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THE WHITE ALPHABET L' ALFABETO BIANCO

 

Feature Film in Development

 
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Intro.

WHITE ALPHABET is the story of a “Microscopic Experience” of a Woman and her Body, which begins with the interruption of a journey, and ends with her mysterious disappearance in Siberian nature.  

An account which at the same time metaphorically condenses and retraces the fundamental and archetypal phases of the evolution of every human being: it is born naked and cold, it has experiences and learns from its own mistakes, it must protect itself from the environment, communicate with its counterparts and in the end give meaning to its own existence, to the mysteries of which it is made and to its own death.

 
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Concept.

In 1908 in a region of Central Siberia called Tunguska, an astronomical object, which remains unidentified to this day, caused an explosion thousands of times bigger than the Hiroshima bomb. An area of two thousand square kilometres was devastated. Even now, sixty million trees lie frozen on the ground, having been knocked down in a direction away from the impact. For years, people have wondered about the causes of the explosion, talking about a UFO, antimatter, black holes and other phenomena that have never been proven. 

 

In 1992, on the fringes of the great USSR Empire, shortly after its dissolution, a train passes through the Siberian forests. On board, all the passengers are asleep, worn out from the long journey. The only passenger awake is a European woman. She daydreams, her eyes open with her head leaning against the window, her gaze lost in the landscape of birches that race past, while she holds a lead tightly in her hands.

 

Her name is Anna, and she is a biologist specialised in Dendrochronology (the study of growth rings in trees). A key element in a scientific expedition, she has the task of recovering pieces of wood and conducting micro-drilling into the trees of Tunguska with the aim of identifying the presence of possible Cosmic Micro-particles trapped in the resin of the trees in order to try and establish the nature of the astronomical body.

 

The beginning of the film coincides with the unexpected interruption of her journey.

Due to a small oversight, she is thrown off the train. The carelessness which initially could cost her life, threatens to ruin her scientific career forever, to betray the loyalty and expectations hidden within her. While her jacket remains on the train and continues to travel like a hollow shell, Anna finds herself “nude” and “alone” in a Ghost Town located on an enormous and perennially frozen lake, decrepit and almost uninhabited; a symbol and tragic consequence of the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

 

In this hard and impenetrable place, she begins a terrible and extraordinary experience, where even the simple act of breathing must be relearnt, where reality and matters require a New Alphabet to be understood and where the sun never sets. Her scientific preparation, her desire for redemption, her concept of time, are almost immediately revealed to be inadequate for confronting the enormity and the mystery these places are made of, and the knowledge with which she left melts, like snow in the sun. Entrusting herself solely to a survival instinct, which slowly emerges in her like a profound knowledge, muted until now, Anna will renounce these certainties for the promise of a deeper awareness of herself, of her desires, of the idea of life itself.

 

She will live brief but substantial moments made of endeavour, abandonment, flesh and sweat, from which an analogical correspondence between Microcosm and Macrocosm will slowly emerge, where the human being and the universe are each the reflection of one another – where the fragment relates to the whole – where from the little splinter, poetry is born, and from the poetry the world of Fantasy can be entered and in the end, an irreversible fusion with Nature, perhaps the last stage to access the mystery of this place, to live it and become part of it.

 
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 Landscapes and places. 

Landscape is not confined to mere background, but rather becomes an active presence. Nature both transforms itself and has the power to transform. It participates and lives with the characters. Nature becomes capable of amplifying the characters’ spirits, making them more expressive. The white of the snow means that each action leaves visible, graphic traces. The cold paralyses and demands greater efforts. Breath becomes visible as clouds leaving noses and mouths. An extreme nature renders actions - that would otherwise in more “comfortable” locations seem less special - more manifest, urgent, intense. In these conditions, everything is necessarily reduced to synthesis and urgency.

 
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Photography.

    Exterior – Due to the season and the latitude, the story always takes place in daylight.

The sun is always in the sky, although low and pale. The light is white, soft, diffused. Colours are livid, shadows almost absent. It seems as though time does not exist, and even when it appears to exist, it is because “something breaths or is moving”, it flows in a different way. Light transforms the relationship between nature and the characters into metaphysical and supernatural actions.

    Interior – Principally the shop where the boy works, and Anna’s refuge. They are always underexposed. They look like lairs used by animals moving slowly, as if in hibernation, to save energy and in no hurry to live. The little light showing comes from small windows lit by low voltage lamps, or old cast-iron stoves.

 
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Set design, objects and costumes.

Objects and things are not merely part of the scene or of the furniture, but instead play an active role in the events of the story. A steam train, a Saab 900 car from the 1970s, a wall mounted telephone from the 1940s, a 1980s ice-breaker etc... “things” belonging to different decades coexist. Their presence is used not only to describe an epoch or to characterise a place, but also to express a feeling. Old objects that remain unused for a long time lose their utilitarian nature and each time they “appear”, their presence becomes necessary, strong and expressive. People and objects are linked to one another by new and unique relations. The general style of clothes is severe and is inspired by a Soviet fashion typical of the ‘50s e ’60s, with a prevalence of coats, dark colours wool and felt clothes. Everything has a weathered and worn out appearance.

 
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Casting.

I imagine simple, indigenous faces. Northern, archaic faces, with silent and powerful expressions.

They should not appear well-groomed. Think of the faces in some Flemish painters - or in Bosch.

