Pixar Film Soul opens the 15th edition of the Rome Film Fest
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- Published on Friday, 16 October 2020 11:42
- Last Updated on 08 December 2020
- Francesca Lombardo
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By Francesca Lombardo – Legendary Father of Toys, Pete Docter current US director, screenwriter, animator and producer Chief Creative Officer of Pixar Animation Studios, winner of two Academy Awards® for Up and Inside Out, comes back with a brand new film exuding a narrative that taps into a transcendental, religious-philosophical narrative; the afterlife, the drive to live and the delay of that ineluctable dreadful feared moment: death.
Soul premiered yesterday at the 15th Edition of the Rome Film Festival as opening film studios.
The protagonist of Soul is Joe Gardner, a middle school music teacher who has the opportunity to play in the best jazz club in town. One small misstep will propel him from the streets of New York to a fantastic place where new souls are given personalities, quirks, and interests before they go to Earth. Determined to return to his own life, Joe allies himself with 22, a young soul who does not understand the charm of the human experience. As Joe tries desperately to show 22 what makes life so special, he will find answers to the most relevant questions of our existence.
There is another mythological reminiscence in the film; the Christian tale of the still, small voice within that tries to teach the inhabitant of the human body, a flawed human, the real sense of life.
However, the film shows a structural flow. The main character is full of passion for his newly found gig and just doesn’t want to go to the afterlife. The stance of being able to become more appreciative of what life as a whole,” is this the ocean?” has been planted at the end of the film rather than a the beginning, making this way the message, the narration wanted to send, a little bit confusing and unfocused.
Soul is produced by Dana Murray, nominated for an Academy Award® for short film Lou, and co-directed by playwright Kemp Powers (One Night in Miami). The film features some jazz compositions signed by the famous pianist Jon Batiste while Nine Inch Nails’ Oscar® winners Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (The Social Network) are entrusted with the original soundtrack.
During the yesterday live streaming press conference at the Auditorium della Musica di Roma, Docter expressed his concerns for the difficult moment and for not being able to attend personally the opening film and voiced again his passion for animation:
“I fell in love with animation when I was nine. I made my first film at the age of 11 and started working professionally at 15. The passion for this form of art pushed me to make animated films for thirty-five years. Yet recently I found myself wondering, “For what?” Is passion, however noble and exciting, enough? Am I making the most of my life by making animated films? What is life really good for? And if I had a choice, would I have decided to be born and live a life on earth?
This question led to so many other questions that soon a whole world began to appear. Soul explores the Anti-World, a place where we all receive our personality, our peculiarities, and our interests before being sent to earth. Yet, the more questions we asked ourselves in this place, the more the answers seemed to come from the very world around us.
These questions are unanswered, of course, but it still seemed worth asking. And animation seemed like a perfect way to explore our thoughts”
Francesca Lombardo is an Italian-British journalist, writer, and independent children’s book author who has contributed and worked for some of the most important newspapers and tv networks in the UK and Italy. She graduated from La Sapienza in Rome in Media Study and Literature and has obtained a Master’s degree in Printed Journalism from the LCC of London. She has been reporting on films for SkyCinema Italy from London from 2010-2018 as well as written regularly on cinema for La Repubblica’s Saturday magazine: La Repubblica delle Donne.
Her writing has been published by the Financial Times, Sky Cinema, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, the Herald (Scotland), The Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday, The Sunday Express, Express, The Irish Times, Sunday Business Post, A Place in the Sun, Vogue Italy, D Repubblica, L Espresso, Il Venerdi, Gioa, Tu Style, Vogue Uomo, GQ Uomo, House Hunter in the Sun, CNBC magazine, Easy Jet Magazine, Ryainar Magazine, Il Sole 24 Ore, and many more magazines. And has worked as the editor of inflight magazine MyAir.
She has co-founded a film production company working and, as the Director for Marketing and Communication, she launched the pre-production global marketing campaign of the company’s IP Vampire Wedding. In 2014 she has founded Daily Fairy Tales, an independent publishing company which undertook the production, the marketing, and the distribution of her children’s book series Beatrice and the London Bus available on Amazon, Waterstones, Foyles, Guardian Books, Daily Mail books, eBay, Walmart, etc and its spin-offs, such as the London Map for Children. In addition to this, she works as a consultant for companies on copywriting, communication, marketing, and digital content production projects.
As part of the children’s book series she has written, Beatrice and the London Bus and she has created an educational project London Meets its children for which she has collaborated with the GLA (Greater London Authority) Education Department, Kids Company, Merlin Entertainment (London Eye) The Classic Tour, the London Transport Museum. She presented the Beatrice and the London Bus book series on London Live News in 2017 and currently runs publishing, book, and writing workshops for schools, universities, and educational organizations. She has also released a book of original songs: Singing in the Storm” and is currently working on new writing projects:: ” “The Passing Stranger, The Intrepid Sailor and the Silent Captain” a Poetry book: “We believe you because we haven’t been believed ourselves“, “The little Hat Man” “Let me be your DEVIL today” “La Luna sui Piedi” and “The Phantom Bus” – the Hallowing Edition of Beatrice and the London Bus book series.