Proofs of Existence

Alain Parrone captures the "manifesto of a lost generation"
by Fabio Marzari
Alain Perroni
  • friday, 1 september 2023

Roman, born in 1993, Alain Parroni comes from the world of graphics and animation, a disciple of the brilliant Stefan Sagmeister. Already in Venice in 2017 with ADAVEDE, which received numerous awards, he returns to competition in the Horizons section with An Endless Sunday, a story of nihilism and rebellion in the extreme Roman suburbs.

An Endless Sunday (Una sterminata domenica), tell us something about the film title.
The title came to me naturally, though when we thought about translating it, we weren’t sure we would find the perfect match for the word ‘sterminata’… it is a very interesting concept, especially when referring to Sundays, a sort of ‘existential limbo’ that I associate with my childhood summers. How does it work in English? There are four concepts in it: end, less, sun, day… I think it does sound similar, in the end!

In your film, Rome looks far removed from your peaceful neighbourhood…
I grew up in the countryside. When I cut classes, I would take the train to Rome. Using the metro felt like being at Disneyland! It was inebriating looking at those amazing monuments, like the Colosseo, and being able to say: “I belong in here. I am a part of all this!”

AN ENDLESS SUNDAY

UNA STERMINATA DOMENICA

Brenda is pregnant. Alex has just turned 19, and he will soon be a father. Kevin writes his name in every corner of the city. Three teenagers try to mark their presence in the world, feeding off instant gratification and off their youthful arrogance. They spend their days betw...

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AN ENDLESS SUNDAY

UNA STERMINATA DOMENICA

Brenda is pregnant. Alex has just turned 19, and he will soon be a father. Kevin writes his name in every corner of the city. Three teenagers try to mark their presence in the world, feeding off instant gratification and off th...

READ

Different worlds that have something in common…
The separation between city and countryside is important in my film. Countryside puts up with the city, while the city mostly ignores it. City dwellers travel to the countryside only when they want to get something out of it.

How does the story unfold in the film?
I wanted to explore what adolescence meant using three characters: closed off, introverted, and detached. I am now 31, but I started writing the movie when I was 20. It was that time in life when you feel you’re in a void: you don’t know what to do, what to build. Your life chugs along thanks to all sorts of small things. All three characters wanted to leave some proof of their being there: Kevin uses graffiti, Brenda gets pregnant and thinks this will bring some meaning to her life, Alex convinces himself he is the father and tries to build a semblance of adult life, who knows how long that will last… When you live in the countryside, when you have few avenues to express yourself, you try to satisfy your need for affirmation in family. Many of my former schoolmates started families. I wondered if I was doing the right thing, with my passion for comic books and photography, my animation classes, my short movies… and now my feature film. What I want to do is to be as truthful as possible. There are two realities: objective and digital. I interviews many young people over the last few years and I realized how my questions – on politics, on religion – contrasted in several ways with the world of social media, where I could see more of reality, not less. This reality influences us, determines us, and builds our behaviour, our grammar, our language.

How did you choose your cast?
I picked Federica Valentini (Brenda) after one of those interviews I mentioned. Enrico Bassetti and Zackari Delmas do not come from Rome and have never lived in a big city. They knew well what it feels like to live in the countryside, which made them perfect for the story I wanted.

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