A black comedy on a group of infamous, lazy and criminal disabled people, Brutti e cattivi
, competing in Venice in the Orizzonti section, is the debut work of the set designer Cosimo Gomez
. The film is at times irresistibly politically incorrect. The film’s journey began in 2012 with the award of the Premio Solinas, thanks to which the “ensuing production path went downhill” the director sais; “Shortly after winning the prize, a producer, Fabrizio Mosca, knocked on my door. With him, and with the help of co-scriptwriter Luca Infascelli
, we transformed that subject into a film during the following five years.” The leading roles of the film, to be released in cinemas on October 19 by 01, are played by Claudio Santamaria, Marco D’amore
and Sara Serraiocco
, who portray an outcast and greedy humanity in search of redemption. There are il Papero a beggar and former circus member born with no legs, and Ballerina, an expert in Chinese with no arms and a passion for dance, il Merda, a rasta drug addict in a perennial state of semi-consciousness, and Plissé, a dwarf rapper, played by the star of trash on the Internet Simoncino Martucci
(in art ‘Simoncino-Mentemalata’, who had a few legal problems in true life). The four turn into bank robbers to carry out a theft that is supposed to change their lives, in a crescendo of turning of events in which everyone cheats on everyone else with no mercy, in a roller coaster of chases, vendettas, executions and betrayals. “The film stemms from the wrong idea that every human can be greedy, bad, and ruthless – sais Gomez – even disabled people, towards which there is a general attitude of pity, that is often false. It’s a ‘bleeding-heart’ attitude which disabled people actually can’t stand. The basic element in the film is the idea of equality: the fact that all the protagonists have a disability is a matter of fact, but throughout the film they do nothing but fight for their own aims. That’s something we all do”. A group of outcasts who try, with no scruples, to take back what nature has taken from them at birth. Who offend and are offended, have sex, kill and are killed. The character’s disability is almost in the background, compared to their ruthless and cynical attitude towards life. “I would like this film to also be considered as a film on love. When one of the characters has an impulse of generosity towards another for the first time, he will gain the most important reward, not only money, but also love”.
“I really enjoyed making this film, especially because of the great physical transformation it required” sais Claudio Santamaria, who was fixed up with a terrible haircut that forced him to wear a hat for some time, “but it was fun” he assures. “The most important thing was working on the character’s pain. A man born with no legs is bound to be angry at life. To work on this basic suffering was a fundamental aspect to give truth to the story without the risk of being grotesque”. Ballerina, born with no arms, does everything with her feet, and was perhaps the most physically challenging role. In order to play the role with no stunts, actress Sara Serraiocco prepared for months training her body and her posture with her arms tied behind her back. “The role fascinated me from the start because for all my life I have known a ballerina, Simona Atzori, who inspired the director. So I didn’t think it was strange for someone to do everything with her feet, it was as if I already knew her. I studied a lot, I watched many videos on how to eat, how to pick up objects, how to paint with your feet, and on how feet are used to express emotions, so they can talk.”
The film is in some ways esthetically similar to a cartoon, with a meticulous visual set-up, from the production phase. An important part of the creative process was played by the storyboard and by the drawings created by Marco Valerio Gallo, the author of the drawings for Lo Chiamavano Jeeg Robot
, for which the film won the Pellicola d’Oro in 2016 for the storyboard: “I met Cosimo Gomez through the production Casanova. Initially we intended to make drawings only for part of the film, we ended up illustrating almost all the scenes of the film with great precision and detail. All the design and making of the film was based on the drawings done in part by Gomez, who traced the characters, and in part by myself, for illustrating the sequences”.