From November 3 in theaters with 01 Distribution The shadow of Caravaggio, The film directed by Michele Placido which explores the complex and adventurous existence of Michelangelo Merisi, alias Caravaggio played by Riccardo Scamarcio, already a pop star in his time, told in its deep contradictions and in the darkness of its impenetrable torment.
Rebellious and restless, dedicated and scandalous, independent and transgressive, the Caravaggio that Placido stages is an accursed artist of absolute talent, but above all a rock star ante litteram, a rebel without a cause forced to face the disturbing implications of a life reckless – with its women and its demons – where genius and recklessness coexist to offer us a timeless character and a fascinating and universal icon.
Plot and Cast
The official plot: Italy 1610. Caravaggio is a brilliant artist and at the same time disobedient to the rules dictated by the Council of Trent, which traced the exact coordinates of the representation of sacred art. Pope Paul V, having been informed that Caravaggio used prostitutes, thieves and vagabonds in his sacred paintings, was forced to commission the Vatican secret service to carry out a real investigation. Thus L’Ombra, this is the name of the investigator, will begin a real investigation which will lead him to discover the vices and the virtues of this genius who answers to the name of Michelangelo Merisi and will have in his hands the power of life. or death of the artist.
The film boasts a stellar cast with Ricardo Scamarcio in the role of Caravaggio, Louis Garrel interpreter of the mysterious Shadow, Isabelle Huppert in the guise of the Marquise Costanza Colonna e Micaela Ramazzotti who embodies the irrepressible Lena.
At their side a string of excellent actors – da Vinicio Marchioni to Lolita Chammah, from Alessandro Haber to Moni Ovadia, from Lorenzo Lavia to Brenno Placido, among others – with Michele Placido as Cardinal Del Monte. The film marks the cinematic debut of Teduathe artist and rapper among the most influential of the new Italian music scene, in the role of Cecco.
The Shadow of Caravaggio – trailer and video
- Michele Placido directs “L’ombra di Caravaggio” from one of his scripts written with Sandro Petraglia (Criminal novel) and Fidel Signorile (It’s my country).
- Behind the scenes, a team of award-winning artists such as Tonino Zera (Il Primo Re) for the sets, Carlo Poggioli (The Young Pope) for the costumes, while photography is entrusted to Michele D’Attanasio (Freaks Out) and editing at Consuelo Catucci (Tous pour 1 – 1 pour Tous). The original music is from Planetoid.
- Produced by Federica Vincenti, “L’Ombra di Caravaggio” is a Goldenart production with Rai Cinema. An Italian-French co-production with Charlot, Le Pacte, Mact Production, in collaboration with the Campania Region Film Commission and QMI. The film is made with the contribution of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism – General Directorate of Cinema and Audiovisual and the Lazio Region. International sales are handled by Wild Bunch International. “L’Ombra di Caravaggio” will be theatrically released in Italy by 01 Distribution and in France by Le Pacte.
Caravaggio – Biographical notes
While most other Italian artists of his time slavishly followed the elegant ballet conventions of late Mannerist painting, Caravaggio painted biblical stories as visceral and often gory dramas.
He staged events from the distant sacred past as if happening in the present day, often working from live models whom he portrayed in strictly modern clothing. He accentuated the poverty and common humanity of Christ and his disciples, the Apostles, saints and martyrs, pointing out their tattered clothes and dirty feet.
He also develops a very original form of chiaroscuro, using extreme contrasts of light and dark to emphasize details of gesture or facial expression: an outstretched arm, a look of despair or desire. His influence on the course of Western art was immense and was not limited to the sole field of painting.
Caravaggio’s work shaped that of many later artists, from Rembrandt in Holland and Diego Velázquez in Spain to Théodore Géricault in France. His dramatic sense of direction and his innovative treatment of light and shadow also directly inspired many film personalities, including Pier Paolo Pasolini and Martin Scorsese. Caravaggio’s reputation was tarnished, both during his lifetime and in the aftermath of his untimely death, by the turbulent and ultimately tragic circumstances of his personal life.
He committed murders and violent assaults while at the height of his success in Rome and spent much of his later career as a result, when he also created many of his most compelling works, as a fugitive from justice. Since the mid-20th century, his violent exploits and volatile character have increased his popular appeal as a perceived outsider and rebel against convention.
His alleged but unproven homosexual tendencies, which have been inferred both from his paintings and some historical records, added more intrigue to his legend. He could be described as the perfect Old Master of an age in love with the idea of fame and a slave to the cult of a cursed, self-destructive genius.
He was indeed a more subtle, sensitive and intellectually ambitious artist than the myths that have accumulated around him suggest. He wasn’t even a hothead like he was painted. Careful examination of archival information about him, his friends and his enemies – greatly enriched by late 20th century research into the archives of Rome, Naples and Malta – has revealed that even his most apparently impulsive acts were governed by a certain logic, even if it was often the logic of revenge.
He was a violent man, but he lived through violent times, and he was as much a sinner as he was a sinner. [Fonte Britannica]
Caravaggio in film and television
1941 – Caravaggio, the cursed painterdirected by Goffredo Alessandrini.
1986 – Caravaggiodirected by Derek Jarman.
2004 – Caravaggio – The Last Timedirected by Mario Martone (medium length).
2008 – Voluptas dolendi – The gestures of Caravaggiodirected by Francesco Vitali based on the play of the same name by Mara Galassi and Deda Cristina Colonna and produced by the Marco Fodella Foundation (medium-length film)
2008 – Caravaggio: the searchdirected by Michael C. Merisi and Maureen Murphy
2018 – Caravaggio – Soul and Blood, directed by Jesus Garces Lambert.
2019 – Inside Caravaggiodirected by Francesco Fei.
1967 – Caravaggio, television script broadcast by Rai, directed by Silverio Blasi and starring Gian Maria Volonté.
2008 – Caravaggio, television script in two episodes broadcast by Rai 1, directed by Angelo Longoni and starring Alessio Boni.
2011 – Caravaggio. The found body, documentary aired on the National Geographic Channel on the search for the mortal remains of the artist, directed by Marco Visalberghi, written by Patrizia Marani, produced by Doclab.
Photos and posters