Daitona, Lorenzo Giovenga

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Twenty-four hours in the life of Loris Daitona. He is a dissolute Roman writer and former star of the literary scene, who had published his only novel when he was just sixteen: the best seller for teen-agers Ti Lovvo – I Luvve You. Ten years later, what happened to Loris Daitona? The comedic parabola of this day starts inside of an unknown pink bedroom in which Daitona wakes up without remembering anything of the previous night. He finds a blood stain on his helmet and a text on his phone reminding him to deliver a certain Red Sparrow at the usual place and nothing more. From this moment, Daitona will be involved in a few matters of mistaken identity, serial misunderstandings and ambiguous meetings such as the one with an erotic she-poet, a psycho thug, a fanatic actor and a greedy publisher. Set in a look-alike Los Angeles Italian capital city, which is peopled with grotesque characters and endemic caricatures, Daitona will necessarily need to solve a series of apparently unexplainable questions: what the hell happened the night before? What is the Red Sparrow? What do everyone want from him?



Both the American imagery and culture have massively influenced those who grew up in the 1990s, like me. When we were little America was a cool thing, a sort of distant and dreamy mirage. Then when we grew up, like it or not, America became a comparison. Here in Italy many directors of my generation are currently producing a new type of cinema. A new aesthetics – fresh and hybrid – which tributes that kind of American imagery while keeping an eye open on film genre. At the same time, the stylistic trademarks of Italian cinema are still clearly visible. In Daitona, you can spot American references from its very title and then across the whole story and characters: the plot is full of cliffhangers and turning points, like in most Hollywood movies. But in the end nothing is what it looks like: everything is just a giant misunderstanding that reminds us we are still in our beloved Italy, where everything changes in order for things not to change at all. Daitona is my first feature-film, in which I wanted to tribute everything that I have always loved: from Bukowski-style corrupted characters, to the weird atmospheres of the Coen brothers, the catchy rhythm of Tarantino’s dialogues and the surreal comedic tone of Edgar Wright up to the buzzing lights of Mario Bava and the most recent TV series which have revolutionized the small screen. I also played with film genre by mixing their different features into this experimental and kaleidoscopic pot. The story itself becomes almost a pretext to explore hopes, frustrations and desires of Loris Daitona and the other characters who gravitate around him. I also wanted to turn independent cinema into my strength – I was in fact given all the time that I needed without excessive pressure. I started from writing dialogues carefully. Then I dedicated several weeks to working with actors in order to find Daitona’s own stylistic trademark. Then I walked around Rome a lot, filming its “Roman essence”, went jogging in Villa Torlonia and had the chance to work with an incredible team, without owing anything to anyone. This is how the universe of Daitona, which started as a bidimensional project for the big screen, has progressively become tridimensional, allowing fiction and reality to melt into each other. Lorenzo Giovenga – Director