Jasmine Trinca: “Marcel! nurtured by my relationship with my own mother”

Meet the Italian actress for her directorial debut, discovered in Cannes and brought by a talented duo: Alba Rohrwacher- Maayane Conti

Your first feature film as a director, Marcel! tells the story of a complicated relationship between a little girl and her mother who really loves her but is unable to express it, even though she seems to prefer her dog (and with the street movies where she performed) which gave his title to the film. . But two years ago, you signed a brief, My mom, is already in the relationship of mother and child. Is it a test for a long time?

Jasmine Trinca: No, I actually made it short without projecting myself into the future. But I already directed Alba (Rohrwacher) and Maayane (Conti) there and I saw them together, on the set and more on the set, that the idea of Marcel!. Both continue to play between takes. Maayane always enjoyed working with the puppy and Alba, the animal’s owner. This situation, which can be cruel on paper, has given rise to high madness due to their extraordinary complexity. And that’s what made me want my screenwriter Francesca Manieri to build on their relationship to make a feature film, also centered on the mother-daughter relationship and inspired by what I experienced as a child. But in this idea of ​​surpassing the truth. Because the truth doesn’t interest me. By making this film, I want to transcend my life, the joys as well as the pains that I may have.

How do you create this egocentric nature of the mother while making her more attractive?

Above all, I don’t want to talk about a mother who is completely devoted to her daughter. It didn’t interest me for a second. And that does not correspond to anything I have experienced: my mother was a free woman, not under the dictates of society. This is, in my eyes, what makes him attractive. No need to add more.

How did you discover Maayane Conti, absolutely amazing in this film?

As an artist and not living happy experiences in this exercise, I hate to cast others. But I don’t like child actors either, because everything is usually too mechanical and not childish enough for them. But for Mayaane, I was very lucky. He is French, he lives in Paris but his father is Italian and we have been friends for years. So I got the chance to see her grow up and Mayaane reminded me of the wild child I can be. So I spontaneously saw myself in him for this character. Mayaane is a bit like my Antoine Doisnel

How did you, not wanting the strict part of child actors, direct it?

Especially not as a child! As far as the “motor”, Mayane didn’t concentrate at all. And then suddenly all his power exploded. He understands everything about the role and situations. I can watch it for hours without getting bored for a second…

And his mother can only be played by Alba Rohrwacher?

Yes, we wrote this film for him. Alba is one of those rare actresses who can play anything. We are used to seeing him in very intense films. He has this part of the volcano. But it is also and above all a chameleon. And with Marcel!, I want to show this pain that he knows how to express well but not so much in front, as if disguised. Alba repeats all aspects of the street artist in his character, all these physical parts of the character on his side. And about the game, we just talked. We didn’t have to rehearse.

How did you manage to get away from what you experienced and make it a universal story?

Always keep in mind what my central reference is: The Child by Charlie Chaplin, the perfect symbol in my eyes of this universality and this infinity I was looking for

In your film, there is real work in colors. How did you build this visual atmosphere with Daria d’Antonio, the director of photography at hand of God by Paolo Sorrentino?

I want the image to be a perfect character of Marcel!. With Daria, we want to start from realistic situations to take it somewhere else, like dreams, fantasies. So we don’t really know if what we see is real or an invention. And that actually includes working with colors. In the mother, a dominant red reigns that has something as frightening as it is alluring. With the grandparents, it is more neutral, beige, like a possible refuge for this little girl. We play with opponents

How did you experience this first experience behind the camera for a feature film? Do you feel comfortable leading a team?

Obviously it’s difficult. Intense too. But I like it. I don’t feel like a chef in this set. I first lived this experience as a collective movement with a mission, more than directing, giving strength, desire, motivation to others. And for my part, I am passionate about the idea of ​​changing this exercise.

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