An important actress in Italian cinema and elsewhere, Jasmine Trinca goes behind the camera with her first feature film, “Marcel!”. We caught up with her to talk about her journey and the autobiographical aspect of her work.
Jasmine Trinca, from actress to director
It’s been a good twenty years since Jasmine Trinca was revealed in Italy and to international critics. It was in 2001, and she was filming for the first time in front of Nanni Moretti’s camera in The Son’s Room, which won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. A revelation that was not long in confirming. She sublimated first Our best years (2003) for a few scenes, before being part of the impressive cast of Romanzo criminale (2005). From there, the actress navigated between various roles under the direction of Italian but also French filmmakers (Bertrand Bonello, Emmanuel Mouret, Alain Tasma).
However, things will change for her in 2013, thanks to her meeting with Valeria Golino for the very beautiful honey. Not a change in her acting career, but the birth ofa desire, that of “look at things on their own“. If this feeling appeared for her a few years ago, it was by taking Valeria Golino as an example that she imagined herself capable, too, of go behind the camera.
Seeing her, I started to get a little curious. Valeria is a superb actress, but like me she had not studied to direct. And I had this a priori that you had to have technical knowledge. With Valeria, I understood that it was different. That it was a question of look.
However, Jasmine Trinca will take her time. The time in particular to work on herself to be able to trust herself enough:
I think it’s very feminine to find the moment when you allow yourself to do something. It took a whole process. Which does not mean that today I am sure of myself. I never am. But it’s good. Because I think that creativity goes through doubt.
Marcel! : a personal and autobiographical film
From this was born a first short film, Being My Mom (2020), then a feature film, Marcel!in the same line (same actresses and a similar subject). An autobiographical work, personal, about a complex relationship between a mother and her daughter. In front of this film, it is difficult to say what is from the life of its author, from her memories or from fiction – which makes the feature film all the more disturbing. But she confirms that the difficulty of his relationship with his mother is the main source of inspiration.
I had a complicated relationship with my mother. I was in combat with her. It may have been the fact of having become a mother, or the loss of my mother, which made me reflect a little on my role afterwards. But in Marcel! you know there is everything. How I am as a mother, how I was a child, etc. There are things that I have really experienced and others that are fantasized.
In Marcel!, a young girl grows up with an artist mother who pays her very little attention. While the father is no longer there, his mother offers all her love to her dog, Marcel. It is with him that she plays, in the street, for a tragico-burlesque mime act. Jasmine Trinca thus engages with this delicate film about childhood, bereavement and the difficulty of growing up, through the prism of a young girl’s memories. Memories which, in principle, cannot accurately represent reality, allowing the director to play with a feeling of strangeness.
It must be because I did a lot of analysis, but what interested me was subjectivity. How memories can mark and alter the memory of a child or an adult. The film is seen through the gaze of this girl. So the things she sees are not quite as they happened. It’s not a realistic movie.
Change of look
A film even surreal at times. A dark tale, she specifies, which allows her to rediscover things she has experienced, or even to relive them. Thus, even if Marcel! is a first feature film that is not always easy, real maturity is felt in Jasmine Trinca in her intentions. In her fascination for silent cinema and her love of silence, which she reveals to us with soothing calm and delicacy. Or even in the evolution of his view of his first profession.
Behind the camera, I saw the actors differently. It’s as if I saw myself. I found actors to be very fragile creatures. It almost upsets me.
Marcel! by Jasmine Trinca, with Alba Rohrwacher and the young but impressive Maayane Conti, is to be discovered in theaters on July 27, 2022. ©Image of a Giovanni Canitano
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Jasmine Trinca (Marcel!): “Actors are very fragile creatures” – CinéSéries