Director, screenwriter, producer, one of the most versatile authors of British cinema, Michael Winterbottom participated in the Festival del Cinema Europeo on 10 April.
The Salentine festival, directed by Alberto La Monica took place in Lecce from 9 to 14 April at the Multiplex Cinema Massimo, and dedicated to him the “Protagonists of European Cinema” section together with the already announced Hungarian director Ildikó Enyedi.
The Festival offered a selection of ten of Winterbottom’s most representative films: “Jude” (1996); “Welcome to Sarajevo” (1997); “Wonderland” (1998); “The Claim” (2000); “In this World” (2002); “24 Hour Party People” (2002); “The Road to Guantanamo” (2006); “Genova” (2008); “The Killer Inside Me (2010); “Meredith – The Face of an Angel” (2014).
The author met the audience in a Q&A after which he received the Golden Olive Tree Award for Career Achievement.
Michael Winterbottom has explored many different film genres with great inventiveness. A prolific, talented and never shallow author, the filmmaker has often used a narrative style halfway between documentary and fiction. Over the years, thanks to his experimental and constantly original style, he has also acquired great popularity in the independent film sector.
The director is currently working on “Greed”, a satire on the world of the super-rich and their seemingly insatiable greed, starring Sacha Baron-Cohen, whose character is inspired by billionaire Green Philip, the owner of BHS department store chain, and on “The Wedding Guest” with Dev Patel. The latter is filmed in India, where Winterbottom is at the moment, a Country with which the director has had a relationship for years and where he has already filmed “Trishna” and some parts of the movies “Code 46” (2003) and “A Mighty Heart” (2006).
After starting out as a TV director, Winterbottom debuted on the big screen in 1990 with “Forget about me” and achieved popularity in 1995 with “Butterfly Kiss”, dealing with the violent and psychotic relationship between two girls. He has garnered numerous awards throughout his career: in 2003 the Golden Bear at the Berlinale with “In this World” (2002) and in 2006 the Silver Bear (along with M. Whitercross) with “The Road to Guantanamo” (2006), in 2007 at Cannes he received the “François Chalais” Award, dedicated to films portraying the social reality of different parts of the world, for “A Mighty Heart”, a reconstruction of the heinous story of Daniel Pearl. In 2008 at the San Sebastiàn IFF he won the Best Direction award with “Genova” (2008), in which the title town marks the beginning of a new life for a man who has just lost his wife (Colin Firth) and for his two young daughters.
His last work “On the Road” (2017), halfway between documentary and fiction film, is an insight into the private lives of the band Wolf Alice during their British tour, with all the physical and psychological sacrifices required by a tour, such as the isolation from the rest of the world and the lack of privacy. The film was screened at the Berlin Film Festival in 2017.