Written, directed and produced by Mathieu Demy in his feature directorial debut, Americano deftly mines the past of a true-life filmmaking family, while at the same time weaving a mesmerizing fictional narrative about coming to terms with unexpected grief and uncomfortable pasts. The stellar cast in this moving drama about inheritance and legacy includes Salma Hayek and, perhaps not incidentally, the children of famous film personalities – Geraldine Chaplin, Chiara Mastroianni and Demy himself.
We sat down with Demy at a roundtable interview to talk about Americano which functions both as an homage to his famous parents, filmmakers Agnes Varda and Jacques Demy, and as a work that stands entirely on its own. He told us about the challenges of directing a low budget international production shot in France, Mexico and the U.S., how he chose to shoot his first feature on film rather than digitally, and why he decided to integrate footage from his mother’s 1981 feature Documenteur into his film. He also discussed how he intended Americano to be a road movie about grief and the mother-child relationship and was inspired by filmmakers like Claude Miller, Wim Wenders and Atom Egoyan. Hit the jump for the interview.