Cinema Made in Italy: interview with Manetti Bros for Love and Bullets

Few days after our interview at the successful screening of Love and Bullets at Cinema Made in Italy, the Manetti Bros,  won five Donatello’s David becoming the most awarded movie of the year. They took home the award as Best Italian Movie, Best Supporting Actress, Best Score, Best Original Song and Best Costume Design.

Love and Bullets is a musical set in the Bay of Naples, starting with a marvellous La La Land style scene set in Scampia, the Naples zone made famous by Gomorra.

With speedboat escapes and wild motorbike chases, Love and Bullets is not only a great action thriller; but also a romantic comedy starring Giampaolo Morelli as Ciro, Serena Rossi as Fatima, Claudia Gerini as Donna Maria and Carlo Buccirosso as Don Vincenzo.

Here what the two writer-director-producers said to us few days before the big win.

Q: It’s really strange for a musical to succeed in Italy. Did you think about it before starting this project?

A: We usually try not to think much about this kind of things. We had a project and we carried on with it…maybe with a little bit of recklessness. Obviously there are also marketing strategies…to make movies is a business, we all agree on that; but we try to make them for the pleasure of doing it and obviously for an audience; but without thinking to much about the commercial part. We had to admit that lots of people, as you said, told us about how difficult is for a musical to succeed in Italy though. Actually they call it a madness. But we always made unusual movies, not for that though they were underdogs. Actually we discovered that the audience likes something different from time to time. Obviously, the film needs to be good; but this needs to be true not only for a musical.

Q: Love and Bullets received 15 nominations at the Donatello’s David next week. How are you gearing up for the big night?

A: Look, that came so out of the blue! It’s so unexpected!! We never thought something like that could ever happen to us. And we are getting ready with fun. It’s one of the few times in life that you are not keen to know what it’s going to happen because it’s so incredible to be there as the most nominated Italian movie of the year…of many years actually as 15 nominations are very rare, that we don’t have any kind of expectation. We are so happy and amazed already that we don’t ask for nothing more than this. The hard thing is … but if I win, what I’m going to say? Luckily not all the 15 nominations are ours.

Q: You previously worked with Giampaolo Morelli and Serena Rossi; but in Love and Bullets there is a new entry: Claudia Gerini. How did you approach her…were you aware of the fact that she was also able to sing?

A:  Yes, we knew she was able to sing…we have known Claudia for many years now and she is the only true outsider because she is the only phony Neapolitan in the cast. We asked her how was her Neapolitan accent and she lied to us. She told us that her mum is from Naples (true) and that they are used to speak Neapolitan at home, and that was a big lie! But we made her able to receive this nomination (she won the Donatello’s David few evenings after this interview) and it’s also the nomination, among the 15 we received, we are most proud of.

Q: How did you fall in love with Naples?

A: For the first movie, Song’e Napule, let’s just say that Naples just happened; the idea wasn’t coming from us. We were inspired by the city and we felt that was time to write our Neapolitan story. It’s like when you love a person, it’s hard to say why you love him/she and for this city is the same but it’s really easy to fell in love with Naples…for many reasons and with all the big city defects… and Naples has all of them, trust us.

Q: You wrote a movie full of Neapolitan Grimace references…there are nearly 30 of them in Love and Bullets…

A: Really? No, we didn’t know that…the only one we talked about when we were looking for the title is “ the dead who speaks” because we were thinking to call the movie “47: the dead who sings”.

Q: Which aspect of the movie do you think is the strength of Love and Bullets?

A: I think the world has watched a lots of Americas already…why to watch ours? So I think that here in England the strength of this movie is that of being so Italian. On the other hand, I really don’t know which one is in Italy. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say that maybe people are able to see how much fun we had in doing it and maybe this could be contagious.

Antonio then added: “ and maybe…being a musical is the strength of this one.”


Full interview in Italian here.


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