Gucci’s designer accompagnied by Fellini
revealed the behind the scenes of the fashion show
WAITING FOR THE BARBARIANS
An adaptation that also speaks Italian
by Francesca Romana Buffetti
It is a succession of “perhaps” and “I think”, with a heap of question marks, that we come across on the pages of that masterpiece that is Waiting for the Barbarians by John Maxwell Coetzee; such striking pages that they have been an obsession for Michael Fitzgerald for more than thirty years: «I met the writer in Zurich at the end of the Eighties − says the producer of the film − We discussed at length how to render it for cinema, because I wanted to pay homage to the writer, a tip of the hat, as we would say in English. Literature and cinema are two completely different mediums: the first leaves everything to the imagination and the other leaves nothing out of the frame, but creates all of it in the image. The only thing that can be done is try to recreate the emotion that one had while reading the novel and this is what I have wanted to do for thirty years: recreate something that had shook me».
In a fluent and elegant Italian («elementary − he specifies − because I studied in Liguria the first years of my life so I don’t know how to express myself in an adult language»), Fitzgerald still betrays a certain devotion to the Magistrate, so it is no coincidence that he chose Mark Rylance, a British actor at the helm of the Globe Theatre for ten years: «With the protagonist of the novel there has been an identification process that I think is common to many readers: he doesn’t want to see what is happening around him, he wants to run away, he wants to wash his hands of it, but he can’t. I would have liked to have the courage to rebel as he did in the end, to flee from one’s weaknesses. Making the film was about exorcising this impulse».