Festival de Cannes 2018

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Notes from a Dressing Room

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When I observe how early happiness handicaps people, I do not regret to have been deeply unhappy to begin with. There’s something romantic about falling.

The world embarrasses me.

* I might as well not quit smoking after all. To star in a French film you must be smoking at all times; even when you are in a bath, in the hospital, or wondering through a warehouse full of dynamite. Cigarettes might be my big brake.

* Wednesdey: the sound of this off-key flute mixed up with heavy rain, and the so familiar and guilty smell of old cigarettes buds makes me think of J. I’ve never been with such an unstable person. I feel safer being next to a dying dog. It must be midnight somewhere. Not here.

* The wild me, the animal me. Me, in the ultime role: myself. What is myself? Myself is when I’m alone. Who claims the opposite is a liar. Myself is the animal me, the untrained me, the “me” that doesn’t have to act to accommodate social standards. The “physical” me. How do I walk when I’m alone in my apartment (my back is facing down more than usual, almost as if imitating a monkey). How do I dress, sit, eat, masturbate. How do I look when I’m eating? How’s my posture? I have an over-relaxed expression when I eat, read, sleep, pee. Idiot face. Monkey face. Idiot monkey face. Notice the plastic of your face in these moments of deep intimacy, and then compare it with your physical behaviour in social activities. I talk like a fucking anthropologist. An ACTRESS must have no mouth, no feet, no shoulders. Loose, loose. Hanging loose. Focus my thought on the partner, feeling it at the end of my fingers. It starts from the feet. Below the feet. It’s all in my feet.

* I find myself tormented by conflicting feelings. My heart is divided between two men and two cities. It’s like being in a damn ice-cream parlor.

* How many times do I say “I” per day? it’s so egocentric.

* My dad, a kind of bourgeois nudist communist, sent me off to strict catholic schools to let me know the enemy first-hand.

* I’m finding out that sincerity and to be simple or direct is often mistaken for stupidity. But since it is not a sincere world, it’s very probable that being sincere is stupid.

* Get an interest in broken people, as broken people are unbreakable. How to recognise them? They have sad-like abandoned puppy eyes.

* You don’t realise that people act (instinctively) much more than you do, because when you act, you’re fully aware of it. So, are they better actors than you? In day-to-day life? Real life is only what’s going on in your mind. Is it? So, are you the worse actress in the world, inside your mind? If that’s so, you must be the best one outside your body. Is it?

* Challenge: find a Parisian psychotherapist that doesn’t have pastis for breakfast.

* VOICE. Husky voice, nasal voice. Sweet and strong at the same time. Talk from your mind (sexy). Talk from your stomach (stupid).

* I will take my rightful place on the stage and I will be thyself. I am not a cosmic orphan. I have no reason to be timid. I will respond as I feel; awkwardly, vulgarly. But respond. I will have my throat open, I will have my heart open. I will be vulnerable. I will admit rejection, admit pain, admit frustration, admit even pettiness. The best and most human parts of me, are those I’ve inhabited and hidden from the world. I will work on it. I will raise my voice. I’ll be heard. Stop laughing inside.

* Acting is just making stuff up, but that’s okay. I’m going to have a special microphone placed in my coffin so that when I wake up in there, six feet under the ground, I’m going to say: “do it differently”.

* London is becoming like Monaco with bad weather. It’s depressing. The only thing that keeps me alive is the thought that I will be soon in Paris… But tonight, I’m stunned, amazed, absolutely blown away, looking at some portraits made by famous Belle Epoque artists. I’ve decided, if my life would be a portrait, it would be a Boldini one.

* My ex-boyfriends have been my best critics so far. That’s why they’re exes.

* I don’t excel at anything, but I’m good at everything.

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03.03 am

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Manu: king of shisha

In the middle of the journey of my life…

I was torn between two choices:

1. Watch a depressing Tarkovsky movie at cinema Reflet Medicis

2. Drink wine and smoke shisha at Passy (the best spot to get drunk in front of the sizzling Eiffel Tower)

After two cups of coffee and three cigarettes, I chose number 2. After all, Tarko will still be there tomorrow, “but I’m human and I need to be loved”.

Wine. Shisha. Last metro. Direction home.

As I’m about to get back home, I see one of the many transsexual prostitutes populating my neighbourhood: in the middle of the street, tits on air, screaming and throwing empty bottles around. Amusing. I think “ahh! Such fresh air! Life”.

It looks amazing to me, to witness such freedom, such messy, fucked-up beauty. It might be that I’m still culturally shocked from my last trip in Russia, where everything was grand and perfectly preserved, but it almost seemed like communism has never ended. It lacked of humanity. It lacked of vices, dirt and misbehaviour. I love misbehaviour.

It’s not over. I come back home and I soon discover my neighbour singing like crazy, headphones on, putting a show in front of the mirror. Little does she know that she has an audience. Me.

I love Paris at 03.03 am.

