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"I wish I could believe in God" - Walla! culture


On the rise of HOT in "The New Pope," the sequel to "The Young Pope," director Paulo Sorrentino explains in a special interview to Walla! Culture why he is jealous of those who believe in God, ...

"I wish I could believe in God"

Photo by GettyImages

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On the rise of HOT in "The New Pope," the sequel to "The Young Pope," director Paulo Sorrentino explains in a special interview to Walla! Culture why he envyes those who believe in God, why doesn't he bother watching his works on the computer and why he has no problem with nudity

Avner Shavit, Venice


Of all the filmmakers who have moved to the small screen in recent years, Paulo Sorrentino is one of the most prominent names. The Italian director, who became a regular at the Cannes Film Festival with films such as "Il Divo", "This Must Be The Place" and "Youth" and won an Oscar for "Beautiful Forever", created his first television series four years ago - "The Young Pope", a joint production Of three television bodies - American HBO, British SKY and Italian RAI. The original plan was to settle for a mini-series format, but the project has had great success, including nominations for the Golden Globe and my mother, so today (Sunday) is airing on HOT season two, and this time titled "The New Pope."

Remember, season one introduced us to the story of the first English-speaking pope in history, played by Jude Law, and he sank into a coma at the end. Now comes his replacement, older but Anglo-Saxon as well, portrayed by John Malkovich, and he doesn't even have a single moment of grace in his new role, as he took office at a time when the Catholic Church was experiencing unprecedented shakes. All this presents Sorentino in his constant style, combining poetic and critical, chutzpah and celestial. In short, the exact opposite of the bourgeois and laid-back style of "Pope," the movie currently running on Netflix.

The launch of "The New Pope" took place in early September as part of the Venice Festival, which featured two episodes of the series. On this occasion, I met Sorrentino, along with a small group of journalists from across Europe. This is the third time I have interviewed the creator in the last decade, and like his works, his answers have also maintained a similar character over the years - nonchalant, laconic, sometimes borderline, but always interesting.

More on:

Our interview with Sorrentino on "beautiful forever"

Our interview with Sorrentino on "youth"

Venice Festival "Both the Pope and I are liars. We both tell stories and ask them to believe them"

Do you see a resemblance between the Pope and a filmmaker?

"We are both liars. He tells, for example, that Mary did not become pregnant in the conventional way before giving birth to Jesus. He tells stories and so do I, as a film director. I create something fake, artificial, and ask the audience to accept it as a truth. The difference is that the pope is responsible for a billion people, and I Only a few dozen staff members. Besides, they expect me to give answers. The Pope does not expect that. He is the representative of God, and his answers. "

What initially attracted you to the Pope, and then to continue to deal with the issue?

"Philip Roth once wrote that it is a common mistake to think that people write about things because they understand them. On the contrary - you write about things you don't understand. You don't know anything. So, you have questions, and writing is your way of looking for answers. That drew me to do a series on the Vatican. I don't know anything about it. "

What questions were you looking for answers this time around?

"The same questions I had in the first season. I didn't get any answers, so I had to do a second season. Incidentally, I didn't find any answers this time either, so I can do a third season if asked."

What is your attitude toward religion and belief?

"I would define myself as a religious wannabe. I try to believe in God, but I can't. I wish I could. I envy those who succeed."

As a burnt-out fan of Naples, who dedicated his Oscar to Maradona, I have to ask - didn't his famous Gull, "The Hand of God," get you to believe it?

"I don't know ... Maybe Maradona is God. This belief is a mystery, so it interests me."

How about the famous saying that this religion is opiate for the masses.

"I'll quote Silvio Orlando's answer, which stars in the series - 'Opium is good.'"

"I'm a religious wannabe." Paolo Sorrentino in Venice (Photo: Image Bank)

Paulo Sorrentino (Photo: GettyImages)

You describe the church in a humorous, even sarcastic way.

"The priests and cardinals are ironic among themselves and tend to tease each other. I'm just true to reality."

Did you get comments from the Vatican about season one?

"Not directly, but a theologian close to the Pope wrote an article saying the series is good, though a bit naive. I took everything he said as a compliment."

