The video posted above is a sketch, to give you an idea of the rhythm and the general emotion that the final film will embody.
Interview with the creator, watch to learn:
More of the ideas behind the project. Why we are shooting the film in Italy and specifically why we are filming in Matera.
What is a Spaghetti Western?
Spaghetti Western is a blanket term. Over 600 European Westerns were made between the early 1960's and late 1970's. Within this deluge of European films, many of the directors were Italian. The most famous within the US is Sergio Leone. I am more interested in these Italian made Westerns than in "home-grown" Westerns because they were such a hybrid of ideas. Politically for example, many of the later Spaghetti Westerns promoted a communist agenda. Though the directors adopted many aspects of earlier American Westerns, which were produced in Hollywood and promoted democracy, capitalism and Manifest Destiny, the Italian directors expressed an overt skepticism toward these ideals. Culturally and linguistically the Spaghettis were a medley. The actors in these movies were American, Spanish, German and Italian. The films were shot with everyone speaking in their mother tongue, and later everything was dubbed. Spaghetti Westerns represented one of the first movements in the internationalization of American pop culture. The Spaghettis did not merely adopt the American Western, they changed it, reacted to it, and created something that was a truly creative "import-export" mash-up.
Why are you making this short film?
The film will paint a picture of the Great American West as a hyper politicized terrain that has grown beyond the myths of Manifest Destiny, and of virginal and scared nature. The West today is no longer the same place that is was in the 19th century. Urbanization, Cold War nuclear testing, the plight of the native peoples, the drying up of the Rio Grande and the Colorado River as well as aquifer depletion have permanently transformed the West. Southern Italy also has been submitted to a wrath of environmental concerns.
The Sassi, (pictured below, left) in Matera represent contested land and a land of resistance. Similar to the Frontier in the 19th century and continuing to present day, where the West is thought by many to be the ideal land for nuclear disposal, the Sassi beckon the questions: How does history move into modernity? How does culture, history and land become commodified? What should be maintained? And whose job is it to maintain and preserve? In Matera, issues concerning the perversion of ethics in the guise of modernity, has left behind an altered culture. The film addresses these aspects of the transformed social and environmental landscape.
Where did the name of the film come from?
In the Mouth of the Wolf, is a translation of an Italian colloquial phrase used in wishing someone good luck: “In bocca al lupo”. The main character of the film, through his travel, attempts to identify a new method of decision making that is based not on reason, but on a new semblance of patterning that increases the potential for mutation. The question is: Is this method another form of dogma that relies on solely on luck?
How will the money be used?
This money will be added to a grant I have already received for the project. Along with my collaborators, we have all of the technology that we will need to shoot and produce the film, therefore all of the money we collect will go toward making things happen while in Italy. The money we aim to earn through Kickstarter will be used to fund the following:
Travel within Italy: around 2,000 dollars. Allow us to extend our shooting period: around 1,500 dollars. Gain access to land for shooting: around 500 dollars. Buy materials to build sets while in Italy: around 1,000 dollars. Buy food for collaborators working on the project: around 2,000 dollars. Rent items/ hire individuals or animals for specific shoots: around 1,000 dollars We are entirely committed to the project's success, and the money that we earn here is a big part of that. Thank you!
There are a number of very talented and dedicated collaborators that are playing a huge role in getting this project off the ground. Everyone wears multiple hats in this production. They are the actors, the cinematographers, the musicians, the writers, the costumers, the set-designers, the theorists, the pep-talkers. They will be participating in shooting in Italy, Oregon and Utah.
They are wonderful! Below is a list of their names:
About a few of the Gifts:
Alexis Iammarino is deeply involved in this project. She is a dancer, choreographer, photographer, community arts advocator, and video maker. She grew up going to Matera. The photographs pictured below, along with the other stills included in this project were shot in Matera and the surrounding area in 2004 by Alexis. For a donation of 500 dollars you will receive a 16X20" Archival Black & White digital print by Alexis.
I will be making many of the props for the film. To give you an idea of what the props will be I am including some images of props that I have made for past videos. For a gift of 1000 dollars, you can choose from the props that are being made for In the Mouth of the Wolf.
I have been making masks for a number of years, recently they have also popped up in my video work. Some function as wearable masks, others as objects. Example of the masks I have made in the past are pictured below. For a gift of 1000 dollars you can pick a mask along with a prop from the film. Photographs of the masks and props available to choose from will be posted in November, 2013.
Risks and challenges
This project walks the line between a cinematic film and an experimental art film. This is an interesting place to walk as it has even fuzzier boundaries than if it were one or the other. Additionally, it is paying homage to a brilliant genre that in itself was both complicated and conflicted. There is risk, conceptually in all of these factors.
Logistically there are risks in shooting a film in another country. Amongst the crew there are many that speak Italian and there are a few that have experience living in Matera. We have scouted out areas to shoot that we know we will have access to. There are some locations, we know we want to shoot, that we have to acquire access to once we are on the ground in Matera.
Within the crew, as collaborators we are all taking a risk in working on this project as it is unpaid. Our job is to keep each other safe, feed, healthy, happy and creative and to make it the best experience we can while working together to create something that we believe in.
Thank you for taking the time to look at the project. I would love to answer any questions you might have. Please email me at: email@example.com
If you would like to look at any of my previous work you can go to: mishacapecchi.com
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