Andrea Magnani on creating his fairytale world and directing it with Italian and Ukrainian actors in “Jailbird”

“I had read an article that drew my attention to the children of some convicts who were born and lived in prison with their mothers for a few years,” said Italian commander Andrea Magnani diversity, ahead of the international premiere of his second feature film ‘Jailbird’, which will be screened in the main competition of the Torino Film Festival. The film revolves around young Giacinto (Adriano Tardiolo), the son of two inmates, who struggles to get out of the prison ward until he enters a footrace that promises to change his life.

“This law aims not to break the bond between these children and their mothers. I realized that this was a very interesting starting point to tell a different kind of story, that of a boy growing up but failing to get rid of his own fears and ‘cages’. […] This is something that each of us can identify with.”

When asked if he had already thought of Tardiolo and Giovanni Calcagno [starring as Jack, the only male officer within the walls of the female prison] During the writing phase, Magnani said: “No, when I’m writing I can never think of a face. This process takes place later. Of course, Adriano already possessed some qualities that I was looking for in Giacinto’s character [such as] his gaze, his amazement at the world and its order of things… […] It’s the look of innocence I’ve been looking for.”

“prison bird”

“With Giovanni, we designed his character based on his looks: his mustache, which looks almost fake, is real; his thick eyebrows… The idea was to make him look almost like a monster, although he’ll prove to be a lovable father figure.”

Discussing his second shoot in Ukraine and directing with Italian and Ukrainian actors, he revealed, “It was pretty easy. The interaction between the cast and crew was natural. We teamed up with the same co-producers and some crew members who worked on Easy. [Magnani’s debut]. Many of the Ukrainian actors didn’t even speak English, so I had to work with a translator, but sometimes I just explained myself with gestures. Despite the language differences, I was always aware of her great talent.”

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Andrea Magnani

“Jailbird” went into production in late summer of last year and wrapped up shooting in five weeks, with most of the interior scenes being shot in Kyiv. The most obvious narrative references that viewers notice in Magnani’s fairy tales are Robert Zemeckis’s “Forrest Gump” and “Pinocchio”. “Forrest Gump was an important reference and one of the films that inspired me from the start. But over time I’ve found that there are some similarities to ‘Pinocchio,'” he admitted. “Two other elements worth noting are the symmetry within the shots and the color palette chosen, which can also be seen as a homage to the cinematography of Wes Anderson’s films,” he continued.

Magnani never thinks about the score when writing or filming: “Before adding the score, I first finish the editing and then ask the composer to join me. This is quite unusual as composers usually start working on the score much earlier. My concern is that the music might be hiding some pacing issues that I think need to be fixed first.”

On this occasion, Fabrizio Mancinelli created a highly original score consisting of only two voices (a soprano and a tenor) mixed with some ambient sounds (such as footsteps or hand clapping).

Production design work, courtesy of veteran Aleksandr Batenev, brought to life the bizarre world of “Jailbird” and specifically that of the remote prison complex where most of the action takes place.

Magnani is currently developing a new image based on his father’s life. “It’s a challenge I think I should take on now. It will be a “walking” road movie that takes place within a few kilometers,” he revealed.

https://variety.com/2022/film/global/andrea-magnani-jailbird-1235441797/ Andrea Magnani on creating his fairytale world and directing it with Italian and Ukrainian actors in “Jailbird”

Charles Jones

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