Prada presents Castello Cavalcanti: an eight-minute short by acclaimed American director Wes Anderson.
Castello Cavalcanti is part of Anderson’s ongoing auteur universe, which includes the ‘modern classics’, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Darjeeling Limited and Moonrise Kingdom — except this time, we’re in Italy, it’s September 1955, and Jason Schwartzman has just crashed his racing car into Jesus Christ.
What ensues is a ‘Wes Andersonian’ folk tale about fate. Filmed on a pitch-perfect period set in Cinecittà, Castello Cavalcanti finds the urbane, slick Schwartzman stranded in a small town that’s been skipped over by modernity. “Where am I?” he asks. The locals pause from playing cards and point at a brick building: “Castello Cavalcanti.”
It’s a one piazza kind of place, where everyone’s distantly related to everyone else, the bus comes not very often, and family secrets are shared over spaghetti.
Suddenly, Schwartzman’s lost outsider realizes that Castello Cavalcanti is not nowhere. It’s somewhere. Special. Ancestral. Nothing happens without reason, and the steering wheel that his brother-in-law put on back to front may be part of a master plan. “In a way I’m glad I crashed,” he confesses. “It’s a warning for me.”
Castello Cavalcanti is cinematographed by the celebrated Darius Khondji, whose camera darts around the set like a curious telescope. Bright, acid colours of fifties Formica and neon signage glow. A glance of a pretty waitress. The generosity of strangers. It’s home as it used to be.
Castello Cavalcanti follows on from Prada’s 2012 collaboration with Roman Polanski, A Therapy, which featured Helena Bonham-Carter and Ben Kingsley. The short film debuts, with a world première at the Rome Film Festival on November 13th 2013, as part of the “Special Events Out of Competition” section.