thing is the reaction from those who leave the house to go to the cinema in a car or bus. We will see it on Dec. 28. Christmas time is a very powerful date for us,” he said when asked about it being compared to Hitchcock.
Özpetek spoke about the veil tradition in Naples, which is where the film’s name derives from.
“Napoli Velata means ‘veiled Naples.’ There is a veiled Jesus sculpture, named Cristo Velato in Naples. This type of veil is often used in Naples. The veil covers, but also shows details. When you look at Cristo Velato, you can clearly see his face underneath it. I have seen this type of veil in Naples many times. It was nice to use it in the film,” he said.
The director said the Turkish title and release date for the film in Turkey had not become clear yet. “The BKM [Beşiktaş Kültür Merkezi] will franchise the film and it might be released around April,” said Özpetek.
“It was a big honor for me to work with Ferzan, Gianni and Tilde again, the team in ‘Facing Windows’ in 2003. Two years ago, Ferzan called me in the summer and said he had a film for me. He wanted to share some parts of the script with me. This was an incredible and different story for me. It was impossible for me to reject it.” Mezzogiorno said,
“When I first saw the script, I thought it was very different from his previous works. No such thriller film has been made in Italy for a long time. It was a very good experience for me,” said Borghi, the leading actor in the film.
Other actors at the press conference, Anna Bonaiuto, Peppe Barra, Luisa Ranieri and Maria Pia Calzone also thanked Özpetek. At the end of the meeting, Barra and the young singer Arisa performed “Vasame,” a song from the film.