“In any type of society the life of the individual consists
in passing on from one age to another and from one occupation
to another. Where ages, and therefore the corresponding occupations,
are kept separate, this passage is accompanied by to particular acts:
they, for example, constitute, with respect to our professions,
the apprenticeship, while for the semi-civilized peoples,
they carry out themselves in religious ceremonies, since
among them no act is completely released from the sacred.”
The rites of passage, Arnold Van Gennap, 2012 stamped boringhieri Pg 5
L’apprendistato (The young observant), the second chapter of a film trilogy on adolescence, is focused on the changes that a boy experiences while confronted with the first forms of discipline. During a vocational training course, he refines his gestures, his techniques and, most of all, his character. The film tells the story of that delicate moment of awareness in every teenager’s life, during which some physical and personality traits, even if only slightly mentioned, give gradually shape to adult life.
I was interested in the theme of initiation, trying to find in present times a correspondence with the “rites of passage” in use in ancient societies. Therefore I started searching for a real context in which a boy could be led to accelerating his growth process by learning a very demanding job: the hotel school seemed to me the perfect context. There I could observe closely those who choose to learn a profession defined by rules and discipline, subject to the strict laws of a job that is built on the sole purpose of serving customers.
L’apprendistato is structured around a precise idea of narration linked to a chosen place and landscape: the school defines four walls that become the real stage of the film itself, marked by the ordinary course of time. The form of interaction of the camera with the reality is built on a direct and continuous relationship with the people involved and through this collaboration, the film documents the physical and intellectual development of the students.
The narrative structure, in agreement with the professors, intervenes in the reality of the school itself, giving shape to a film based on the observation process as well as on the confrontation with writing. Without becoming an assault documentary or an entirely fictional work, l’Apprendistato is conceived, written and developed in the frame of the reality.
I decided to work with the students of a class of the first year to record and better emphasize their changes throughout the year. During the writing phase, together with Micol Roubini, co-author of the film, we willingly tried to emphasize the educational paths of the students through the staging of some practical workshops, so to be able to better articulate the educational parable of the protagonist. Image-wise, I filmed alone, shooting on a tripod with fix lenses from the fifties, to recreate aesthetically the same rigor transmitted by the school.