Jun 25, 2011

LULA'S STORIES from the city and the sea

Lula right you are the girl of my dreams. Finally the next addition is out and as usual, filled to the brim. The content is thick and I'm wading through it bit by bit savouring the first flick. So far my pick of articles is an interview of Chiara Clemente by Clémence Poésy. It wasn't just the subject of her film making work I was interested in but also her upbringing between Italy, India and New York. What a culture clash that would have been...I have a smaller and less extreme experience in living here in Stockholm but there's a difference all the same. 

Poésy asked Clemente about her family life growing up and she gave an almost a stereotypical image of what an Italian family is like, being surrounded by friends and by people coming in and out of her father's studio (artist Francesco Clemente) and having them stay on for dinner each night at seven, because her mum is such a good cook. 

And the interview continues...Do you speak Italian together? 
They always spoke Italian to us, we're four kids, I have a sister and two brothers. It's funny because I always felt so Italian growing up. In high school I used to say I didn't belong in New York, I should be in Italy and then I went to Italy and it was such a reality shock. 

The fantasy fell apart? What was disappointing?
It wasn't disappointing really but...It was funny because I remember my father said: 'Be careful, you have this image of Italy that's like a fairytale, now you're going to discover the reality of it.' And I was like: 'I don't know what you're talking about, I'm going home!' But I actually really realised and recognised my New York identity there. It's one thing to go to a place every summer but to live and try to work there, really enter a mentality. I mean, I love Rome, it's one of my favourite cities in the world, I love to go back, and I have wonderful friends there but it's very provincial, especially if you compare it to New York City, which is the least provincial of towns. It's an open mix, everyone is coming in and out, whereas the history in Rome is so ancient everything is still kind of stuck in its old place, nothing really moves. 

She got her first camera at twelve and tried to turn as many written assignments into film projects, like 'Barbie goes to Paris.'  Clemente says her love of film came from her grandfathers story telling, an odd combination of fairytale and war stories. In high school she created a documentary film called BOYz: You'll want to take them home with you, interviewing boys about love and New York versus Amalfi...

And you interviewed boys your age?
Mostly around my age, sometimes a little bit younger, sometimes a little bit older. a lot of my friends said I was completely not subjective because the boys in Italy are all really handsome, hanging out, looking cool, and then I picked guys in New York that I filmed in really closed environments, it was all awkward and they would say things that weren't as nice. I did everything, shoot it and edit it, not even on a computer. 

Off topic and further on in the article...You're always so elegant. How would you describe your relationship to fashion?
I always tell this story when I'm asked how to describe the way I relate to fashion: at the age of five my mum asked me to go get myself dressed for the first day of school and I came back wearing a princess dress with a princess tiara. I feel like there's something quite telling there. Maybe dressing up was something I enjoyed doing for a long time. 

Did you go to school like that then?
No, my mum made me change.

In this article you can read about her new project Our City Dreams. Or view the trailer here. And the official site is here. You can also read about Chiara's creative process at Another Mag.

Lula photography by Damon Heath and the black and white images are by Samantha Casolari.

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