Spike Jonze in sold-out CineChat at Rome Film Festival 2013

Damian Lewis, Douglas Booth and Christian Cooke on the red carpet for Romeo and Juliet

Mario Sesti , Sandra Hebron and Spike Jonze
Rome Film Festival 2013
This year's edition of the Rome Film Festival may be taking place under a cloud of controversy with reports in the Italian press of alleged behind the scenes political bickering and criticism aimed at artistic director Marco Müller, yet many of the special events and screenings - in particular the CineChat on-stage conversations with actors and directors - are proving to be extremely popular with the public. There were certainly long queues to get into the sold-out Sala Petrassi at the Auditorium Parco della Musica on Monday afternoon to see film director Spike Jonze in conversation.

Appearing uneasy in the spotlight at first – he asked that a giant projected photo of himself be removed from the big screen, and even moved his chair closer to those of moderators Mario Sesti and Sandra Hebron to create more intimacy - Jonze soon relaxed into easy conversation, often throwing questions out to the audience for a show of hands, and revealing an irreverent sense of humour. The afternoon saw a fascinating discussion of his cinematographic career, from his childhood memories of making home movies on a video camera, through his television advertisements and pop music videos, and his ground-breaking films such as Being John Malkovich, right up to his latest In Competition festival offering Her. He also generously name-checked collaborators such as the band Arcade Fire, and screenwriter Charlie Kaufmann, and was keen to stress the importance of mutually influential directors of his generation such as Michel Gondry and Roman Coppola.

Leaving the Spike Jonze encounter I was lucky enough to catch the Romeo and Juliet red carpet and watched as delighted, mostly teenage, girls screamed and posed for photographs with the young and extremely pretty British actor Douglas Booth and co-star Christian Cooke. The Carlo Carlei film, with a screenplay by Julian Fellowes (both present, together with special guest Guillermo del Toro), is being presented Out of Competition at the festival. It also stars Homeland actor Damian Lewis, who was a huge hit with waiting fans along the red carpet.

To get a taste of the atmosphere at the Romeo and Juliet red carpet watch the video below (or click here to watch on YouTube).


Unknown said…
Wow, Rome Film Festival is definitely the place to be. Looks amazing!