In Person with Longoni and
Mittorio Storaro, cinematographer, winner of 3 Academy Awards—for Apocalypse Now, Reds and
The Last Emperor was thrilled when Director Longoni called him and
asked if he would be the cinematographer of Caravaggio.
He was fascinated by the painter ever since first seeing “The Calling of Saint
Matthew.” “I had just finished
film school,” he said “and with my fiancee I walked into the Contarelli Chapel,
San Luigi dei Francesi in Rome. Looking around I discovered this painting by
Caravaggio, ‘The Calling of Saint Matthew.’ It was a shock to me. That beam of light! The visible little dust particles. That feeling of
life—the visualization of a moment beyond our consciousness, a visual element
connecting earth with sky, the human with the Divine.”
“In working on this film, I was able to devote a portion of my life to try and
completely understand the personality of this man Caravaggio, how he reached
the level he did as a painter, trying to figure out how in my cinematography I
could attempt to reach that same level.”
The culmination of this effort in the film—it is the morning after
Caravaggio, superbly played by Alessio Boni, has painted “The Calling of Saint
Matthew”—but something is lacking. He awakens to see a beam of sunlight
coming through his window striking the canvas, bringing it to life.
Cinematographer Storaro brilliantly re-created this moment, we see the painting
through Caravaggio’s eyes, understand in a flash exactly what that light meant.
It is a shock to us.#
The Italian movie Caravaggio had its world premiere as Education
Update went to press. It was one
of the most masterful, magnificent, moving masterpieces that we have seen.
Featured at the Lincoln Center Film Festival this movie should win every
Directed by Angelo Longoni and filmed by three-time Academy Award winning cinematographer
Vittorio Storaro (Apocalypse
Now, The Last Emperor, Reds) Education
Update had a chance to speak to both of them after the viewing.
Storaro’s amazing scenes captured the light of Carvaggio, his sensuality, his
aggression and torture. When asked what the most challenging part of the
filming was, Storaro’s shared his quest for capturing the personality of
Caravaggio through capturing the beam of light, that he first saw as a student in “The Calling of St.
Angelo Longoni said Caravaggio took nearly two years from start to finish. The film captures the essence of
the early 1600s with the brawling streets of Rome, the distinction between
courtesans and titled women, the violence and power of the wealthy classes, the
role of religion and politics and the brutal legal murders of prostitutes as
well as philosophers.
Alessio Boni is masterful as portraying the artist in tempestuous rage, wild
lovemaking, gentle caressing, beautiful painting, and grief. When Boni kisses
his sweet mistress/model’s tear-stained, bloodied, slashed face and says, “You
are beautiful,” everyone sheds tears.
Do not miss this film. You will remember it forever!#