News 2013

Interview with Alessandro Rak, director of L’arte della felicità (The Art of Happiness)

Giulia Ghigi Who was Alessandro Rak before becoming a director?

Alessandro Rak Before this film, I directed music videos and animated shorts, and I worked as a comic-strip writer.

GG What kind of necessity pushed you to choose this particular story for your debut?

AR No necessity at all. This film, this title, these topics, this realistic approach were proposed by the producer. My collaborators and I then decided to embark on this project.

GG In your works you use different techniques, from coloured pencils to the digital. What kind of techniques did you use in this film? And what is the main difference between drawing for comics and for cinema?

AR For this film we have used an experimental 2D technique, with 3D integrations. In non-traditional animation, like in this case, the sign and every other aspect have to be constructed. Our purpose was to give it a fresh and lively air in its final delivery. Comics are totally another story. The sign does not necessarily hide evaluations or a particular reasoning, and honestly presents itself for what it actually is. However, comics and film animation can be very similar to the extent that they can coincide sometimes. There is a thread of communication between all the arts and it allows them to erase their boundaries and blur on one another.

GG Is it music, a fundamental element in your work, that determines rhythm, signs, and pace of your film, or has it an independent development instead?

AR We tried to realise this film with what and on what was available to us. We looked carefully. We have been lucky enough to collaborate with some talented artists belonging to the new Neapolitan music scene. We can say that this film is also their film, if they are happy with it.

GG In the search for the meaning of life and death, how can art change the resigned existence of the protagonist and that of his city?

AR The film does not explicitly present a change in the protagonist’s way of thinking, and it does not lead to a positive ending either. What is assembled together are just ingredients and chances that might be useful for a personal revolution.