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Michele Placido Caravaggio's Shadow

Annual Top Films Lists

Top 100 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2021: #82. Michele Placido’s Caravaggio’s Shadow

Top 100 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2021: #82. Michele Placido’s Caravaggio’s Shadow

Caravaggio’s Shadow

For his 14th feature, Italy’s Michele Placido embarks on a project four years in the making with Caravaggio’s Shadow, shot during the COVID-19 pandemic across Naples, Rome, Viterbo, Ariccia, Frascati and Malta. Penned with Sandra Petraglia and Fidel Signorile, the Italian-French co-production features a stellar cast, including Riccardo Scamarcio in the lead, supported by Louis Garrel, Micaela Ramazzotti, Vinicio Marchioni, Lolita Chammah, Alessandro Haber, Moni Ovadia, Lorenzo Lavia, Brenno Placido and Isabelle Huppert. Produced by Federica Vincenti (who also produced his 2016 film 7 Minutes), the project was lensed by Michele D’Attanasio (who also served as DP on Nanni Moretti’s latest, Three Floors).

Placido previously competed in the Berlin Film Festival with Romanzo Criminale in 2005 (and he won Best Actor at the fest in 1979 for Salvatore Samperi’s Ernesto), but the Venice Film Festival has proven to be his regular haunt. His 1998 title The Lost Love was part of the official program, winning the FEDIC Award as well as the Pasinetti Award – Best Actress for Giovanna Mezzorgiono. He would go on to compete for the Golden Lion three times with 2002’s A Scandalous Journey, 2004’s Another Life and 2009’s The Big Dream.

Gist: Set in 1600 Italy, the film focuses on the subversive artist Michelangelo Merisi, better known as Caravaggio. A shadow looms over the artist both literally and figuratively thanks to his controversial life and creative output.

Release Date/Prediction: Filming across a variety of locations in September 2020, we expect Placido to compete for his fourth Golden Lion at the 2021 Venice Film Festival.


Los Angeles based Nicholas Bell is IONCINEMA.com's Chief Film Critic and covers film festivals such as Sundance, Berlin, Cannes and TIFF. He is part of the critic groups on Rotten Tomatoes, The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA), FIPRESCI, the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) and GALECA. His top 3 for 2023: The Beast (Bonello) Poor Things (Lanthimos), Master Gardener (Schrader). He was a jury member at the 2019 Cleveland International Film Festival.

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