When you’re impressed by the early short film work of a particular director, your thoughts upon hearing about the release of their latest project always turn to a mixture hope and anticipation. This was certainly the case when Nowness unleashed Francesco Calabrese’s latest film as part of their Shorts on Sunday series. Following up the impressive Lovely Monster, Calabrese’s latest, I Killer, builds on the striking filmmaking on display in his previous work with a story of an adolescent gang’s extreme induction ceremony.
Based on Italian writer Nicola Lombardi’s short story Prove di Coraggio (Tests of Courage) we asked Calabrese to tell us why he chose to adapt that particular story into the foreboding short it became:
“That story is more than 10 years old and at that time I was trying very hard to find the best and cheapest concept to adapt into my first short film and when I came across Nicola’s work I thought that was it. I made it two years ago because before that I couldn’t gather the money and people to shoot for two days with more than 20 kids in a remote location. Anyway, Prove Di Coraggio has many of the elements that I look for in a narrative piece. It’s character driven, universal and thrilling. Kids often play that sort of “gang” game and either you’re in or you wanna get in. Just like when you grow up and wanna fit in in some sort of social environment. Everyone experienced it in a way or the other. But when you’re young, all you know about the world that you wanna live in (not the one you actually live in) comes from movies and TV. So that makes everything more dramatic and dangerous and killing is the most dramatic and dangerous thing a person can do.”