Io tu loro noi: Voltarelli Western-Style
Italian singersongwriter Peppe Voltarelli continues to conquer the US. His music has crossed the borders of his native Calabria and reached international audiences. That's how an American film director John Cardiff, shot a short film, rather than a simple video, using as a soundtrack his song “Io tu loro noi,” from his latest album “Lamentarsi come ipotesi.”
The video is a true homage to Westerns, Cardiff used sequences from classics of the genre and paired them with scenes shot by him featuring Voltarelli. This is a video, and a song, that plays with opposites: color and black and white, you and us “a happy few” and them “a mean crowd.” It is a great retelling of the frontier myth and we discussed it with Voltarelli himself.
How did you meet Cardiff and how did you decide to make a westernstyle music video?
We met during a trip to the West Coast a few years back. We share a passion for John Ford's cinema and all the Western epics, plus he was really curious to hear stories about Calabria, the region I am from. There is something that brings together the Wild West and southern Italy, a really poetic environment made of inaccessible places and people with strong and unique characters... that's how we decided to collaborate.
So you are a fan of Western films? And why a Western for this song?
I grew up watching Westerns, the films by the major American directors, like Ford and Hawks, and of course Sergio Leone's work. I was always fascinated by that style of telling life, by the dialogues and the ambiance. "Io tu loro noi" is a complex love story with more than two people involved. I think there is nothing better than the WildWest codex to talk about a love story, its recklessness, courage, fear, spirit of adventure... the same of the pioneers and the internal struggles of their factions.
Were you just an interpreter in the video or have you been active in the making of it?
I completely trusted Cardiff, I was curious to know his point of view. I like his character suspension, his use of slow motion and his character studies.
Tell us about the contrast between b/w and color.
The use of b/w represents memory, the story that's crystallized in its past and the example to follow. Color represents the present, our everyday gestures and the continuous struggle between real life and fiction.
Where was the video shot and do you have any interesting anecdotes to share?
We shot in Arizona and in Utah, mythological places used in the Western epics. We had a small, talented and passionate crew. We stayed in a Motel which we turned into our production headquarters. I felt totally at home and I kept telling everybody that I totally felt at home. One day I brought an old book on set. It was A cowboy in Texas by Charlie Siringo, a cowboy, lawyer and journalist from Sicily. It was an autobiography set in the Wild West. During dinner someone took me aside to aske me if I though that the Italians were responsible for inventing Western cinema... I leave you with that.