In general, have you followed the reactions to the series?

"I have to confess not, for two reasons. First, after I finish one project, I always start
Thinking about the next project, and I no longer have a mind to think about what I did. Second thing - I'm a coward. I'm afraid to find out that someone was offended or hurt by me. If someone tells me they wrote a nice review, I'll look for it and read, but if they wrote something bad - I'd rather not know. "

"If anyone is hurt, I'd rather not know." Paolo Sorrentino in Venice (Photo: Image Bank)

Paulo Sorrentino (Photo: GettyImages)

Let's move on to the doing style - how you designed the scene, taking pictures in the Vatican couldn't.

"I couldn't. I asked for permission, and of course they wouldn't. Still, for me it was very simple. I tell the production designer what I want, and he does. In addition, the aesthetic of the Catholic Church is very close to my aesthetic concept, so it's easy for me at all." .

How much do you stick to the script when shooting?

"I am very loyal to dialogues, but everything else I make up while on the move. I used to be pre-determined, but today I change everything in place, which drives my team crazy. It bothers them, but doesn't bother me about deadline. In fact, I even Finishes sooner than needed. "

You can't talk about your artwork without giving credit to your regular partner, Luca Bigazzi.

"He never knows what I want to do, but he is always open to all ideas and solutions. I shoot with four cameras, which makes it difficult for him to find the right lighting, so we are always arguing."

And who wins?

"I am".

It drives everyone crazy. Paulo Sorrentino (Photo: Image Bank)

Paulo Sorrentino (Photo: GettyImages)

"Why is there me naked? Because naked people sometimes. Until ten years ago, nudity on the screen was seen as completely normal, and nobody asked about it. Now, all of a sudden, everyone is asking about it."

The "New Pope" has some commonalities with your latest movie, "Loro." For example - both have quite a few nude scenes, something less common nowadays to see on the screens.

"Why are I naked? Because naked people sometimes. Until ten years ago, nudity on the screen was seen as completely normal, and no one asked about it. Now, all of a sudden, everyone asks about it. My answer is that nudity was and remains normal. After all, there are two options in life - to be dressed, and to be naked, so if you come to describe life, you are only asked to show both options. There are people with glasses and there are people without, so I only show characters without glasses.

The series is so stylish and aesthetic. Does it bother you that many people will watch it on your phone or computer?

"On the phone it is excessive, but with the computer I have no problem. I also like to see things on the computer. That's how I concentrate. Nobody bothers me, no one eats next to me and I can appreciate what I see best. You can enjoy watching the computer just like Watching the big screen in Venice. "

By the way, during the screening, someone next to me took out her iPhone to do Shazam and check out where the song is playing in episode seven. How do you choose the music?

"Spotify. Spotify's algorithm recognizes my taste and offers me songs I love, and that's how I keep finding good things."

"Why does everyone suddenly ask about nudity?" From "The New Pope" (Photo: PR)

The New Pope (Photo: Venice Festival, PR)

The classic question - is there a difference between directing a movie or a series?

"The only difference: When I make a movie, I can go in different directions for five minutes. When I do a series, I can go in a different direction for an entire episode."

Is it hard to go back to making a movie after you've done a series?

"No, there are stories that are more suited to cinema and ones that are more suited to television."

Will there be a third season?

"As far as it's up to me, yes, but I'm not making the decisions. In the meantime, I'm busy with other things, and working on film projects."

During the second season, the new pope was asked "what is love", and has a very nice answer. What's your answer?

"What is love? It's hard, I don't know, let me think ... I have an answer for you. Love is that you are happy to take responsibility for someone else."

The new "Pope" will be aired every Sunday at 10pm exclusively on the new "- starting at 12.1, Sundays at 10pm on HOT VOD, HOT HBO and NEXT TV

Every Sunday. From "The New Pope" (Photo: PR)

The New Pope (Photo: Venice Festival, PR)

Not a diplomat. Paulo Sorrentino in Venice (Photo: Imagebank

Paulo Sorrentino (Photo: GettyImages)

Source: walla

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