PAOLO SORRENTINO

May 27, 2024

hollywood authentic, cannes dispatch, cannes film festival, greg williams, hollywood authentic
paolo sorrentino, parthenope, celeste dalla porta, daniele rienzo, gary oldman, silvio orlando

CANNES DISPATCH 16 …
‘This movie is the celebration of the journey of my life,’ Neapolitan writer-director Paolo Sorrentino told the audience at the Cannes premiere of his latest, Parthenope, as he recalled the reception he’d had at the Riviera festival two decades earlier. In fact, his first time at the festival was 20 years to the day: The Consequences of Love premiered at Cannes in 2004 on 21 May, catapulting Sorrentino in cinema’s consciousness as a unique artist, and his career has been hand-in-hand with the festival ever since. 

He won jury prizes in 2008 for Il Divo and 2011 for This Must Be the Place, as well as having seven of his works compete for the Palme d’Or and many play in competition. What better place then, to showcase his second love/hate letter to his hometown (after 2021’s Hand Of God) in Parthenope, the coming-of-age story of a beautiful young woman (Celeste Dalla Porta) finding her agency in 70s and 80s Capri and Naples?

Though the film focuses, in every way, on Porta’s Parthenope, Gary Oldman makes a powerful and haunting cameo as author John Cheever – a melancholic alcoholic who provides a salient chapter in the young woman’s life. Oldman makes no pretence of having ‘manifested’ the role, having been a fan of Sorrentino’s work and putting him at the top of his wish list to collaborate with. 

‘When I heard about [Oldman being a fan] I immediately called him up,’ Sorrentino says. ‘I consider him a great actor so I was truly flattered.’ Oldman worked a handful of days on Capri essaying Cheever, and was joined on set by Greg Williams who captured photos of the production, including the film’s dreamlike poster image of Porta swimming like a mermaid through the azure waters surrounding the island. He also shot the cast and crew at the pre-premiere cocktails, red carpet and after party at Picasso’s former villa in Cannes – travelling with Sorrentino by car as his two-decade anniversary in the city unspooled in suitably celebratory fashion.

‘I’m very grateful and very excited to be here,’ he told Greg in his hotel room before his premiere. ‘For me, Cannes is cinema!’

parthenope, paolo sorrentino, celeste dalla porte, gary oldman, silvio orlando, daniele rienzo
paolo sorrentino, parthenope, celeste dalla porta, daniele rienzo, gary oldman, silvio orlando
paolo sorrentino, parthenope, celeste dalla porta, daniele rienzo, gary oldman, silvio orlando
paolo sorrentino, parthenope, celeste dalla porta, daniele rienzo, gary oldman, silvio orlando
paolo sorrentino, parthenope, celeste dalla porta, daniele rienzo, gary oldman, silvio orlando
paolo sorrentino, parthenope, celeste dalla porta, daniele rienzo, gary oldman, silvio orlando
paolo sorrentino, parthenope, celeste dalla porta, daniele rienzo, gary oldman, silvio orlando
paolo sorrentino, parthenope, celeste dalla porta, daniele rienzo, gary oldman, silvio orlando
paolo sorrentino, parthenope, celeste dalla porta, daniele rienzo, gary oldman, silvio orlando
paolo sorrentino, parthenope, celeste dalla porta, daniele rienzo, gary oldman, silvio orlando
paolo sorrentino, parthenope, celeste dalla porta, daniele rienzo, gary oldman, silvio orlando

Acquired by A24 before it premiered in Cannes, Parthenope is slated for a cinema release later this year when audiences off the Croisette will get a taste of Sorrentino’s latest intoxicating fever dream, a movie that is the closest thing to stepping into the crumbling alleys of Naples and perching on the sheer cliffs of Capri you can get without journeying there yourself… 

Watch Travel with Sorrentino video here
Read our review of Parthenope here

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