Carlo Lavagna is a director and producer of documentaries, commercials and art-house shorts presented at many festivals, including Locarno, Gothenburg, New York, Rome and Milan. Carlo is permanent contributor for Nowness.com, the LVMH owned website on contemporary life. Carlo’s collaborations include Vougue, Dazed Digital, New York Times. He directed the short !lm “L’Unico” for the maison Valentino and other shorts and commercial for Bulgari, Stefanel and Gucci. He worked for European and American broadcasters: PBS, VH1, RAI, VBS (Vice TV), SVT and others. Throughout the years he had the opportunity to interview important personalities of the international art, cinema and culture worlds: Francis Ford Coppola, Ingmar Bergman, Michael Haneke, Bernardo Bertolucci, Chuck Close, Vanessa Beecroft, Wim Wenders, The Suicide, Gogol Bordello, Harvey Keitel, Michel Gondry and many others. He’s currently working at his first feature film.
Roman director Carlo Lavagna talks about Arianna, his first feature film on hermaphroditism about to start production.
How did you develop this interest in hermaphrodites?
The film is actually inspired by a series of recurring dreams I had when I was a child. I often woke up after a night in the shoes of a woman much older than me. The feeling of disorientation that caused me I believe it may be assimilated to that kind of ontological questions that we all ask ourselves sooner or later. Who am I? Why do I exist? Why there is something rather than nothing? Except that in my case the inquiry was declined in a form of erotic identity. Not so much I was wondering why I existed, but why I existed as a man rather than a woman! In any case, I am convinced that hermaphroditism is an issue that can fascinate anyone because in the end we all feel a dual nature in our mind, and the film will try to highlight this ambivalence and inner conflict that it generates.
This is a totally unexplored theme in Italian cinema. What are your sources of inspiration?
Apart from the hermaphrodite dreams I had when I was a child that naturally stayed inside of me for so long at an emotional level, I also developed an intellectual interest on the topic of gender identity through the years. I did a lot of research meeting intersexed people in America, and of course I’ve read many novels and essays on the theme of authors such as Foucault, Herculine Barbin, Luce Irigarey, Judith Butler, Alice Domurat Drege, and then Kotin and Platonida by Nicolai Leskov, Orlando by Virginia Worlf , The Man of Sand by Tahar Ben Jalloun and many more…
Looking at the promo it seems that the film will deviate from realistic or documentaristic tone films on sexuality often end up having. What kind of stylistic register you imagined for the construction of the image of Arianna?
It’s my first feature film and it will be a whole discovery. The film tells a story that takes place in the course of one month, the hardest thing will be to stay close to the main character and try to convey the emotions that Arianna lives during this period of her that will change her forever. I hope I can achieve it.
Carlo is currently raising funds via Indiegogo that will be part of the overall budget for the making of the film. To learn more, click here or watch the video below.