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The Shadow of Caravaggio plots its release

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Today, October 18, on the sixth day dedicated to the seventeenth edition of the Rome Film Festival, the world premiere presentation of Michele Placido’s new film, The Shadow of Caravaggio, arrives at the Sinopoli hall in the Parco della Musica Auditorium. The film, which sees Riccardo Scamarcio in the guise of the excellent painter Michelangelo Merisi, will then be released in theaters from November 3.

The film takes place in 17th century Italy, a time when the art of the painter Michelangelo Merisi, known as Caravaggio, was already beginning to write history. His name, indeed, quickly became a symbol of genius and innovation. And everyone the artist met in his lifetime, from high society to poor street people, was inevitably fascinated and enchanted. Through his magnificent and revolutionary works, Caravaggio disclosed and upheld the brutal truth of the world. An ideal that cost him dearly and for which he continued to fight despite the dangerous opposition of the Vatican. To complete the cast, in addition to Riccardo Scamarcio, we find Louis Garrel (Shadow), Isabelle Huppert (Marquise Costanza Colonna), Micaela Ramazzotti (Lena) and Michele Placido (Cardinal Del Monte). Distributed by 01 Distribution, the film is the fruit of an Italian-French co-production.

Synopsis of The Shadow of Caravaggio

The Shadow of Caravaggio tells, in fact, the story of the life of the famous painter Michelangelo Merisi, alias Caravaggio, but from a completely new point of view. Michele Placido, in fact, decides to invent the character of the Shadow, an investigator commissioned by Pope Paul V to spy on the artist in order to verify his orthodoxy. And it is precisely through this investigation that the different events and stages of Merisi’s life are related. Placido’s Caravaggio, however, is not only an enlightened painter and cursed genius, but also a rebel who has no intention of bowing to the power of the Church. In the name of his urgent need to represent the truth, he is ready to face his death sentence. And that is precisely the central point of the story. In this case, his art is obscured to highlight what drives the artist to create his works. Caravaggio, in fact, chose to draw his inspiration from the street and not mix with the painters of the moment, even abandoning Palazzo Madama.

Where the idea for the film came from, director Michele Placido talks

During the press conference held after the preview screening of L’Ombra di Caravaggio, director Michele Placido unveils part of the film’s background. He begins by revealing when and where the idea for the film was born: “This film has an old maturation born 53 years ago on my part in the shadow of the statue of Giordano Bruno. At that time, in 68, I was a rebellious boy, I took part in student movements, in big demonstrations in favor of Vietnam. We had the extraordinary figure of Che Guevara who gave young people the courage to engage in politics and to demonstrate. This period was formative. And thanks to friends, then – because when I came to Rome I was completely ignorant of art – I discovered Caravaggio. We imagined writing a theatrical text in which the painter meets Giordano Bruno”.

Michele Placido at the press conference

An idea born in 68 and relaunched only 5 years ago: “Then 5 years ago I spoke about it with Sandro Petraglia and he was enthusiastic. But we needed an idea: the Shadow. To have a character who, on behalf of the Vatican, wants to understand what is behind these paintings. Paintings he paints despite the fact that they could make his life difficult because he revolutionized painting. I was not interested in making a film about the aesthetics of Caravaggio, but in understanding who the people represented in his works were”.

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