Interview with Berardo Carboni, the director of Youtopia

Interview with Berardo Carboni, the director of Youtopia

Aurora Alma Bartiromo · 6 years ago · Art

Spring keeps on bringing new and – we hope – beautiful things with its hot breeze.
Not only outdoor but also indoor. Indoor where? At the Cinema, for example.

Beside the big-time directors, Sorrentino and Garrone, other interesting movies are coming out like Youtopia directed by Berardo Carboni. An extremely contemporary story with a wonderful Matilda De Angelis. A divided tale ready to divide.

Intervista con Berardo Carboni, regista di Youtopia |

We met Berardo to talk about this and other things.

How and When the idea jumped out?

I had done a movie about Second Life completely shot in Machinima that it’s a system that let you shoot inside the game, in short you hacker the videogame and start making a movie. In our case we built some sceneries…But all the characters and the biggest part of the setting were already there. I’ve made a casting with all the avatars! This thing, at the beginning, should have been the storyboard for a movie that I’ve never made. 

But during this experience I became nearer and nearer to virtual worlds in general, to the hacker’s ethic and to the sociological experiences that we could have when we have an immersive relationship with this kind of role-playing game in which you meet people and start a relationship with them in a virtual world. And you never see these people…and at the end you can have feelings for these “puppets” and for the person who is behind, who talks to you, who makes you listen to music, who takes you around in this new world…

It’s so interesting because maybe this is the purest kind of love that goes beyond the body image…

The surreal paradox is that the image could still deviates you because, if you enter inside this dynamic, it could happen that you like also the puppet that is the representation of that person that has chosen to be seen like this. 

But it could be of any gender or age…

Not any gender because they talk with their voice…But, for example in my experience I got mad for a puppet who didn’t speak at all! She (or He?) wrote only. 

Beautiful, so this is where all started…

Yes, this is when I understood I wanted to narrate the virtual experience and its interaction with the real world. And I wanted also to tell the different aspects of reality: on one side the ultra-cynical world where we live that is the main plot, on the other the new possibilities for another kind of future. I didn’t want that the message was an hopeless world fated to greyness and total cynicism. 

Youtopia tries to narrate these two different worlds and it’s also a coming-of-age story because the character of Matilda starts completely included in the ideology of commercialisation still dominating in the contemporary world but she redeems herself because she discovers new values and desires…It’s not a dramatic movie, or better, it’s an happily dramatic movie. The news of the day is that has been forbidden to minors of fourteen-years-old: the movie has a naughty theme but its main feature is a sort of moral content. It doesn’t look at the world with detachment, it takes a position as in a morality tale. Actually I think it’s very educational. I want also to say that the animation has been realised in the L&C Studio with the open source softer named Blender. 

How and When you decided that Matilda was the right choise? 

I worked with a series of persons that somehow inspired the character, some of them were right for the role but I decided to make a big casting anyway. On the other side, Donatella Finocchiaro and Haber have already been decided a lot of time before. 

I’ve seen Matilda for the first time when a friend of mine made me see the teaser of “Veloce come il vento” (Fast as the wind) and I liked her a lot…I called her agency to communicate we were making a casting. Matilda is an overwhelming actress but I wasn’t sure because I knew that this choice would affect the next two years of my life, but at the end I made it, fortunately… 

Actually at the beginning there was a peculiar problem: she refused to get undressed. 

And how did you managed this?

Donatella suggested me to talk with her American coach, Doris Hicks. We decided to try and overcome this problem with nakedness with her support… 

Was it funny?

Yes, indeed. I sent Matilda to reach Doris in Milan. I got there three days after, as we had decided and they were closed in the house, so I took a look inside the window and I’ve seen Matilda dancing in her underwear. I rang the bell, entered and Doris made me get naked too. We started to dance all together (laugh). From that moment the problem was solved. 

In addition to Donatella, Haber and Matilda there is another actor I appreciate a lot, Federico Rosati. He has been the leading character of my previous work, “Shooting Silvio”. Here he plays the most ambiguous role that he manages borderline perfectly. We worked a lot on this. 

Yes, it’s also the most slimy role with that of Haber, even more indeed!

