Cristina Comencini began her career as a screenwriter, with co-writing credits for “Il matrimonio di Caterina” (1982), “Quattro storie di donne” (1986) and “Buon Natale… Buon anno” (1989). She made her debut as a movie director in 1988 with” Zoo,” followed by “I divertimenti della vita privata” (1990), “La fine è nota” (1992), “Va’ dove ti porta il cuore” (1996), “Matrimoni” (1998), “Liberate i pesci”(1999), “Il più bel giorno della mia vita” (2002), Academy Award nominee “La bestia nel cuore” (2005), “Bianco e nero” (2008) and “Quando la Notte” (2011). Comencini is also a stage director and an author. (Press materials)
W&H: Please give us your description of the film playing. What drew you to this story?
CC: The wives and daughters of an Italian cinema star organize a reunion in his hometown to celebrate [his life] ten years [after he dies]. “Latin Lover” [centers on] the relationships between the wives and daughters to a legendary husband and father. In [one] way or another, all fathers are legends. This movie [tells] a universal story that belongs to all of us: the emotional subjection of women from men, love, and [the] conflicted relationship between them.
W&H: What was the biggest challenge in making the film?
CC: The first challenge was casting very good international actors who could act in Italian: The legendary actor and father of the story has daughters in France, Spain, Sweden and the United States! The second challenge was to create the beauty, atmosphere and mysterious figure of the legendary celebrity in a sort of documentary patchwork.
W&H: What do you want people to think about when they are leaving the theater?
CC: That they had fun, were emotionally involved and able to feel the importance of the movie’s main theme.
W&H: What advice do you have for other female directors?
CC: To consider cinematography as literature is: as a field in which they can stand out and multiply.
W&H: What’s the biggest misconception about you and your work?
CC: I have done dramas and comedies. Comedies are not selected by festivals; they are often considered only to be movies for audience. I think that it is very difficult to make comedies, and that sometimes comedies last longer than dramatic movies, which can become [dated] after some years.
W&H: How did you get your film funded? Share some insights into how you got the film made.
CC: This was a medium-high budget film. The producer was Lionello Cerri with RAI Cinema, our Italian public television company, who also finance[d] most of our cinematography. All of my movies have been produced by RAI, and one of them was an Academy Award nominee. Therefore, they gave me the support to finance this film.
W&H: Name your favorite woman-directed film and why.
CC: I like Nora Ephron’s comedies, and I love “The Piano” by Jane Campion, a beautiful picture that tells about women’s sexuality for the first time in a movie. There are still very few directors like her.