Luca Guadagnino: “The darkness of the night scares me. And without fears I don’t know how to stay “

I see a lot of suffering around me, I think it would be nice to give us a chance to hear each other
free more than we believe is acceptable. The strength of the desire of each is something disruptive, which can lead us to very difficult territories to handle. I don’t know if the question of cannibalism with desire is, as far as I’m concerned, so pregnant. I like to think that it could be the point of view of those who see the film. Certainly desire is something that reproduces a problem every day. But it’s a big problem indeed.

Is there a song that makes you think of the night?

Absolutely! There is a wonderful song, by Kip Hanrahan which is called Against the light. It’s one of my favorite songs ever: for me it has a lot to do with the idea of ​​the night. Hear it now!

The places where you set your films become characters themselves, strong and powerful. I think of the island of Pantelleria in A Bigger SplashCream for Call me by your nameVilla Necchi for I am the love. Is there a place that reminds you of the idea of ​​the night?

I would like to go back to shooting in Milan, in those areas that are new insurgencies, I would like to go beyond the circle of the city center, push myself towards the northern parts. Città Studi, for example, could be a good place to start for one of my films.

The Journey at the end of the night Céline has as an epigraph these verses, taken from a song by the Swiss Guards: “Our life is nothing but a journey, in winter and in the night, we seek uselessly a passage in a sky without light”. Did you find a passage to cross the night?

No, absolutely no! Overcoming one’s fears, for someone like me, who does my job, can almost mean a kind of defeat. I like to deal with my fears, to meet them, accepting to be in a position of lack, of discomfort, even of discomfort.

A scene from Suspiriathe film by Luca Guadagnino (2018) with Dakota Johnson inspired by the 1977 classic by Dario Argento

Alessio Bolzoni / Amazon Studios

Three post-interview things

After talking to Luca I did three things. The first: I listened Against the lightand inside I have
found the fight that we all engage in against the light to keep us together, not to fall and to forgive us. Then I researched that precise moment of I travel to italy because I remembered it was beautiful, and indeed it is. There are George Sanders and Maria Mauban who come out of a house full of music, it’s late, he doesn’t want to go back to Ingrid Bergman because the ruins of their history are hard to deal with. But Mauban tells him that she is tired, and
before greeting him he adds: «It’s a pity he can’t leave the window open, the air of the
night hurts me, but I leave the shutters open. So at night when I wake up I can see
the stars through the glass ». He replies that it’s the best way to look at the stars,
but he probably doesn’t think so, because the best way would be to see them making love to her. And in that unfulfilled expectation there is a perfect melancholy.

Finally, I thought that in Bones and all Maren and Lee (Taylor Russell and Timothée Chalamet) suffer cannibalism as their destiny: the love desire must confront itself with the need of others, in order to feed itself. If it is true that it is impossible to live without harming those close to us (it is a sad necessity: we move by doing, voluntarily or not, damage and victims), perhaps we are all cannibals, but only those who are able to love become aware of be. Love in Bones and all it does not blind but makes one aware, the predisposition to love becomes knowledge. And there is no knowledge without pain.

From Vogue Italia, November 2022, “Autobiography of the night”, p.54-56

Luca Guadagnino: “The darkness of the night scares me. And without fears I don’t know how to stay ”