The Cure Song Inspired Italian, French Film ‘My Summer With Irène’ 5

Listening to The Cure song “To Wish Impossible Things” from 1992 was a key inspiration for Italian filmmaker Carlo Sironi in writing, with Silvana Tamma as co-writer, and directing the Italian-French drama My Summer With Irène.

“The young and timid Clara meets the spirited Irène,” according to a plot description of the website of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival where the movie screened last week in the fest’s Horizons section. “These two girls with absolutely contrasting personalities are brought together by their recent struggle with an illness that, in the midst of their vulnerable adolescent years, has transformed their previous outlook on life. When they impulsively decide to spend some time at the seaside, it feels as if they are actually trying to stop time.”

The idea came quite spontaneously. “The way this movie started is a bit strange for me,” Sironi told an audience at the 58th edition of the Karlovy Vary fest during a Q&A following a screening.” I think some ideas come in a very logical way. We research something, we are searching for inspiration or whatever, [which is what I did] for my previous movie [Sole] was like. This was a very logical, very step-by-step movie.”

So what does the English rock band and its song about lost love and lost dreams have to do with his latest film? “Basically, I was listening to the song of The Cure that you have in the ending credits just two weeks before the shooting” of his first feature Sole. “In these four minutes and a half, I started to see a lot of images of the movie – of Clara, of the island, the illness. And basically I just wrote down one, two pages, and then I put it in a drawer.”

It all came as a surprise to the director. Only once he was done with Sole and turned back to the notes and ideas he had jotted down did he realize something. “I couldn’t understand at the beginning why I had this idea,” he told the audience. “Only when I started to work on the movie in a way I recognized in these two girls the character and the personality of two very close friends of mine during high school. They were really close and had a very strong, particular friendship. The end of their friendship was very dramatic, but not related to illness.”

Concluded Sironi: “So, for me it was strange. There was something imagined … and something that was related to my memory and something personal. And I had to mix those two” and then also interview young people with illnesses.

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