Yes, it’s true. Because Haber has some kind of desperate beauty at least. But Rosati enjoyed the challenge, for example, he decided that he had to have braces and financed it himself with a sponsor. It’s been very funny (laugh). 

How do you feel about being at the movie theatres with Youtopia at the same time of Sorrentino with Loro, a film about Berlusconi as your Shooting Silvio was? 

Bad (laugh). I suppose that Loro will be a stunning visual movie but with a detached and cynical look. Sorrentino is a post-modern director, full of refined quotes and miraculous camera movements, but reality for him is a sort of cultural matter as the pulp magazines for Tarantino. There’s no willingness to change something and I think this is typical of everyone who formed himself at the epoch of the end of History. 

Even if he’s a few years older than me I consider him a master, my cinema derives directly from that dialectic relationship with that attitude, from a deep esteem but also from the strong will of taking some distance. In my opinion this is the most important thing in the time we are living, a time where the system of values is collapsing and we live in a universe without world, as Badieu says, and I repeat it day after day, we have to build new imaginaries and new cognitive meanings. I try to make movies with the power to activate possibilities and change the reality. 

Do you want to talk about Me Too case?

We can try…It makes sense because one of the scriptwriters is the Iena (Hyena) who has made the investigation on this case, Dino Gianrusso. 

What I think is that there is a sort of malpractice deep-rooted and, unfortunately, almost consubstantial in this work sector. And this is has to be deleted, for sure. But I think that sometimes it’s difficult to see borders…because the relationship with director and leading-role actors has no borders. It’s not a matter of sex, it could be also a platonic thing, not related with sex orientations and without romantic implications, but for sure it’s something very strong. 

A very different thing is to impose sexual services to assign a role, that is a gruesome practice. But let us leave the ugliness to the others. 

Future projects?

I’m preparing an historical movie and a trilogy of documentaries, I’ve realised the first of them years ago: Euros. The main themes are Europe and Grundnorm, the center of the values system of it. For example, in the capitalist system the Grundnorm is that the private interest in the market build the best of the possible societies. In my opinion this is the wrong way, this system is collapsing. Well, these documentaries are all searching for this center. The first one has been shot, around Europe, during the Occupy movement period.  The second one is about the idea that solidarity could become the new Grundnorm. And the third and last one, that we’ll be shoot in 2019, should be the storytelling of the beginning of this new values system. 

Well, there’s nothing else to do but go to a cinema on the 25th of April, a Liberation.

Intervista con Berardo Carboni, regista di Youtopia | Collater.alIntervista con Berardo Carboni, regista di Youtopia | Intervista con Berardo Carboni, regista di Youtopia | Intervista con Berardo Carboni, regista di Youtopia | Intervista con Berardo Carboni, regista di Youtopia | Intervista con Berardo Carboni, regista di Youtopia | Intervista con Berardo Carboni, regista di Youtopia | Intervista con Berardo Carboni, regista di Youtopia | Intervista con Berardo Carboni, regista di Youtopia | Intervista con Berardo Carboni, regista di Youtopia |

Interview with Berardo Carboni, the director of Youtopia
Interview with Berardo Carboni, the director of Youtopia
Interview with Berardo Carboni, the director of Youtopia
1 · 12
2 · 12
3 · 12
4 · 12
5 · 12
6 · 12
7 · 12
8 · 12
9 · 12
10 · 12
11 · 12
12 · 12
Has food truly conquered us?

Has food truly conquered us?

Anna Frattini · 2 months ago · Photography

Over the past year, the internet seems to be obsessed with food culture, fueling a trend that is now evident even in the world of visual culture. From the Tomato Girl Summer, which many mock retrospectively, to the foodie fashion girlies, Balenciaga’s collaboration with Erewhon, and the massive success of The Bear. Food appears to be experiencing a rebirth, but in the worlds of art, photography, and design, it has always been present. Is this just a passing trend, or is it the glorification of an element that has always been part of our lives?

