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Matteo Garrone heads back to Cannes for the fourth time with Dogman

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- The film, loosely based on a news story that rocked Italy in the 1980s, is in competition at the festival after the director won the Grand Jury Prize there twice, with Gomorrah and Reality

Matteo Garrone heads back to Cannes for the fourth time with Dogman
Marcello Fonte in Dogman

Dogman [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
is loosely based on a crime story that appeared in the news 30 years ago, but it is not at all an attempt to reconstruct the events in the way people say they happened,” Matteo Garrone says about his new film. With Dogman, which will hit Italian theatres on 17 May, courtesy of 01 Distribution, the Roman director is back in competition at the Cannes Film Festival, after twice winning the Grand Jury Prize, with Gomorrah [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Domenico Procacci
interview: Jean Labadie
interview: Matteo Garrone
film profile
]
and Reality [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Matteo Garrone
film profile
]
, and also presenting Tale of Tales [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
Q&A: Matteo Garrone
film profile
]
there. “I started working on the screenplay 12 years ago: since then, I’ve picked it up again so many times and have tried to adapt it to my whims. Finally, one year ago, I met the lead in the film, Marcello Fonte, and was taken by his humanity, and that gave me a clear inner picture of how to tackle such a gloomy and violent topic, and the character that I wanted to depict: a man who, in his attempt to redeem himself after a life of humiliation, deludes himself into thinking he has freed not only himself, but also his whole neighbourhood – and perhaps even the world. But nevertheless, he always remains the same, and almost emotionless.” 

The incident that Garrone drew his inspiration from is that of the so-called “Dog Keeper of Magliana”, which was the nickname of Pietro De Negri. Out of revenge, on 18 February 1988, De Negri tortured, killed and dismembered one of the area’s local criminals, Giancarlo Ricci, in his dog-grooming salon. The production’s synopsis reads: “In a suburb teetering between metropolis and untamed nature, where the the law of the jungle seems to reign supreme, Marcello is a mild-mannered little man who divides his time between working in his modest dog-grooming salon, 'Dogman', his love for his daughter, Sofia, and an ambiguous relationship of inferiority with Simoncino, a former boxer who goes around terrorising the entire neighbourhood. After the umpteenth humiliation, and determined to reassert his own dignity, Marcello will cook up a plan for revenge with unexpected results."

In addition to Marcello Fonte, the cast includes Edoardo PesceNunzia SchianoAdamo DionisiFrancesco AcquaroliAlida Baldari CalabriaGianluca GobbiLaura Pizzirani and Aniello Arena. The screenplay saw the involvement of Ugo Chiti and Massimo Gaudioso, regular writing partners of the directors’, the cinematography was entrusted to Nicolai Brüel, the editing to Marco Spoletini, the production design to Dimitri Capuani, and the costumes to Massimo Cantini Parrini.

The film was produced by Garrone’s own Archimede, France’s Le Pacte and Rai Cinema, with backing from Eurimages, the Lazio region and the Campania region. Rai Com is in charge of the international sales. In a note published upon the unveiling of the Cannes selection, Rai Cinema wrote: “Dogman is an extraordinarily powerful movie. Matteo Garone’s films continue to be a surprise, even for us, and we know and love him deeply; each time, his visual and narrative strength is reconfirmed, and each time it gains greater energy”.

(Translated from Italian)

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