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  • Thinking Portraits

PAOLO BERTOLIN


He’s a person who is straightforward when it comes to voicing his views.

Confident, bold, striking, and spirited.

He’s a dedicated and conscientious person who finds joy in seeing

the results of hard work.

A man who believes very strongly and conveys his opinions. A person

who sees similarities instead of differences.

A citizen of the world.


 

THINKING PORTRAITS/INTRODUCTION


I personally try to be as severe as possible with what

I’m doing in the sense that I don’t like to think that I’m doing well when I’m actually not.

I prefer that someone else says I’m doing well

and I don’t necessarily praise myself what I’m doing when

I know it’s not done well.

But you need to comfort yourself with your efforts

because you cannot always bring yourself down.

You have to see the bright side and think “okay,

I may have not done up to 100% of my capabilities, but the 80% is fair enough”.

If some people found it okay, then it was the right thing to do.


We have to be open for criticism, otherwise,

we would be too self-absorbed and arrogant and everything we do is right.


If I was a regular person who saw met

someone who owned a private jet, sure, I would wish I

had it, but I would call it envy instead of jealousy.

Jealousy can be a motivation to develop your skills.

You might see someone doing the same thing

as you and it can get you to start working

even harder than that person.



Most filmmakers would say censorship is something they would rather not have to deal with.

But what is it, anyway?

Is it a way of controlling the content of cinema, or is it a way of protecting your audience from dangerous content? But then, the truth is censorship is an instrument of political and societal control not only in cinema, but other forms of art. If you look at the work of Asghar Farhadi, he made a masterpiece within the constraints of Iran terrible, terrible censorship.


If you look really want to look at the issue of filmmakers’ freedom,

we also have to look at the

power of economics and how it affects cinema in a substantial way.

Cinema is one of the most expensive forms of art.

It’s a collective art and it depends a lot on funding.

I don’t have any heroes.

There are people I admire in my professional life and working with

them is still very exciting, but then I discovered on a personal level,

it may not have been as good as I expected.

I don’t heroize someone and put them on a pedestal in order not to have my

expectations let down.

I still do have people I look up to, but I avoid using the term “hero”.


I would be very surprised to see someone working in

the film industry and not be curious.

If you’re not curious, then how could you make movies and be interested in films? Filmmakers must be curious about other people’s lives,

how your perception of reality is welcomed by the audience.

You watch movies and are let down many times until you find that one good film

that’ll make you feel like an explorer.

It’s the same curiosity that drives scientists to discover new elements.




I try as much as possible to see the bright side of things; to see the glass half full, and sometimes it’s not true.

But at least it’s a good way to lighten yourself so you don’t drag yourself

into pessimism.


I think privacy matters more in my work when I have to watch movies alone and not in a group.

I think it makes it more efficient for my profession.

But in this industry, you have to push

yourself to be a part of the social gathering and events.

Even if you are a private person, you

have to work yourself around it and maintain your uniqueness in the process.



It’s a matter of defining how much you associate patriotism with nationalism.

It can lead to certain aspects of patriotism and nationalism that are questionable.

I’m not one of those people who says Italian food is the best in the world or Italian cinema is the best in the world. The reason I was born there is fate.

Of course, Italy makes me proud when it does something good, I was born there, I grew up there, but I wouldn’t blindly follow it just because it’s Italy.

I can’t say we’re the best in everything. It is very complicated and layered.


When you come to a new place that you haven’t seen before,

you start thinking about things.

For me, it’s quite refreshing to come to places like Yerevan where you can feel the layering of history, whereas cities like Bangkok and Shanghai

where it has another twist of history and propaganda.

The historical layering within the space of Yerevan is very enriching.

One thing that might sound provocative or controversial regarding a similarity I found that’s connected to the issue of patriotism is that the food,

people and spaces are quite similar to Turkey’s.

And this makes me think “What happened to history here?”.

I wish we as human beings would forget about our differences and focus on similarities so history doesn’t repeat itself.



 

EMMA MARASHLYAN/CONCEPT AND PHOTOGRAPHY

ANAHID AKKAM/INTERVIEWER

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