Un’illustrazione di Maisy Summer

From Tomato Girl Summer to the pomegranate

It was only in 2020, with lockdown recipes—does anyone remember Dalgona Coffe?—that so much talk about food emerged. On TikTok, @wishbonekitchen made us dream by showing us her life as a private chef in the Hamptons this summer. Unforgettable were her Heirloom Tomato Gallette and the garden where she harvested fruits, vegetables, and herbs. In 2023, it seems to have been the summer of food not only with the release of the second season of The Bear but also with Tomato Girl Summer. On the other hand, according to Danielle Cohen on The Cut, it now seems to be the time of the pomegranate.

Visualizza questo post su Instagram

Un post condiviso da Cansu Porsuk Rossi (@cansupo)

Thanks to its shape and the vivid red that characterizes it, this fruit is widely recognized as a symbol of fertility in many parts of the world. But not only that, we find the pomegranate in mythology, art history, and, according to Cohen, even in the Torah. In short, fruits and vegetables seem to be largely protagonists of this rebirth, so we have collected some works and photographs by artists and photographers we have talked about in the past and more.

Browsing through our archives, we remembered Michael Crichton‘s photos and his photographic series, Conceptual Food, as well as Dan Bannino, who many years ago narrated the eating habits of the powerful. But there is also Stephanie Sarley, an artist who, with fruit fingering, challenged the way the art world has represented the female reproductive organ throughout its history.

Visualizza questo post su Instagram

Un post condiviso da Stephanie Sarley (@stephanie_sarley)

Why it seems not to be just a passing trend

The success of food in visual culture can be attributed to its tangible communicative power. We see and experience the colors and textures of food daily, all evocative elements of memories that we have been collecting forever. In conclusion, we can only wonder which will be the next fruit to receive all this attention, already dedicated to tomatoes and pomegranates, even before avocados and bananas.

Has food truly conquered us?
Has food truly conquered us?
Has food truly conquered us?
1 · 4
2 · 4
3 · 4
4 · 4
Michel Haddi beyond the fashion shots

Michel Haddi beyond the fashion shots

Anna Frattini · 2 months ago · Photography

29 ARTS IN PROGRESS recently showcased Michel Haddi: Beyond Fashion, a photographic exhibition dedicated to the Franco-Algerian photographer, marking his first solo exhibition in Milan. Starting from January 16, the second chapter of this exhibition opens, featuring unconventional shots infused with a street and urban soul. Additionally, there are elements of irony and sensuality that highlight Haddi’s complex personality.

michel haddi
© Michel Haddi – Debbie Harry, British Vogue, London, 1994 | Courtesy of 29 ARTS IN PROGRESS gallery

In this second chapter, nude shots and unpublished works by Michel Haddi are presented, stemming from advertising campaigns he personally captured. The displayed photographs capture the spirit of their time, thanks to influential figures such as John Galliano or Patsy Kensit, who have played pivotal roles in the realms of fashion, cinema, and music.

Michel Haddi has the ability to portray his subjects with both irony and depth, and each of his shots tells a unique story. His life, marked by a turbulent start, has nevertheless propelled him to become one of the leading fashion photographers from the 1990s to the present day.

Michel Haddi beyond the fashion shots
Michel Haddi beyond the fashion shots
Michel Haddi beyond the fashion shots
1 · 6
2 · 6
3 · 6
4 · 6
5 · 6
6 · 6
Joel Meyerowitz is the master of color photography

Joel Meyerowitz is the master of color photography Contributors · 1 month ago · Photography

A few weeks ago, the Huxley-Parlour gallery in London announced the new exhibition by Joel Meyerowitz, which opened on January 17th. We couldn’t help but talk about him, the American photographer born in New York in 1938, famous for his street photography, and recognized as one of the pioneers of color photography. The London exhibition, titled “Dialogues,” highlights this aspect effectively. Pairs of photographs engage in a dialogue concerning light, color, and composition. The pairings are chosen to investigate the development of color in the artist’s work, set within non-hierarchical and unresolved compositions.

The exhibition in London

Meyerowitz’s imagery blends a distinctly American aesthetic with a meditative approach to color. Spanning from 1964 to 2011, the exhibition at Huxley-Parlour reveals Meyerowitz’s enduring interest in the sensory and evocative experiences of his surroundings. Paired with lesser-known images from the artist’s extensive archive, the exhibition features some of Meyerowitz’s most famous works, including his early street photography and images from his seminal series, Cape Light.

