By Kim Eun-jung
BUSAN, Oct. 8 (Yonhap) -- Italian director Pietro Marcello said Saturday his French-language feature debut "Scarlet" is a story of family and love involving an independent woman.
"Scarlet" was featured at the Busan International Film Festival's (BIFF) Gala Presentation section, which introduces new projects of the world's renowned filmmakers. It was the opening film at the Directors' Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival in May.
Marcello said he shot the film during his two years of stay in France, inspired by Alexander Green's Russian fairy tale "Scarlet Sails" (1923).
"It is a simple love story, and a father and daughter story," Marcello said through his interpreter during a press conference following the film's screening. "The movie made me think about my own daughter, who has the same name."
The story centers on Juliette (Juliette Jouan), who lives with her father (Raphael Thiery) in a small French town after World War I. One day, a magician foretells that Juliette will be kidnapped by a boat with a scarlet sail in the sky. She believes it and waits for her own prince, but in the end, she is the one who saves the prince.
The semi-musical film mixes a certain kind of modern Italian style with the dream of old French cinema, using real archive images.
The director said he tweaked the story in the process of shooting to highlight the "feminist" element of the lead character.
"I wanted to present the female protagonist as an independent woman," he said. "Juliette is not a passive character and makes her own decisions."
The rising director in the art-house scene has made a name with well-made documentaries, including "The Mouth of the Wolf" (2009) and "Lost and Beautiful" (2015), before switching to fiction with his lauded adaptation of "Martin Eden" (2019).
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