Marco Bellocchio • Director of Exterior Night
“I wouldn’t know how to make a good TikTok video”
by Kaleem Aftab
- CANNES 2022: The 82-year-old Italian helmer breaks down his multi-perspective take on the kidnapping of politician Aldo Moro in 1978
The Cannes Film Festival only shows television series when the episodes are by an auteur who has appeared at the film event in the past. This year, it showed all of the episodes of Marco Bellocchio's Exterior Night [+see also:
interview: Marco Bellocchio
series profile] in an almost six-hour sitting, as a Cannes Première screening. It sees 82-year-old Bellocchio once again focus on the kidnapping of politician Aldo Moro, showing what happened from multiple perspectives on that fateful night in 1978.
Cineuropa: In 2003, you made Good Morning, Night [+see also:
interview: Marco Bellocchio, director …
film profile], about the kidnapping of politician Aldo Moro, and now you're back doing it again, but from even more perspectives. Why does his death haunt you so much?
Marco Bellocchio: Firstly, because it's a tale from Italian history, I am personally committed to this story as a citizen from that period. Secondly, we give a different point of view this time around. We found a new key to interpret the event. Now we don't tell the story from inside the room, so the story is called Exterior Night because we tell it from outside Moro's prison. We tell the story about a series of characters not present in the first movie, such as the Minister of Interior Affairs, the Pope, his wife and two terrorists.
Is there actually something called the truth? Because it seems that the truth changes over time and depends on the speaker's perspective.
Yes, the truth can change over time, but we start off with some actual facts: the kidnapping of Moro. But these facts can be interpreted in different ways. We based our work on Mario Moretti's version of events; he was the chief of the Red Brigades. He talks about the dark forces coming from East and West, the Italian secret agency that was able to influence and have an impact on the murder of Moro, and he also mentions the reasons for it to happen that were bigger than the political rationale. But basically, the idea was to prevent big societal changes and to prevent the Communist Party from coming to power in Italy.
Exterior Night will be released as a two-part film in Italy as well as a multi-part television series. Your new work splits the event into four parts, offering different perspectives that allow you to go back to the same scene and view it another way. Does television offer you more room to show different viewpoints?
It is divided into episodes, but it is one, sole movie. So I try to give you some suspense by looking at the action from multiple perspectives in order to give the idea of thrilling events, even if everybody knows the end of the story. That wasn't easy.
Is shooting on digital cameras and releasing the work on multiple platforms simultaneously something that has changed how you work?
Making a movie with digital cameras, rather than celluloid, does not really have a significant impact on me. But this is the moment when the digital era will really affect me because this is a new adventure, and Exterior Night will be exhibited on different platforms and in different ways. The fact that it is in the cinema is one of the unexpected bits. The fact that Cannes selected it was unexpected.
Cannes is sponsored by TikTok this year. Is that a platform for which you would like to do some work?
For a man of my age, it is out of my range. You have to follow certain practices to make it popular, and I don’t know how to make a good TikTok video. So to change my way of filming, at my age, and enter an unknown world – I wouldn't do it.
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