Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Simone Massi "I know who I am"

"I know who I am" avows the narrator in Simone Massi’s beautifully hand drawn search for self, I know who I am. From mother’s arms to old man, the movie quite wistfully opens up the suitcase on a life full of vivid moments – the killing of a pig, a dead robin, climbing the ladder to the roof, lying on a railway station platform using the suitcase as a pillow, sniffing the smell of a bullet, rolling Italian hills, open bedroom window, walking away with the suitcase. Never fully explained but melancholic and memorable, Alberto Ricci’s narration and the accordion music of Marcello Fiorini are perfect. It is a story of travel, roads and train journeys and the avowal of identity seems just a tad difficult to accept with any confidence. Sure, identity is formed from such moments as these but the overall effect here is of transience. The movement is sumptuous: one moment a simple meal lies uneaten on a rustic chair which moves to a man mopping his lined forehead and hair that in turn becomes the hills upon which is nestled an idyllic Italian town through which we travel with increasing speed before alighting in the hand of an infant in his grandmother’s arms. Simone is 38 years of age and obtained his degree in Animated Cinema from the State Institute of Fine Arts of Urbino. His animation was originally created in 1998 though, as Simone explained to me: "I started the animation ten years ago but at that time it was only 1'00" long and without chiaroscuro. Finally in 2004 I finished the animation (the version you have seen: 3'00"with the chiaroscuro and the music of Marcello Fiorini.)" The words form a poem translated for me by Simone (whose English is certainly not "not so good" as he explained, but actually rather good!)
"I Know Who I Am: I am my grandfather and my father, every face I have seen, thought of or kissed. I Know Who I Am: I am the house where I was born, the places I read, I dreamt... (I am) the streets, the roofs and the soil shut inside my suitcase, inside the clouds from my pipe, in my glass of wine. I Know Who I Am."

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