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“Albe – A life beyond Earth” written by Elisa Fuksas and Tommaso Fagioli.
ELISA: Telling stories is my way to survive. It’s a kind of insurance against my fear of vanishing.
I like to “stage” the world through new visions, asking the world itself an armistice from its laws.
The action of defining myself feels ironically painful, but if I am forced to do so… I would say sincere and sentimental. Most of the time I am consciously unaware of what’s going on.
Inspiration is a word that I don’t like much. Rather, I believe in work as a form of disciplined meditation. I believe that without a daily effort and deep concentration nothing good happens or grows.
TOMMASO: Paraphrasing Elisa: thinking is my way to survive. A way to “heal” my mind and cope with the tragic of existence, but also a way to clear up, bring order, create new things.
This urge lead me to spend al lot of time studying philosophy to Ph.D level, though I didn’t pursue an academic career, by choice. I needed something else, so I did a master in counseling and journalism and started writing for magazines and blogs related to arts and culture.
Yet the philosophical mind – the tendency to grasp the very essence of everything – is the very core of my approach to anything. Even in creative things.
Anyway, recently I started getting involved in filmmaking projects and this how I got writing ALBE!
“I always dream to be abducted. I like the idea a little bit, but it also scares me.”
Elisa and Tommaso, When did you decide to start this project and why? How the two of you got together to develop this story?
E: It began when we met and hopefully will last forever. Chance is what rules our working partnership.
We are very different, often we think in opposite ways, irreconcilable at times. But we are capable of “scratching” each other. We hate each other, we fight, we scream… but at the very end we share the same “core”: we both agree on the absurdity of things, feelings, actions.
T: Here’s the story. A day in June of three summers ago, the sky was clear and Rome was boiling. We started watching L’avventura by Michelangelo Antonioni. Actually it was my first time and Elisa’s sixth or so.
At one point, Lea Massari, one of the protagonists, vanishes in this deserted island, gone forever – the key point of the film – and Elisa goes like: “I’ve always thought she was kidnapped by aliens”. I was struck. I thought it was brilliant as alternative scene.
From that point we started to develop the idea and getting very deep on the subject. I must say, it changed our minds forever. It gave us some kind of cosmic awareness as never before.
We can be violently different, but always complementary. Repelling-attractive magnets. When she goes too ethereal, I drag her down. When I’m too grounded, she launches me up. We’ve refined the art of balance and understating.
Why do you have this strong interest in ET’s? What’s your relationship with them? Did you both have had any relation with them?
E: So far I have never seen an Extraterrestrial, even if I often dream about them.
Aside from this detail, thinking about the idea of not being alone in the infinite space has changed my life in a radical way.
It calmed me. It gave me indications of scale and reduced my ego in a healthy way, while at the same time it gave me a new sense of responsibility: our actions count a lot, even if we – human beings – are “countless”.
T: I’ve always had a strong interest about aliens since a book I must have read at 14 years old. The title was “Ufology” and it was an account on sightings, reports, cattle mutilations, and interviews to people who had encounters or were kidnapped.
Only later I realized that despite the veracity of the stories – weather you want to believe them or not – they are strongly connected with terrestrial themes related with solitude, death, utopias, god, thirst of knowledge, fantasies of disappearance, and salvation.
Furthermore, the “Alien” is the very “Other” and it has to do with the foundation of our identity. The title “A life beyond Earth”, whose acronyms ALBE means “dawn”, summaries all these.
Tell us more about the characters you started to introduce in the teaser of “Albe – A life beyond Earth”. Why are their statements important?
E: What I find moving, and therefore interesting and sexy about our seven protagonists is how their vision of the Universe, and their personal experience of its creatures, guides their lives.
Their lives follow different rules and other degrees of freedom. The point is not convincing the audience about the truth of their stories but to open our sensibility to other ways of seeing the world and our place in the cosmos.
T: They are important because they are normal people, to which you can empathize, but very special at the same time for the very unusual way they read and experience the world around an the cosmos.
They are the extra-terrestrials next door. Their conviction of the existence of other beings and other dimensions is pervasive, not just because they experienced things, real or imagined, and have clues, but because of their candor and purity of purposes.
They light up that primitive experience of mystery that knocks out the rational order of reality in which we normally live, and open to all possibility.
The teaser leaves many un-answered questions. Where are you planning to arrive? What’s the aim of this documentary? What’s the heart of the story?
T: The film itself will leave unanswered questions, because one of the purposes is to address mystery. What we care of is to give poetry to human feelings, and let out the extraterrestrial that lies in the human, the sense of “further”.
E: The heart of the story is the heart of the protagonists. They match.
We are telling a love story, a cosmic one: between terrestrial and extraterrestrial. People that in the ‘60s “talked” with ET’s based in Italy say that ET’s revealed them that love is the most advanced form of energy in the vastness of the Universe and that’s why they came and still come to visit us…Apparently “love” is our specialty, our talent.
Where am I planning to arrive…I don’t know. “Arrive” doesn’t sound like the right word. We will skim an end, never surrendering to it.