Their skin is reddened and eroded by the cold. Faces marked by time and by the burden of living, closed within their own mysterious appearance. Intense and lost looks, virgin, as if they contained a sense of pureness. On their faces, nothing deliberate. The make-up enhances the reddening caused by the cold.

 
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Music and sound.

I would like the sound to resemble a poetic echo, whispers and rustles, in order to express a conventional reality, and at the same time, certain states of mind, the sound of inner life, the organic resonance of the world. I would like the music to dissolve into the general sound atmosphere and to hide behind the noises, so that it can resonate like the indefinite voice of nature. To use sound in an apparently naturalistic way: the beat of the heart, the cracking of the ice, the siren of a distant ship... only then to isolate it, in order to expand it, to create hyperboles, to reach a new sound expressiveness to “re-signify” and add a new aspect to perception.

 A hypothesis of the work might be a soundtrack divided into 10 pieces, initially consisting of pieces played with primitive and natural instruments: stones, wood or sounds sampled from real ones, as if suggesting a beginning, an initial stage of consciousness, of the story. Strong and expressive tribal sounds, but not yet organised intoa melody. Later sounds are organised into increasingly complex and melodic structures.

 

Sound Script - ITA

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Sound Script - ENG

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Mood Trailer

 
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Intro.
THE WHITE ALPHABET è la storia di una “Microscopica Esperienza” di una Donna e il suo Corpo, che inizia con l’interruzione di un viaggio, e si conclude con la sua misteriosa scomparsa nella natura Siberiana.
Un racconto che al contempo condensa e ripercorre metaforicamente le tappe fondamentali e archetipiche dell’evoluzione d’ogni essere umano: che nasce nudo e infreddolito, che fa esperienza e apprende dai propri errori, che deve proteggersi dall’ambiente, comunicare con i suoi simili e in fine, dare senso alla propria esistenza, ai misteri di cui è fatta e alla propria morte. 
 
Concept.

Nel 1908 in una regione della Siberia Centrale chiamata Tunguska, un oggetto cosmico

che rimane sinora non identificato, causò un’esplosione migliaia di volte più grande della bomba di Hiroshima. Fu devastata un’area di duemila chilometri quadrati. Ancora oggi sessanta milioni d’alberi giacciono pietrificati e allineati nella direzione dell’urto. Per anni si è fantasticato attorno alle cause dell'esplosione: si è parlato di Ufo, antimateria, buchi neri o altri fenomeni mai dimostrati. 

 

Nel 1992, ai margini del grande impero dell’URSS poco dopo la sua dissoluzione, un treno attraversa i boschi Siberiani. A bordo tutti i passeggeri dormono sfiniti dal lungo viaggio. L’unico passeggero sveglio è una donna europea. Sogna ad occhi aperti con il capo appoggiato al finestrino, lo sguardo perso nel paesaggio di betulle che scorre veloce, mentre stringe tra le mani guinzaglio.

 

Il suo nome è Anna, biologa specializzata in Dendrocronologia (studio degli anelli di crescita degli alberi). Elemento chiave di una spedizione scientifica, ha il compito di recuperare pezzetti di legno e fare micro carotaggi sugli aberi di Tunguska con lo scopo di identificare la presenza di eventuali microparticelle cosmiche intrappolate nella resina degli alberi al fine di cercare di stabilire la natura del corpo cosmico.

 

L’inizio del film coincide con l’arresto improvviso del suo viaggio. A causa di una piccola disattenzione, è di colpo catapultata giù dal suo treno. La leggerezza che in un primo momento rischia di costarle la vita, subito dopo minaccia di distruggere per sempre la sua carriera scientifica, di tradire la fiducia e le aspettative riposte in lei. Mentre la sua giacca rimasta sul treno continua a viaggiare come un guscio vuoto, Anna si ritrova “nuda” e “sola” in una Ghost Town posta su un immenso lago perennemente ghiacciato, fatiscente e quasi disabitata; emblema e tragica conseguenza della dissoluzione dell’Unione Sovietica.

 

In questo luogo duro e impenetrabile, inizia un’esperienza terribile e magnifica, dove anche il semplice atto di respirare deve essere reimparato, dove la realtà e le cose necessitano di un nuovo "Alfabeto" per essere comprese e dove il Sole non tramonta mai.

La sua preparazione scientifica, la sua voglia di riscatto, il suo concetto di tempo, si rivelano quasi subito inadeguati ad affrontare l'immensità e il mistero di cui sono fatti questi luoghi e le conoscenze con cui è partita si sciolgono come neve al sole.

 

Affidandosi solo ad un istinto di sopravvivenza, che pian piano affiora in lei come un sapere profondo fino ad allora sopito, Anna rinuncerà a quelle certezze nella promessa di una conoscenza più profonda di se stessa, dei suoi desideri, dell’idea stessa di vita. Vivrà brevi ma densi attimi fatti di fatica, d’abbandono, di carne e di sudore, da cui a poco a poco emergerà una corrispondenza analogica tra Microcosmo e Macrocosmo, dove l’essere umano e l'universo sono l'uno il riflesso dell'altro - dove il frammento riporta al tutto - dove dalla piccola scheggia nasce la poesia e dalla poesia si può entrare nel mondo della Fantasia e in fine, ad un’irreversibile fusione con la Natura, forse ultima tappa per accedere al mistero di quel luogo, per viverlo e diventarne parte.