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We need to talk about Caffeine

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Each year coffee is harvested during the dry season when the coffee cherries are bright red, glossy, and firm.

Coffee is a woman; a slander, sultry brunette. Stimulating and addictive. Savage but tender.

Oh sweet coffee,

Without you,

I’d be a lonely cigarette.

Coffee is a ritual; the equivalent of a Shamanic fire ceremony. A private moment, with the purer higher self.

Oh sweet coffee,

Without you,

I’d be lethargic and sedated.

Coffee is an excuse; to sit alone in a central café with book in hand, pretending to be interesting.

Oh sweet coffee,

Without you,

I’d be a raging bitch.

Coffee is a rendez-vous; with a friend soon to be lover, soon to be boyfriend, soon to be a voodoo doll.

Oh sweet coffee,

Without you,

I’d rather sleep.

Coffee is cinema; because agent Dale Cooper likes his coffee black, as midnight in a moonless night.

Oh sweet coffee,

Without you,

I’d have as many regrets as the coffee spoons I until now had.

“I’d rather take coffee than compliments just now.” – Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

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From Russia with love

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Summer: most people are fainting under white and blue umbrellas on the beach, worshipping the sun and all the frivolity that comes with it.

Paris: Dali’s melting clock. An open-air oven, more than Sylvia Plath could ever dream of.

I’m fed-up of wearing ugly Birkenstocks and drink naturally mulled wine. The darkness of cinema, seems to be my only comfort, a spark of civilisation.

So, I just completely spontaneously booked a one week solo trip to Saint-Petersburg, Russia.

It might sound random to you, but an actress needs to draw inspiration from somewhere, sometimes.

(The picture above represents myself as zombie Anna Karenina back among the living to find her long lost love Count Alexis Kirillovich Vrosky)

I’ll stay away from train stations, maybe.

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Robbery in Paris 17eme

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“He said that life boils down to standing in line to get shit dropped on your head. Everyone’s got a place in the queue, you can’t get out of it, and just when you start to congratulate yourself on surviving your dose of shit, you discover that the line is actually circular.” – Scott Lynch, The Republic of Thieves

It was last Saturday, when I discovered that someone broke into my apartment.

It was one of these days when you don’t feel like seeing anyone, but still, you can’t be left alone and coffee is never enough.

I ended up engaging in my favourite activity, going to the movies. I met a friend even though I didn’t have much to say. Soon enough we entered the cinema and watched “Swept Away” aka “Travolti da un insolito destino nell’azzurro mare d’agosto” (the original 1974 version by director Lina Wertmüller), curiously enough the main character is a spoiled rich woman who ends up in a deserted island with her attendant, only to find out the material world to which she was so attached meant nothing after all.

Still feeling dull inside, all I could think about on my way home, was to put on my cherry printed socks on, even if it was warm outside, and persevere in my film addiction. Celine Dion used to sing “all by myself, don’t wanna live”. For some reason I always thought she was saying “all by myself, I wanna be”, maybe because the latter was more appealing to me.

As I opened the door, I found absolutely everything I own scattered on the floor. As soon as I realised that it wasn’t an hallucination, I burst into tears, violent tears of angst (I was in the same time, like a complete psychopath, trying to save that magnificent rage in my emotional data bank, in order to reproduce it on the stage).

The next door neighbours rushed in to check up on me; the tumultuous love-making couple of the building. They are so sonorous that they even distorted my dreams, as most of them are now set in a 17th century brothel. They introduced themselves as brother and sister, as if I wasn’t disturbed enough, and of course, that revelation made me cry even more.

The next day, traumatised by the current events, I jumped on a night train back to my dad’s home in Milan. Sometimes, all a girl needs is a few whiskeys on the rocks and a familiar place where to safely pass out.

As bizarre as it may seem, all the heartbreaks and disappointments I have experienced lately, are suddenly a long distance memory. Logically, keeping in mind the subdominant law, the latest incident has automatically erased the others.

I remember a “Laurel and Hardy” episode in which Hardy, was moaning about his limping left leg and how much he was suffering because of it. Laurel looks around for a moment, scratches his head and says: “I have the solution for your limping left leg”. He suddenly kicks his friend’s right leg. “Voilà!”. Hardy screams out in pain, steam comes out of his ears… The sky is still clear, the kids keep playing in the street. Hardy moans about his right leg.

C’est la vie.

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Sleeping Boozy

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It is highly advisable to never show up for a photoshoot hangover and sleepless. I didn’t even do it on purpose, it just happened. A camera shot like a gun fire, eaten alive by the blinding lights. As a result, I’m sleeping in most pictures.

I don’t know why I find myself in these sort of situations. Sometimes I wonder if instead of being because of a lack of maturity, it is just a way to fight the dullness of life. A way to have a funny story to tell in front of a cup of coffee, maybe. A dislike on doing things by the book, a way to make things memorable.

I drink too much, I smoke too much, I girl around too much, I everything too much.

“The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.” Albert Camus

(Photo credit: Jean F Chassaing)

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