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In his new film “L’apprendistato” (“The Young Observant”), which premiered at the 72nd Locarno Festival in the Cineasti del presente competition, Italian filmmaker Davide Maldi explores a crucial moment in a young life as a teenage boy is forced to grow up after enrolling at a prestigious hotel and catering school.
Building on his background as an artist outside of the cinema — as well as citing Jonathan Swift’s 18th-century book “Directions to Servants” as a source of inspiration — Maldi approached a small group of artists from non-cinematic disciplines in making the film, a quiet, involving story which he shot alone within a carefully-selected educational facility frozen in time, ruled by tradition and discipline.
Result - Mix - Visuals - Score - Rite
The result is a well-composed mix of meticulously curated visuals and a rhythmic score, evoking the anxiously anticipated rite of passage that connects to the author’s general focus on coming-of-age, “L’apprendistato” being the second instalment of a future adolescence trilogy that began with his 2014 movie “Frastuono.”
“L’apprendistato” unapologetically borders documentary and fiction, something of a defining path for the young director. Uninspired by the structured routine of regular narrative fiction, Maldi embraced this convergence of fiction and reality with his 2011 film, “Sul Fiume.” “I’m not a documentarist,” he says, “but I like situations that can give me something that I cannot control.”
Time - Message - Maldi - L'apprendistato - Vision
At the same time, since the message Maldi sought to convey in “L’apprendistato” was restricted to a specific vision, the production process was expectedly challenging. The preparations, with Maldi relying on Micol Roubini,...
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