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The Gospel According to Falcone – God Willing
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10/28 Press Conference featuring “God Willing” from Competition Section
The Gospel According to Falcone – God Willing

God Willing

©2015 TIFF

God Willing is a gentle and touching comedy set in contemporary Rome. The story revolves around Tommaso (Marco Giallini) a successful heart surgeon, who’s lost touch with his own heart. His wife despairs about having lost direction in life, drowning her sorrows in alcohol. His daughter, a bit of a bimbo, fails to impress Tommaso in the least. But at least his son shows promise, which is until he reveals that he wants to join the priesthood – something that Tommaso cannot abide by. An unlikely friendship develops between Tommaso and Don Pietro (Alessandro Gassmann), a charismatic priest that changes his attitude toward life and family. Director Edoardo Maria Falcone came to the Tokyo International Film Festival with God Willing. It is in the Competition section.
As Falcone sat under the glare of the spotlight during the press conference, he commented, “This is our second screening. And the first screening was very successful, so I’m really happy. And I was really surprised by the lighting because it’s so bright. And maybe I’m thinking that this brightness is because of God.”
When asked how he felt about the film’s premiere in Japan, he said, “To be honest, Italians are really noisy, loud people, compared to the Japanese audience that was watching the film very quietly, so that made me feel that they might not like the film. But afterwards they told me that the film was really good and I’m very happy to hear that. But, compared to Italians, Japanese seem to be very polite.”
In the son’s bedroom, there are a lot of the things one sees in your average boy’s room, including a model of Godzilla. When asked about it, Falcone responded, “It really wasn’t chosen by me. It was chosen by the props people. And when I saw the scene afterwards I was wondering why that thing was there, but I now understand that it was there because of this purpose and I think that it proves that everything has a reason.
[Spoiler] As the film ends, an unexpected tragedy occurs. Don Pietro gets hit by truck and ends up in the hospital. We know he is gravely injured, but never find out if his operation is successful or not.
Falcone explained, “I leave it up to the audience to imagine whether he died or not – and I don’t give a resolution myself to the ending. The reason why I keep it open is kind of related to the title – if God wills it. So, whether he dies or not is a secondary thing and it’s not really that important. What’s more important is what led up to that point – how Tommaso has went through a transformation. I think that’s more important. So, I leave to the audience to come up with their own resolution.”
When queried if he thought of any alternate endings he said, “I wasn’t thinking of making it into a happy ending from the beginning. And that’s partially because a lot of comedies in Italy have happy endings. I didn’t want to make a film like that. Also, I was thinking of a different ending where the priest dies. But if I made it end like that, I thought the sadness would win and the story would change too much.
When asked what his motivations were for making God Willing, he explained, “I was originally a screenplay writer and with this project I was asked to become a director for the first time. With this first film I was told I could do anything I wanted. I wanted to make a film about the spiritual world and religion. Because this is a theme that really wasn’t depicted in films before and I have a personal interest. This contrast between science and religion is not something that has popped up recently. I mean, it’s always been a big dilemma. In addition to that, the people who are depicted on screen, there are people who are saying some very democratic things, but instead they might have particular views about other people. So I wanted to criticize that a little bit too.”
Ever ready with a quip or to add some levity, Falcone, a seasoned comedy screenplay writer revealed a bit about his future, now that God Willing had met with some success in Italy and now in Tokyo.
He revealed, “I’m working on my new film right now, because this film was received quite well. I’m feeling a lot of pressure. I’m feeling responsibility. But if the next film doesn’t work out, I’ll come back to Japan for a vacation.”
[Nicholas Vroman]

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KEIRIN.JPThe 28th Tokyo International Film Festival will be held with funds provided by Japan Keirin Association.TIFF History
27th Tokyo International Film Festival(2014)