500 years ago, it would have been someone like Leonardo Da Vinci people would have been keeping up with on reality TV. And, 500 years later, his influence, teachings, and creations become more vibrant with each generation.
A documentary or interview directly with Da Vinci would be impossible today without a Ouija board. A movie inspired by his life would still fail to portray Da Vinci authentically. Though a combination of both, using actors but building the text entirely on his original writings is genius.
In the film Being Leonardo Da Vinci, director and interpreter Massimiliano Finazzer Flory captures the soul of Da Vinci like never seen before. Viewers are emerged into the mind of the artist to discover he was so much more than that – a visionary, inventor, scientist, scholar. Finazzer invites the world to not just learn about Da Vinci but to know him, at least, the best one could know someone who lived a few centuries years ago.
Actor Jacopo Rampini plays the role of the journalist interviewing Da Vinci. The brilliance behind it is the film molds the questions to fit the answers, making an impossible interview possible. Dressed in period costumes and wearing make up which reconstructs Da Vinci’s face, Finazzer is transformed into Da Vinci, revealing his secrets, passions, and methods of working, answering each question from the mindset of the painter. The film touches upon a range of topics: his childhood, the relationship between art and science, what defines a good painter, maxims and aphorisms to live by, and much more.
Through the creation of a film that is constructed to genuinely represent the artist and solely reflect his thoughts and approach to life and art, Finazzer introduces to the world the real Leonardo Da Vinci.
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Colombian-born author Jamie Valentino is the Editor-at-large of POP Style TV. You can read his words in VICE, Google Arts & Culture, Faddy Magazine, W42ST Magazine, The Queer Review, and many more. His literary work has been published in Statement of Record, Across the Margin Publishing, and Maudlin House.