Vitùc: telling poetry through the filmmaker’s lens

Vitùc, Luxembourg-born Italian filmmaker, poet, photographer. Photo credit: courtesy of the artist.

If he were a painter, he would probably work with a simple paintbrush. Well, he’s a poet so he uses a pen. A pen that ranges from Canon 7D to GoPro to, sometimes, iPhone 4S. Images are his words. Short films are his favourite genre. And music – oh, music – is the Muse. Vitùc is a Luxembourg-born Italian filmmaker, boasting a rich collection of visual poems, an ever-growing list of awards, and a bunch of highly choosy fans – such as David Lynch, to name just a few.

Bastart managed to get a quick chat with the artist about shorts, poetry and… plastic bags floating in the air.


Interview

Vitùc, can you tell us a little about yourself and where your influences come from?

I was born in Luxembourg. My parents were from Apulia, Italy. They immigrated to Luxembourg in 1958. My father was forgeron d’art, an artist blacksmith. He did amazing things with his hands, a true artist. Ever since a boy, I always wanted to create something: I drew, I invented, I experimented. Painting has long remained my favourite hobby.

From Vitùc channel on Vimeo: “Some impressions of our road trip in the U.S.A. august/sept 2013. Enjoy! Filmed with Canon 7d (canon lens 24mm f1.4 + ND Filter), some shots with iPhone 4s and Gopro. Landscaps shot in 1080p 30 fps…the rest in 720p 60fps. Sound (built in micro of 7d) + Sound design. Color correction in Adobe Premiere.”

Participant to various film festivals in Benelux and winner of numerous awards (including three bronze medals for Luxembourg in the UNICA international amateur film festival), Vitùc confesses that the greatest motivation came from David Lynch when the artist won the Runner Up for the music clip of Lynch’s “I Know”.

The Vimeo Staff clearly appreciates your talent and technique: your films are being regularly staff-picked. Any objectives settled as an artist, or perhaps some projects in the pipeline?

I don’t know if it’s talent or a specific technique that belongs to me. All I know is that there’s a lot of work and passion in everything I do. I like to experiment with different techniques, cameras and lenses. Very often, I start off not knowing yet what the final result of my editing will be. I can never be sure if the film will touch the audience or not.

Artist?! I think I am an artist… but earning money from my passion and feeding a family with two teenagers is another story. Yes, I do have projects in mind and yes, I still have dreams. I’m in contact with young passionate filmmakers, and sometimes I produce or co-produce some short films. It’s all question of timing and organization.

Your activity list is thorough: “Visual storytelling, fragments of life, minimalism, poetry, experimental, short films, music videos & more…” What’s in that “more”?

Bonne question! “More…” means for me that creativity is endless and everything is possible. I don’t want to limit myself to one or another type of film.

Short film: is it merely a convenient format or something more?

It’s perfect for the web and for sharing in social networks. Thanks to short films, I can produce more and experiment different styles without spending too much time. You can learn a lot with shorts: they give space to make mistakes. And a challenge: to say a lot in a short time.

From Vitùc channel on Vimeo: “Simple things of everyday life. Shot with 7d/ lens f 1.4 24mm canon. Some shots with iPhone 4S. Sound Rode svm, zoom h4, micro on camera. Underwater shots with dicapac. Edit in premiere pro. Color correction in Premiere pro. Music sample > jarabe de palo. Vimeo Staff Pick august 2012″

Feet: when I first saw them, in Somewhere U.S.A., thought it was kinda tribute to Tarantino. Why feet? Part of your signature? Perhaps a bit like an empty plastic bag floating in the wind in some of your shorts…

Showing the feet rather than the entire person is a way to tease the viewer’s imagination. :-) Not showing the face gives the audience freedom to imagine it and, eventually, get surprised when it shows up.

As for the plastic bags, I love them. But above all, I love everything that floats in the air. This could be a signature.

What’s poetry to you? Have you written any, are you tempted to?

Poetry, for me, means expressing, in a complex way, the deepest part of ourselves. It means waking up other person’s forgotten emotions and feelings. It means sharing emotions, loving somebody and wanting to be loved. Poetry is about making the invisible visible.

Yes, I’ve written many love poems. Some sad and melancholic pieces, too.

How long does it take to make a “visual poem”?

Very often it goes very fast. My films are like sketches, improvised and spontaneous. I like to work alone like a painter in his studio. I only film when I’m moved by something or somebody.

From Vitùc channel on Vimeo: “Impressions of a rainy day (Italy, Friuli). Shot handheld with Canon 5d2 / 50 mm f.1.2. Wonderful music by my friend David Ianni.”

While watching your films, the viewer gets captured by images, details, colours, sounds, silence, noises. But not a single word (live). Does “being wordless” make part of your ars poetica?

I think the best films speak through the image. Films without dialogue give more power to the image, to both the actor and the viewer. A face, a specific object, two different frames put together one after another: all this can say more than a sentence. A true picture (not fake) cannot lie.

Is it music that suggests the film’s rhythm and mood, or the other way round? Hard to choose soundtracks?

Music is essential for me. Often it is the music that transports me during the editing. If you look and listen carefully to my videos, you can discover a sort of dialogue between the image and the rhythm of the music. I spend a lot of time searching for the right music to fit the atmosphere.

A word or a quote that best describes your art?

Everything is inspiration, inspiration is everything.

From Vitùc channel on Vimeo: “Some impressions from a 3-day walk through London. Dunkirk – Dover – London City. April 2013. “Love London!” Shot with 7d + Go Pro black edition. Canon 24mm f 1.4 and 100mm f2.8. Music by Philip Glass (Remix by Nosaj Thing)”

For more information about Vitùc please visit the artist’s channel on Vimeo. Photography lovers might want to check out his Instagram.
Words and interview by Jurgita Po.Alessi
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