Pluto Films aboard Giovanni Bucchieri’s debut feature “100 Seasons,” set for world premiere at Intl. The coveted Tiger competition at Film Festival Rotterdam later this month.
“The film immediately grabs us with its honesty, originality and sensitivity. It offers a colorful mix of passion, tenderness and romance,” said Daniela Cole, CEO and Head of Acquisitions.
Produced by Sweden’s French Quarter Films — also behind Anna Odell’s “The Reunion” and Levan Ekin’s “And Then We Danced” — and co-produced by RMV Films, it sees Buccieri playing with reality and fiction, as well as his own 30-year -old video recording, in a story dedicated to his first love Louise Peterhoff.
Peterhoff, now an established actor who has appeared in shows like “Peacemaker” and “The Truth Will Out,” as well as Ari Aster’s “Midsomer,” is more than just a memory. Credited as a co-creator, he returns to Giovanni’s life – as an entirely new character.
“I see this film as a fictional play. I don’t even call it a hybrid,” says Bucciri diversity. Despite their shared past, “Giovanni” and “Louise” are different from their real-life counterparts, insisting on being immortalized on these grainy VHS tapes.
“He’s too extreme. He is also very sick. I am also bipolar, but he experiences it completely differently,” Bucciri says of his struggling hero.
His former partner has done better, it seems, but he’s still “looking for something he can’t find,” directing a modern take on “Romeo and Juliet” without realizing he’s actually lived it.
“In real life, Louise has a beautiful career, wonderful children and a husband she loves. Me? I live in the exact same place, I don’t have children, I struggle financially. Things played out differently for us.”
After their breakup in 1998, they went their separate ways, running into each other at a theater school in Stockholm before losing touch again. But it was hard to let Buchiri go.
“When our relationship ended, I sat alone for a year watching these recordings. I am maybe 18 years old. But even later, I still showed them other girls who were in love with me. What an ass,” he deadpans.
“We were very young, but there was another reason I filmed: I was suicidal and Louise didn’t know it. I thought: ‘I have to film this so my grandchildren can grow up to see it.’ Which, obviously, was pretty stupid. If I killed myself, I wouldn’t have any children!
It was “weird” being reunited in front of the camera, he admits. It also took a long time to build.
“I think I first contacted Lewis about 15 years ago. I was super drunk and called him pretty late, mumbling [adopts drunken voice]: ‘It’s Giovanni. I want to make a movie about our love.’ I think he was worried,” she laughs.
Dance also becomes a bigger part of the film as the story progresses, with the classically trained Bucciri and Peterhoff – fellow Royal Swedish Ballet School alumni – getting to express their emotions through movement.
“It’s such an extreme artform, with strict rules, almost sadomasochistic. Still, when you watch her dance, there’s something freeing about it,” she notes, reflecting on her own character’s short self-paced steps or even Michael Jackson’s moonwalk before her disease brought her back to her knees.
“I wanted to show another side of the artist. I was like: ‘Oh shit, let’s just do it. Let’s do everything.’ I don’t care what people think anymore. Giovanni has nothing, but he has his ups and downs. And when he’s awake, life is wonderful and magical.”
But ultimately, Buccieri had one goal when making the film: to finally close that chapter of his life.
“For me, it’s a proper farewell. I have never been with anyone I love, not even my own mother,” he says.
“[At the end of the film] We’re just sitting on the train, quiet, looking at each other. As if to say: ‘Hey, we did our best. I will always love you, but we will never be together.’ That way is the most beautiful way to part. Now, I finally have that chance.”