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Filmmaker Letter

Filmmaker Letter

The Burnt Orange Heresy

by director Giuseppe Capotondi

I am proud and delighted to be able to share with you my new film The Burnt Orange Heresy, starring Claes Bang, Elizabeth Debicki, Mick Jagger and Donald Sutherland.

It is based on the eponymous novel written by Charles Willeford in 1971. I moved its original location of sunny Palm Beach to the hazy shores of Lake Como, so those of you familiar with his work and its tropical setting might find this change slightly jarring. Rest assured, though: the devil doesn’t care about geography, he’s at home everywhere.

The Burnt Orange Heresy is in fact a classic Faustian tale of a deal with the devil, a tale of ambition, deception and lies in the guise of a psychological thriller. I won’t disclose much about the plot other than it is set in the art world and a famous painting at its center. Let me just say that my hope is that this film will give you the pretext to ruminate for a minute on the meaning of truth, on how easy it is to concoct a new narrative and sell it as the real thing. It’s the eternal dichotomy between what’s real and what is perceived (or sold) as real but, at the end of the day, are we sure there is such a big difference between the two? James Figueras (Claes Bang), our art critic du jour, might have a thing or two to tell you about this.

Most of all, though, The Burnt Orange Heresy is a modern and sexy take on the classic psychological thriller genre, one that I hope will be as much fun to watch as it was for me to make, with its classic film-noir influences and a strong underlying irony that I sincerely hope you will appreciate. After all, it’s just a movie. It shouldn’t be taken too seriously.

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