Filming to begin Monday on Leopardi biopic
'Il Giovane Favoloso' to star Elio Germano as Romantic poet13 September, 16:59
"I've had the great privilege to be paid for studying," Germano joked Friday as he prepared to begin shooting for the biopic of Leopardi, Il Giovane Favoloso (The Fabulous Youth).
"It was great to become lost in the words of Giacomo".
Director Mario Martone will return to 19th-century Italy when shooting begins on Monday in Recanati, where Leopardi was born and where the idea for the film first hit him.
Martone said he was on holiday in the Marche region when the "razor-sharp" vision of the film appeared to him: tracing the beginnings of the poet's life to its ending at age 38 in 1837.
The biopic will be produced by Carlo Degli Esposti for Palomar with Rai Cinema.
Germano, a rising screen star in Italy, won the Best Actor Award at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival for his role in La Nostra Vita, sharing the prize with Javier Bardem for his role in Biutiful.
The film will be shot not only in Leopardi's birthplace in Recanati, but also in cities such as Florence, which inspired him, and Naples.
Leopardi enjoys iconic status in Italy and his poems are widely loved classics.
His reputation is growing outside the country, and the first complete English-language version of his famous Zibaldone notebook was published by Birmingham University's Leopardi Centre earlier this month.
Arthur Schopenhauer referred to Leopardi as his "spiritual brother" while international scholars mention him in the same breath as Goethe and Paul Valery.
The Italian writer and critic Pietro Citati said recently: "If today I say to a non-Italian scholar that the Canti (Leopardi's lyrical verse) are no less beautiful than the poems of Friedrich Hlderlin or Goethe or (Baudelaire's) Fleurs du Mal, and I insist that the prose of the Zibaldone is no less unsettling than that of Nietzsche, no one believes me.
"And yet that is exactly how things are".