• International Competition


Gaetano Liberti

Luciano Pérez Savoy

Two young men live, independently, in liminal space: on the threshold or in permanent transition between two worlds. One of these worlds, filmed with a camera, seems more “real” than the other, represented by computer generated images and explored by a digital avatar. But nothing could be less certain… for what the film seeks to imagine, portray and describe is this other reality of living on the threshold between the two worlds. To express the reality of this threshold, the directors imagined the correspondence between the two explorers, each recording and sending to the other their accounts of their journey into altered reality. The situations alternate between recording and listening, voice-in and voice-over. The film thus produces this reality and the fluctuating way of being that goes with it by constantly folding worlds into each other in the audiovisual image, differently each time. But whether speaking or listening, a common lack seems to affect the travellers, as if the spirit had separated from the body. This separation grants a strange freedom to give oneself a new body, new powers of perception and action – to be one’s own Prometheus, but at the risk of floating, of treading water in suspended time on the threshold of existence, of incarnation itself. This is perhaps what’s meant by the interspersing throughout the narrative of a third mode of perception in the surveillance videos that film everything and nothing continuously, like the one that, pointed at Independence Square on February 24th as it is every day, recorded for nothing the sound of the first Russian explosions around Kyiv. In this film that’s simple yet enigmatic, opaque yet luminous, Gaetano Liberti and Luciano Pérez Savoy call upon one of film’s rarely- used powers – showing, in order to study, a unique or new yet strangely disturbing way of being in the world.
(Cyril Neyrat)

Interview with Gaetano Liberti and Luciano Pérez Savoy

You have already collaborated on your respective previous films, but Can Someone Meet Me In Dark Alley ? is the first film you have co-signed. What was the starting point for this film?

We started to collaborate three years ago on a project we called “Ciclos”, composed of four films, standing as four chapters of a cycle. While developing the ideas for each chapter, the pandemic started and we began to work remotely on the third chapter, entitled “Deer Trail”. After one year of working on this chapter, it became an urgency to start editing the material we were producing without knowing exactly for which purpose, but we felt we needed to put these images together now. Can Someone Meet Me In Dark Alley? at some point became clearly a prologue of “Deer Trail”, even though it stands as a film by itself, an opened window or a pin hole on the life of the characters we are dealing with, the “places” they inhabit, glimpses on their travels.

In the film, two men engage in a form of correspondence, sharing their dreamlike stories. How did the idea for this exchange come about? What is the origin of these stories and how did you proceed with the writing?

These two characters are inhabiting a liminal space, a kind of “reality” that we wanted to discover. One of the possible ways to do so was to follow the accounts they are leaving behind about their travels, listening to their exchanges, their way of talking, thinking and seeing the world. Through this correspondence, it seemed to us that they are trying to understand where they are and where they are going – trying to remember or reconstruct what was before.

Halfway through the film, one of the two main characters, surprisingly playing the figure of Epimetheus, tells the myth of Prometheus. What led you to make this decision?

It seems that in the way of reasoning, interpreting and thinking of these characters, myths and other stories can blend together with their own in order to decipher something about their past and try to proceed.

Interspersed with the stories of the two protagonists, we hear an artificial voice that seems to randomly pick up on live comments from social networks, during the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Could you comment on this choice?

Just as the stories that are told and the myths that blend in together with the characters, this artificial voice appeared and became a third character in the film, a character without a body. An uncertain entity that observes, processes and sometimes travels faster or slower, sometimes just able to “see”, sometimes perhaps, able to “know” things differently.

For certain passages in the film, you use computer-generated imagery (CGI). How did you work with it?

Our approach on how to work with these kinds of images is better summed up by a question asked in the film: “Do you see any difference between here and there?”

A mysterious presence seems to inhabit the marine depths. How would you suggest to interpret this enigmatic figure?

We don’t know much about it, except that there is something that receives and emits signals down there. It seems that something begins and ends in these kinds of depths.

The film’s opening states “A prologue to the film Deer Trail”. Are you thinking of a sequel?

Yes, but it is not already sold as a 2-season series to Showtime. In any case, this is the prologue of the next film we’re currently working on, Deer Trail.

Interview by Marco Cipollini

  • International Competition

Technical sheet

Italy, Mexico / 2022 / Colour / 52’

Original version : english
Subtitles : non subtitles
Script : Gaetano Liberti, Luciano Pérez Savoy
Photography : Sigurður Möller Sívertsen, Gaetano Liberti, Luciano Pérez Savoy
Editing : Gaetano Liberti, Luciano Pérez Savoy
Sound : Gaetano Liberti, Luciano Pérez Savoy, Christian Marchi
Casting : Nicholas Leonardi, Drew Hoffman
Production & distribution : Gaetano Liberti (Have You Seen This Place / Nigel Trei Productions), Luciano Pérez Savoy (Have You Seen This Place / Nigel Trei Productions)

Filmography :

Gaetano Liberti :
J, 2018
Where the Hornbeam Tree Is, 2015
The Gauze, 2015
2075, 2015
Postcard from Home, 2015

Luciano Pérez Savoy : M-1, 2017.