Adam Driver loses his temper at a spectator after a Ferrari screening: “Fuck you!”

Michael Mann: “Making a linear biopic of Enzo Ferrari would have been a nightmare for me!”

The director of Heat details the intentions of his portrait of Enzo Ferrari, visible on Prime Video.

Last September, Michael Mann celebrated his return to cinema, eight years after the commercial failure ofHackerwith the competition screening of Ferrari at the Venice Film Festival. In the process, in front of a handful of international journalists, he quickly returned to the filming and the ambitions of this portrait of the automobile manufacturer, a film which will have obsessed him for three decades, released in theaters in the United States at the end of 2023, but visible in France only on Prime Video. Selected pieces.

Filming in Italy

“We have always aspired to tour Ferrari in Modena, on the very place where Enzo Ferrari lived. Filming on location brings real richness to the film. For example, there is this scene where we see Enzo going to the barber: well, that's the barber Enzo went to every morning. And the person who shaves Adam Driver is the son of Enzo's barber! We redecorated the store so that it regains its design from the 50s. When you leave this store, you go 20 meters, you turn left, and you are in front of Enzo Ferrari. All the places are the real ones: the opera, the hotel where he had a drink in the evening… When you are on the place itself, these places speak to you. For the actors, the gain is inestimable. It allows them to make things more alive. Adam Driver literally followed in Enzo's footsteps, he saw with his eyes what Enzo saw every morning. We were also lucky to be in contact with people who knew him, starting with Piero, his son, who lives not far from there, in Castelvetro.”

Mann & Le Mans

“I like movement, I like speed. At 11 years old, like probably many children, I dreamed of flying. I like cars but that's not the reason why I'm making a film about Ferrari. If I like cars, I'll buy a car! It takes a good story to push me to make a film. I'm also passionate about the history of Russia between 1905 and the end of the 1920s, but I don't make a film out of each of my obsessions! There needs to be a story. Films made solely for the purpose of showing beautiful racing cars rather than telling a story simply don't work dramaturgically. is the case of Grand Prix or Le Mans.”

Michael Mann looks back on 30 years of Ferrari manufacturing

The nightmare biopic

“The reason I made this film was the brilliant script written by Troy Kennedy Martin (also author of Gold leaves and the mini-series Edge of Darkness – editor’s note). Troy died in 2009, I had known him since the 70s. The project took on meaning when Troy and I understood that all the lines of Enzo Ferrari's life were tied around a single year, a pivotal date, 1957 Which allowed this radiant portrait both in its past and in its future. Without that, without that idea, I would never have made this film. Shoot a linear biopic? In my eyes, it's a nightmare! I will never do that.”

The USA and F1

“One of the reasons why the project Ferrari took so long to come to fruition is that Americans did not understand until very recently what Ferrari meant to the rest of the world. In 2015, when we started trying to put this film together, pre-sales were very numerous abroad, but didn't really spark passion in the United States. It's only been four or five years since that changed. The Netflix series Formula 1: drivers of their destiny (Formula 1: drive to survive) played a role. F1 audiences are huge now in the United States. The number of women under thirty who follow the grand prix increased by 38% in 2022. And this new audience is not necessarily passionate about the cars themselves: it is the drama of this sport that fascinates them. .”

Caravaggio and primary color

“I didn't really have any cinematographic references for Ferrari. My real reference, in terms of light, was Caravaggio. The strategy of the film was a monochrome artistic direction. Look at Enzo's room: everything has almost the same tone. In the dialogue scenes, I wanted the camera to be static. And the conflicts that are expressed in the dialogue scenes, in a certain way, are resolved in the races. As a result, I wanted the races to be stylistically the opposite of the dialogue scenes: a handheld, agitated camera, primary red colors streaking the screen… Like a form of counterpoint.”


“It's my job to know how actors play, think, work. Al Pacino doesn't work like Robert De Niro, and Adam Driver doesn't work like Daniel Day-Lewis. But in any case, an essential part of the job is done before filming. I want the actors to be as invested as I am in understanding the character. If an actor hesitates during rehearsals and tells me: “We'll find out during filming”, then it's not someone one with whom I want to work. Adam did an extraordinary job in this film. His preparation was phenomenal and what he accomplished in each moment of the film is too. His breath, his gaze… During the work , a very strong bond was formed between us. As has often been the case with the actors with whom I have collaborated.”

We read Heat 2 by Michael Mann, and now we want to see the movie

After Ferrari, Heat 2 ?

“We are working on it. We must understand that Heat is a very important brand for Warner. The title remained in the top 20 of their home video catalog for 20 years. When published in 2022, the novel Heat 2 (co-written by Mann and Meg Gardiner – editor’s note) instantly joined the list of bestsellers established by the New York Times. If we needed proof that this film remains popular, here it is.”

Ferrariby Michael Mann, with Adam Driver, Penélope Cruz, Shailene Woodley… On Prime Video.

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