“I was born in Genoa,” says Enrico Casarosa via zoom from the USA, a perfect example of a brain on the run. The warmth of an Italian pencil behind the new Pixar animation, Luca, from June 18 on Disney +. There is a double first time in a branch of the Disney world: for a director from our country, Enrico Casarosa, and for the background of Bell’Italia, including ice cream, pasta with pesto and a ride on a Vespa. “It’s a metaphor for diversity and a story of friendship”, says Casarosa. He is 49, an Oscar nominated for the short The Moon, edited the storyboard of Ratatouille e Up, loves the Japanese “school”. Here he is a child again. In this story of formation and transformation he had the desire and the desire to go back in time, when he lived in Genoa, his city, and Hollywood was just an inscription on the hill of cinema dreams.
When did you discover America?
“I have been working at Pixar since 2002, I moved to the US when I was 20 and, as often happens, the further you get away from your roots, the more you learn to appreciate them. The Cinque Terre have kept that old, lived-in, picturesque look; they have remained stuck in time, inhabited by poets, fishermen, talkers. It is in those villages clinging to the rocks, at the beginning of the 60s, that it takes place Luca, on an unforgettable summer (the season of music on the radio so we put Rita Pavone, Mina and the opera of which my mother is a great fan) both for the dreamer Luca and for his best friend, Alberto, who is the name of my best friend, who was freer than me. The two are hiding a secret ».
“They are teenage sea monsters who venture where they were told not to go: above the surface of the water. The dangers, the threats. They have the magical ability to transform into human form when dry. They are like two Martians on Earth. We were inspired by the mimetic ability of octopuses ».
And they end up becoming fish out of water …
“They need to hide their identity. How many times as a child have I heard myself say: do not go swimming in those waters that are infested with sea dragons! This film is a love letter to the summers of our youth. For an adult, there is nothing more meaningful than making kids laugh, arousing emotions. I consider it an honor. My daughter is 13 years old and I have asked myself many times: what do I want to give to the new generation? ».
Does this film embrace the differences?
“It’s a metaphor about exclusion and more, you can identify with the protagonists of this story, who are in that season that precedes the first flirts and sweethearts. There is self-acceptance. And it also concerns me closely ».
“At the time of high school in Genoa, my best friends and I were a bit nerds. We were the ones in the last section, the L, and we were perceived as gods losers, of the losers as they say in America, of the misfits. And we, timid, were always behind. When I thought about the essence of a sea monster and something you have to hide, I thought I’d reconnect with those years. There is a small tribute to Mastroianni in The usual unknown».
It is a story with its own complexity.
«The three protagonists have their own loneliness, there is a hole in their lives. Giulia, who spends summers there, is bizarre, unrepentant, has a vulnerability of her own and fights with the bully of the company».
Even in the short with which he touched the Oscar he talks about himself …
“That my first story, “The Moon”, it sank into family matters, about my father and grandfather who never got along. There is always something unique about talking about great moments when you are looking for yourself. There may be nostalgia, the point of view of adults entering the world of children. At the same time you can see the world with new eyes ».
June 6, 2021 (change June 9, 2021 | 17:27)
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