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Rome’s Most Prolific Auteur Cosimo Alemà
March 23, 2011
With over 250 music videos to his name, the award-winning director releases his debut horror noir feature film
- Text by Flavia Ferrucci
Born and based in Rome, Cosimo Alemà is one of the most important filmmakers in Italy. He has made over 250 music videos for both Italian and international artists, several commercials, short movies and his debut feature film, “At the End of the Day”. An atmospheric horror noir movie, Alemà decided to shoot his film in English with a British cast. Alemà talks to Satellite Voices about his inspirations and the independent, Italian film industry.
Satellite Voices: You've worked with mainstream pop to underground rock and rap. What music inspires you at the moment?
Cosimo Alemà: My interest in music videos developed with my passion for music as I started as a musician in the 90s. I like working with mainstream artists because it allows you to work with a big budget and truly realise your ideas. On the other hand, I continue to work with friends or without budgets as sometimes my better works come from those experiences. I work with Italian bands that I respect musically, such as Subsonica, Afterhours, Giuliano Palma and Fabri Fibra. I'm a big fan of 80’s culture and I drew a lot of inspiration from the videos of that era. I also grew up with the work of English directors like Jonathan Glazer, Wiz and Chris Cunningham.
SV: You're a very international Italian video director. How do you see the current Italian film industry and the creative aspects within it?
Cosimo Alemà: I always tried to do my own thing, and with time I developed my own style. Along with Maki Gherzi, Kal Karman and Gaetano Morbioli, about ten-years-ago we took over from the older guard of directors like Merli, Panini and Pellegrini. There are talented and technically capable young directors but there doesn’t seem to be a new wave of younger directors just yet. I think that’s why Morbioli and I are still the ones that work the most, as we both focus on the narration of stories. Today it’s all about doing something that looks cool and hip, rather than stories with the potential to emotionally touch the viewer.
SV: Let’s talk about your feature film, “At the End of the Day”?
Cosimo Alemà: Working on this film changed me a lot, it gave me a new perspective on my work. Cinema is different, it's a serious business. Videos come and go, their relevance is uncertain. Making a movie is one of the most intense and difficult experiences I've ever had. We shot it in 2009 and will be releasing it in the upcoming months. It's been excruciating but worth it. The film is entirely independent, I produced it with my partners The Mob Company and Frame by Frame. Unlike the majority of Italian films that rarely have an international distribution we are going global. We shot in English with an entirely British cast. Both the look and the soul of the film have an international feel, which is something I'm very proud of. As for the future, I'm starting work on a new project, a thriller drama that will be set in London during the 80’s.
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