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Dear Monster

by Stefano P. Testa

In 1965, Elio is eighteen years old and he attends the San Carlo College in Turin. He has been pushed away from home by his father because of his undisciplined behavior. During that year, he receives some letters from his parents, his friend Nino, and his lover, Raffaella. These letters sketch out the story of a restless and rebellious young boy living through teenage crisis and the first responsibilities of adulthood. Dear Monster is a collage of overlapping words, images, sounds that recall a long gone past, brought back to light through a grim finding.

Direction's statements

“Dear Monster” is a collection of authentic documents. However, there are few historical and biographical references to the characters. Voices and handwriting are the only elements useful to draw the senders’ psychological profiles. The texts are read and interpreted by actors; the voices are inserted into sound environments, as if hypothetically present at the time of writing. The film develops visually through a slow overlap of symbolic and evocative images of the inner universe of the young Elio. Through the use of fade effects, the pages of the letters merge with photographs, magazine clippings and some amateur films of the time. The result is a stratification of worn-out textures and faded colours. “Dear Monster” is a backward journey in memories, in search of lostaffections.

About the director(s)

Stefano P. Testa was born in 1988. He lives and works in Bergamo (Italy) as a camera operator, video editor, colorist and postproduction technician. Since 2010 he has been collaborating with Lab 80 film in documentary films production and with Bergamo Film Meeting, in charge of the festival audiovisual communication. In 2017 he worked as the editor of “Colombi” and “Pierino”. The former was presented at the 73rd edition of Mostra del Cinema in Venice; the latter at Dok Leipzig. He is the director of “Moloch”, winner of the Best Documentary Award at 23rd Visioni Italiane in Bologna. In 2019 he is a member of the jury of the international short competition at the Lucca Film Festival. In 2020 his second feature, “The Second Principle of Hans Liebschner”, won the Prospettive Award at the Filmmaker Film Festival in Milan, the Popular Jury Award at the Linea D’Ombra Film Festival in Salerno, the Audience Award and Best Editing Award at Documentaria in Palermo.
Country: Italy
Year: 2023
Running time: 16'
Format: 2,39:1
Language: Italian
Genre: fiction
Cinematography: Stefano P. Testa
Editing: Stefano P. Testa
With: Alice Guarente, Gabriele Penner, Romina Alfieri, Stefano P. Spampatti
Assistente alla regia: Giulia Esposito
Filmati d’archivio: Cinescatti
Mix del suono: Nicola Gualandris
Supervisione al mix: Federico Laini
Produced by: Andrea Zanoli, Stefano P. Testa, Lab 80 film