After graduating at the Dams and Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia in Rome in 2004, he made his debut as a director with the short film "Stidda ca curri", winner of the "50th Taormina Film Fest." He also creates soundtracks. In 2009 his short film "the Door" is in competition at the Rotterdam Film Festival. In 2011 his short film "Terra", which he also wrote, is presented in competition at the 65th Cannes Film Festival. The following year, with the short film "The Newton's First Law" he won a special mention at the Rome International Film Festival. The same short film is in quintet for the "Nastri d'Argento" and the Golden Globe. He became assistant director in Paolo Sorrentino's film "This Must Be the Place" and "The Great Beauty". In 2014, under the project of Giorgio Armani "Films of City Frames" has created a short film based on the novel by Louis Fernand Celine "Journey to the End of the Night" starring Paolo Sorrentino, with unedited images of "The Great beauty ", produced by RAI Cinema. For TV, he directed the series, presented by Greta Scacchi, "Masterpieces Revealed", broadcast on Sky Arte. In 2014 he directed his first feature film, "L'Attesa", starring Juliette Binoche, produced by Medusa Film which will be released in 2015.
La Prima Legge di Newton 2012
Terra (short) 2011
V atto 2010
Francesca dorme 2010
Una vita a ritroso 2010
La porta (short) 2009
So far so close 2009
Un’altra volta (short) 2009
Antonio (short) 2008
Pirrera (doc) 2007
Stidda ca curri (short) 2004
Interview with Piero Messina author of The First Law of Newton and next to debut with his first feature film "L'Attesa" (The Waiting), produced by Indigo Film (The Great Beatuy).
Hi Piero, the title of the short film that we presented – The Newton’s First Law – is very evocative. How did you come up with this story?
Actually the title came at the end. I had already finished editing the short film and were looking for a title, so I ran into the definition of the Newton’s Firs Law, I found that this principle fitted perfectly with the story we told. So I decided to add the voice over that opens and closes the short (which is nothing but the declamation of the first famous law). Visually, I had already been working on this association, by relating the motion of the balls with the preceding time and our love story, but the idea of linking the physical principle with the story came only at the end.
We loved the delicacy with which you portray the love of th two elderly protagonists. How did they get along with the scene?
It was the most interesting job. I talked a lot with them before shooting, even before I involved them in the project. I was very clear from the beginning, I wanted them to know right now that the scene in which it was written “the characters spend the night together” would be really a sex scene. I told them I did not want to tell the story of two “old people” (those stories where everything is nice), but a true love story regardless of the age. It took us a while, but in the end the actors were very generous, the days before we talked a lot and told me their way of living sexuality so you can imagine the scene for what it is. Shooting that scene has been very enjoyable for all three, there was no embarrassment, I would say that it was somehow liberating. From a visual standpoint, I tried to tell the beauty of that moment, the sweetness of those bodies.
Today we also present Terra – a kind of “road movie” in a ferry – which was in competition at the 65th Cannes Film Festival. What can you tell us about this work?
First, it was a bit of my “business card” that made me know and be appreciated by producer Nicola Giuliano, Indigo Film, with which I am realizing my first feature film L‘Attesa. The short film recounts the night journey of a man who, after many years, decides to return to Sicily on a ship crossing the Messin’s Stretto. Very little is known about him, but this was a deliberate choice that I and screenwriter Giacomo Bendotti. We did not want to tell a story, but more the sentiment embodied in the character. We were interested in developing a relationship of empathy that could bind the viewer emotionally to the protagonist.
How would you define your filmic style? Who inspires you?
Fortunately I don’t take inspiration from anyone in particular anymore. I watched of course a lot of movies, especially during his university years and I had strong passions for different authors, that led me for a little time to emulate some style of directin. Today I live what I like with more serenity, I know that everything that excites me in the end It influences me, and that is all.
How do you find your stories?
I rarely start with a story. Many times I start with an image or a place as it was in the case of “Terra” (in that case I started from the desire to display the atmosphere of a ferry across the sea at night). For “The Newton’s First Law” instead I started from a script already written. Let’s say it was a commissioned work. The idea originally belonged to Eleonora Cimpanelli and Dario Bonamin. And I have to say “thank” to me what was a brilliant script and a lot of fun, has turned into a short film woth a slower pace and somehow sad.
You have just completed the shooting of your first feature film L’Attesa (The Waiting). Can you tell us what it’s about?
I can’t say much, we’re going to edit these days, I do not want to say too much yet about the story, which is why I apologize. But this film tells the relationship between two women isolated in a villa in the Sicilian hinterland, awaiting the return of Giuseppe, the son of the first woman, and boyfriend of the second. In the days they will spend together, which are those of Easter, their relationship will develop around the absence of the man who both love (as a mother, the other one as a lover), this untin their wait will turn slowly in an act of love and will.
What are the differences between writing and directing a short than a feature?
Fatigeu, above all. It is not a minor thing, fatigue affects you. Having said that working on a feature film I find it a lot more fun. The characters have longer narrative arcs in which to grow. There is more time, so the quiter emotions may slowly emerge on the surface as the story unfolds.
L’Attesa is produced by Nicola Giuliano of Indigo Film, the same producer of the Oscar-winning “The Great Beauty”. How was it working with them?
Beautiful. I could not wish for a better condition for my debut. Nicola has provided everything that the film needed, He was very supportive since the latest drafts of the script, we talked a lot, but mostly he always approached my candidly regardless the big difference of our careers. I owe a lot to him, without the Indigo “L’Attesa” would be a much less ambitious film and certainly less beautiful.
You studied at the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia. What gave you?
The Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia gave me above all the chance to experiment (in fact). For three years I have had the opportunity to shoot many shorts and exercises so I could try many things. Let’s say it gave me the opportunity to better understand what, and how, I wanted to tell a story.
What would you recommend to a young Italian filmmakers “to make acareer”?
I can recommend only to lower their threshold of intelligence to nearly reach a blessed degree of dullness, without this component I find it impossible to undertake the improbable path of becoming a director. Dullness in the sense of being convinced without ever doubting (just like the dulls do) that eventually you will become a director for real. As if it was a natural thing. For me it was so.
Online Preview: Newton’s First Law
“When viewed in an inertial reference frame, an object either remains at rest or continues to move at a constant...
Physics applied to life and a last chance to take, because it is never too late to find love.
Italy / 20 minutes
Online Premiere: Terra
A regular night on a ferry headed to Sicily. It’s presumably Winter, one of those off-season trips in which...
Various human types meet on a night ferry's regular trip.
Italy / 23 minutes