La Commedia non é Finita !
« Pagliacci ! » is an extreme rewriting of Leoncavallo’s opera, yet faithful to its thematic core. Under a disjointed Big Top, sweat and blood reign supreme and fuel the endless conflict between men and women, opposing them to the extreme or uniting them in total fusion. These characters, hot-blooded and moody, know an everyday life of matter and frailty. They speak up loud, their head up high and their sense of drama always on display.
In a fifties-inspired Technicolor universe, the fundamental operatic quality of “I Pagliacci” is highlighted by a contemporary musical approach. Fellini’s onirism and Jodorowsky’s cruelty both strongly influence the overall direction, and the surrealism of several scenes. From verism to ultra-realism, the image is set to burst out of the screen.
“Pagliacci!” is an attempt at squaring the circle: four characters at the heart of an eternal story, the cycle / circus of perpetual passions.
Nedda / Colombina, the unfaithful wife, with a heart split in two
Canio / Pagliacco, the deceived husband with a jealous temper
Silvio / Arlequino, the irresistible lover with a poisonous charm
Tonio / Taddeo, the forlorn lover with a frustrated soul
Four bleeding hearts trapped by their own outspoken feelings…
The scene is set several years after the original story, as Nedda’s daughter just replaced her mother at head of the clique. On a circular ring set within four masts, the tragedy unfolds through flash-backs, fed by the confusion between past and present, fantasy and reality.