I am really very pleased that «Pericle » has been chosen by Un Certain Regard: it brought luck to «Honey», it will do this movie good as well”.
This is how Valeria Golino commented on the announcement that the film she produced with Riccardo Scamarcio and Viola Prestieri has been selected to represent Italy on La Croisette.
Then she talks about the project’s genesis. “We had been after the rights to this book for years, ever since Abel Ferrara who of- fered Riccardo the lead role, was then unable to make it”. For this reason “«Pericle» is, above all, Riccardo’s baby: he proposed it to me and to Viola Prestieri, his partners in Buena Onda. It had captured his heart”.
With respect to Giuseppe Ferrandino’s novel (published by Adelphi), once they got their hands on it and with the – almost immediate – in- volvement of director Stefano Mordini, “we changed the settings: from Naples, which we felt was already overused by cinema, to Belgium, Liege, and the north of France. Inevitably this led to a change in the story. For this reason I say that it is very loosely based on the book. Whilst the novel was already a noir with an existential soul, now we are faced with an existential story dressed up as a genre film”.
It was the director’s idea to move towards northern Europe.
He also worked on the screenplay with Francesca Marciano and Valia Santella, who wrote «Honey» with Golino.
“He has infused the story with his way of being, making everything even more introspective, turning the movie into the sentimental education of a man – a “mobster” in the Camorra – who works his way up from nothing to become a person with an awareness of himself and, consequently, of his own actions.
He wanted a different, colder “temperature”. It was essential to move him away from Naples”.
Only when the screenplay was completed did Buena Onda go looking for international partners, in France and Belgium (and not the other way around, as usually happens, with the setting chosen according to the foreign co-producers).
Helped by the good international reaction to «Honey» (which was also launched at Un Certain Regard, in 2013) and the fame of Viola Prestieri (she worked with Sorrentino on «The Consequences of Love» and «This Must Be The Place») as well as the value of the project, the Dardenne brothers’ Belgian Les Films du Fleuve and the Parisian Les Productions du Trésor became involved.
In Italy Rai Cinema worked alongside the original group, whilst contributions arrived from the Regione Lazio’s audiovisual fund and from MiBACT. Distributed by Bim (again, like «Honey»), the film will be released immediately after the premiere on La Croisette, on 12 May.
“That was our choice and Bim accepted the risk, the difficulties and the unknown quantities of preparing a release in the space of around one month”.