Valentina Casadei

France, 13:00

Screening: 8:35pm Sunday 18 November 2018

Adèle, an 85 years old lady, confronts very hardly the loss of her husband, after 63 years of shared life. An unexpected dream, will bring Adele to relive the last moments of their life together, at the museum. She will be able to overcome the pain.

Valentina Casadei’s Website

Blessed Days Facebook Page

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Director Biography - Valentina Casadei

Ciao! I was born in Ravenna (Italy), on May 28th, 1993. I graduated at the DAMS University in Bologna, in Art and Cinema History. Later I moved to Paris where I completed a Master in screenwriting and directing at EICAR (International Film School of Paris). Last years I directed two short films, "All About Emily", 2016, and "Blessed Days", 2017, which have been selected in numerous international film festivals. In parallel to cinema, I find interest in photography, art history, poetry and jazz.

Director Statement

I want to tell this story, Blessed Days, because it belongs to me. It belongs to my experience at the museum, which has led me to write this script. Every Saturday and Sunday from September until February, I have worked at the Petit Palais as art museum attendant and I was lucky enough to observe people 10 hours a week, with their neuroses, their imperfections, that make them unique human beings. As a silent spectator, I have stored contemplative glances, watchful eyes, moments of sharing and moments of solitude. All that I have experienced at the museum has enriched my awareness of this story. The endless catalogue of the people I have met has allowed me to build a whole world around my characters and to understand the profound meaning behind every little detail of this story. I want to tell this story because everyone has lived it or might live it. I want to exorcise the loss and to praise good feelings as protectors. One Sunday afternoon, I was supervising one room (paintings of the twentieth century). An elderly couple, hand in hand, walked in front of me. I looked at them and I gently greeted them as they were going through the whole exhibit. After a few minutes they came back to the entrance, focused on their walk, and they went out. Shortly after they came back and traced the same path. And so on, back and forth, the same path, with their heads down, as if it were a sport. I started to wonder. Who were they? What were they experiencing? Why had they chosen this place not for the value that it has but with another purpose? Why did they look down and not around? There were so many beautiful paintings ... Back and forth. Then they never returned. I waited for them but I had to give into the thought that they had left me. Their absence, combined with their old age, their clumsy and lame walk, made me think about death. That's why Victor dies in my story.

The plot tells the life of a couple, walking into the museum, who arrives in front of a framework which they identify themselves in. The painting in question is called "The Sodoma Angels" by Gustave Moreau. The transmigration of bodies (mortality condition) into a piece of art, frozen in time (eternity condition), points out a fear in the characters, Victor and Adèle, against the passing of time and the transience of life. I believe that the comparison between time and art is praised perfectly by the poet John Keats in his "Ode On A Grecian Urn”: “...When old age shall this generation waste, Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say’st, “Beauty is truth, truth beauty,” – that is all Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.”