Joel Meyerowitz and the Color Revolution

Joel Meyerowitz is widely acknowledged as one of the first photographers, along with William Eggleston and Stephen Shore, to bring color photography from the periphery to the center of fine art photography. Historically, where black and white photography was considered a serious medium, color was widely viewed as technically inferior and aesthetically limited, relegated to advertising campaigns, television, and personal holiday photographs. In the London exhibition, it’s interesting to trace Meyerowitz’s shift from black and white to color. On display are works from “A Question of Color,” where Meyerowitz, carrying two cameras, paired black-and-white and color prints of nearly identical scenes.

Courtesy Joel Meyerowitz

Joel Meyerowitz is the master of color photography
Joel Meyerowitz is the master of color photography
Joel Meyerowitz is the master of color photography
1 · 10
2 · 10
3 · 10
4 · 10
5 · 10
6 · 10
7 · 10
8 · 10
9 · 10
10 · 10
A photographic journey in Bangkok with Xiaomi

A photographic journey in Bangkok with Xiaomi

Giulia Guido · 1 month ago · Photography

Not even a week ago, Alessia Glaviano – Head of Global PhotoVogue – a guest on our Spigola podcast, reminded us that it no longer matters whether you shoot with a camera or a smartphone. What matters is the intention behind the shot, not the means. We pondered deeply on this statement, and although there was initially some skepticism, we concluded that to take a true stance on the matter, we had to try it ourselves: capturing moments solely with a smartphone, but with the same attitude we would have had with a professional camera. Xiaomi provided us with the opportunity and the means.

Almost by chance, Xiaomi presented us with a challenge: to visit a distant place and attempt to capture its uniqueness using the brand-new Redmi Note 13 Pro+ 5G. And so began our journey, short but very intense, in Bangkok.

All the promises of this new device – which, along with four others, forms the new Redmi Note 13 Series, further enriching the brand’s Redmi Note lineup – were substantial. Starting from the battery, rechargeable to 100% in just 19 minutes with a lasting capacity of days (not hours), and of course, the camera system consisting of 3 cameras, including a main 200 MP camera, an ultra-wide-angle camera, and a macro camera.

We decided to put Xiaomi to the test in every moment spent in the Thai capital. The first stop was at the Royal Palace and the Wat Pho temple, where the goal was to capture the colors of the mosaics and decorations.


Being one of the most touristy places in the city, we encountered many people who, like us, were fascinated by the architecture of these sacred places. The Redmi Note 13 Pro+ 5G came to our aid in this moment as well. The smartphone is equipped with AI-based editing tools that, among other things, allow us to remove people who accidentally end up in our shots. You know those photos you see on Instagram of tourist spots always empty? Now you can have them too, effortlessly!

But a city is not only visited during the day; often, it comes to life at night, illuminated by a myriad of different lights. In our case, the lights were those of the legendary tuk-tuks, indispensable in a trip to Bangkok. In this case, the challenge was formidable: darkness, colored lights, movement. All the ingredients for a challenging shot were present.


Not content with just the shot, we continued to play with AI tools and added a bit more movement, some stars, many stars.

When traveling, we know very well that we are not only captivated by architecture, landscape, and glimpses, but we also focus on the faces we encounter on the streets. However, we often don’t have much time to photograph them, sometimes because they move, other times because we are the ones on the move. That’s exactly what happened to us in the characteristic Thai markets, first and foremost the Floating Market.

Reviewing the photos on the return flight and at home with friends was like reliving the journey once again, leaving no detail behind.


In Bangkok, on the occasion of the launch of the new Redmi Note 13 Series, the brand also introduced the brand-new Redmi Watch 4 and Redmi Buds 5 Pro. Visit Xiaomi’s website to discover all the features of these devices.


Photos shot on Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 Pro+ 5G

A photographic journey in Bangkok with Xiaomi
A photographic journey in Bangkok with Xiaomi
A photographic journey in Bangkok with Xiaomi
1 · 16
2 · 16
3 · 16
4 · 16
5 · 16
6 · 16
7 · 16
8 · 16
9 · 16
10 · 16
11 · 16
12 · 16
13 · 16
14 · 16
15 · 16
16 · 16