It’s tough to categorize a piece of work when even those involved aren’t quite sure what they’re dealing with. Al Pacino isn’t sure what “Wilde Salome” is but the documentary, film, play has premiered at Venice Film Festival.
Pacino says the film project, starring Irish American actress Jessica Chastain, isn’t a documentary and it isn’t a movie either. He says “it’s much more ambitious and complicated gesture in cinema."
The Hollywood veteran said the fact that Wilde was hounded for his homosexuality at the end of the 19th century, was a fascinating subject.
"We do know that he was ... a very liberal thinker and more than that he was a visionary in terms of his feeling for people and how he wanted society to be more humane and that he was really on dangerous ground at that time.
"Part of his sexuality was what they used against him to put him away. They wanted to silence him."
The piece is an examination of Oscar Wilde’s once banned play “Salome”. The play tells the story of Herod’s obsession with his wife’s daughter. This culminates with Salome’s demand for St. John the Baptist’s head on a plate.
Pacino’s production weaves together a documentary about Wilde’s life, footage of a reading of the play in LA and a film version of the play.
As well as premiering his original piece of work at Venice Pacino was honored for his contribution to the movie industry, the Jaeger Lecoultre Glory to the Filmmaker Award.
When he was asked to speak about the future Pacino was vague but assured reporters that there will be more to come.
He said “"I have movies that are still coming at me and I always say that I'm going to be selective. I always say that, but I never am…I'm saying again -- 'I'm going to do it only when I feel it's the thing to do for me.' I hope I follow that philosophy. That's my future. It's blank."