One of the most anticipated movies of the year is finally here. Limestone Cowboy, a film produced by Take 2 Entertainment, will premiere at the Eden Cinemas on Saturday 13 April.
Limestone Cowboy revolves around Karist Camilleri, a man who decides to run for office with his own political party after being turned down as a candidate for the political party he grew up supporting.
We sat down with Carlos Debattista, the co-producer and writer of the film, as well as Davide Tucci, the actor who plays John Camilleri, Karist’s son, to get some inside info before the premiere.
Where did the inspiration for Limestone Cowboy come from?
The inspiration for the story came from the 2013 elections – from a particular character running for office, an independent candidate.
Carlos: ‘We noticed that this was a phenomenon that occurred in every election, you know, the concept of the clown candidate. They’d have a completely bogus agenda, be blinded by the people’s support at the time when in reality they never really stood a chance. We see it in candidates like tal-farfett, ta l-ajkla. That’s how we came up with this story.
‘So we started thinking, what is the effect of this mass circus? Thousands of people flock to his rallies yet he gets nowhere, so he has to face defeat. These people genuinely believe that they stand a chance.
‘We went for Limestone Cowboy because Karist grew up in the 1970s, in a time when American westerns were popular. Karist is taught right from wrong by his dad through cowboy stories, resulting in his brain getting frozen in that period of time – so naturally, he becomes the ultimate Maltese cowboy, the limestone cowboy.’
And with Karist, we also learn the struggles of his son John, played by Davide Tucci in the movie.
What can you tell us about John and your part in playing the role?
Davide: ‘John was an opportunity to explore parts of me as well.
‘It is a very subtle character in reality but plays a big part in the movie. The challenge with John wasn’t to be angry or happy or to express emotion – there are so many layers to the character and that’s what I loved the most about him.
‘He is a father himself and is not particularly proud of any of his parents. You’ll see him wanting to be a successful man, and most importantly be different from his family. He wants his son to have the future that he never did, to show him support.
‘At the same time, his father is putting him through mayhem, as he sees him risking the future he tried so hard to build for himself. It truly was a very interesting character to play.
‘The real challenge was to not show everything he’s feeling, yet send the right message anyway. ‘
With John Mallia and Carlos Debattista dressing the set themselves, Davide let us in on a little secret:
Davide: ‘You’d be amazed if you knew the crazy amounts of subliminal messages in some of the scenes. If only you knew.
‘Don’t get me wrong, I’m pretty impressed at the skill and effort it took to add so many little details to every scene, so my advice to the audience – look out for the little details when you’re watching, they’ll only add to the story.’
Can you give us a little sneak peek before the movie?
Davide Tucci tells us ‘everybody dies.
He added: ‘Jokes aside, no one can live forever, and it’s actually part of the message of the film.
‘It’s a very Maltese story but it tackles universal truths and themes – it’s not just about the Maltese Luzzu, it tackles existentialism, religion, politics, family, mental health. All very universal themes and very much within the cusp of an era.’
Co-producer Carlos added: ‘Expect to see a lot of very well-known faces and capable actors. We got very lucky with the cast.
‘The music was composed entirely by Mirko Galea, we’re simply in love with the music score. It’s a very important character for the film itself. We tried to picture the film without the music and it’s just not the same. We’re also very happy with the direction of the movie.
‘Abigail Mallia, the director and co-producer, has directed many series before, but in this one, she truly outdid herself.
‘We’re seeing this as one of our hardest adventures and we came out of it saying that it’s possibly one, if not the best things we’ve done so far. We just have to wait for the audience to see it and give us the feedback themselves.’
The Limestone Cowboy premiers at the Eden Cinemas on Saturday 13 April. You can buy your tickets for this highly anticipated movie from edencinemas.com.mt, or from the mobile app.