Venice exhibition, Schrader: “In ‘Master Gardener’ violence blends with redemption and forgiveness”

“I was part of a generation that wrote very violent films, but it is a time that belongs to the past. The idea of ​​whether and how we can participate in our redemption has evolved.” Paul Schrader brings to the Venice Film Festival, in the Out of Competition section, ‘Master Gardener’, which will be officially screened on the Lido tonight in the Sala Grande, in which he develops the story of Narvel Roth, meticulous horticulturist of Gracewood Gardens from the turbulent past. The devotion to the grounds of the beautiful and historic mansion is equal to the attempt to please his employer, the wealthy widow Mrs. Norma Haverhill. Everything seems to go smoothly, but when the woman asks him to hire her capricious and restless great-granddaughter Maya as an apprentice, chaos enters Narvel’s spartan existence, revealing a past with which all the characters will have to confront. “We have an idea of ​​Christian redemption through blood, and therefore suffering like Christ who brings salvation -explains Schrader- But things evolve, and in my film there is an end yes violent but perhaps not so much because in the end there is indeed a redemption for the protagonists. Because there is what takes place outside the frame, but then there is what happens inside the characters “. To better understand the concept, Schrader quotes a verse from the song that is the soundtrack to the film: “He says’ I don’t want to leave this world without ever saying ‘I love you’. Here, that’s what it is.” a garden of splendid flowers that the protagonist describes in a diary that acts as a stream of consciousness, “is the oldest metaphor existing in art. It all begins in the garden, especially for a character who wants to hide, and all my characters I’m hiding. I don’t know if it’s plausible, but I thought: who knows if this person can be forgiven, a former Nazi forgiven in a garden by a black person. The interesting thing about art is this creating hypothetical situations that we can mull over ” As the former Nazi gardener Narvel Roth the Australian actor Joel Edgerton, two strong and beautifully defined female protagonists: the owner of the Garden, played by Sigourney Weaver, and the great-granddaughter Maya, an intense Q uintessa Swindell. “I read the script and it was a revelation – says Weaver – I received the script a couple of days earlier, and it was unlike any script I had ever read, it had a vertical structure. It looked simple on the surface, but with a depth of passion. very particular”. The role of Norma “is one of the most beautiful characters I’ve ever had, Paul has written two wonderful roles for women.” “Each character is ready, the pattern is already there, the environment. It was just a matter of diving into it. in the role and add some elements such as being a young black woman like me. It was a journey, “says young Quintess Windell. The director and screenwriter will be on the red carpet tonight at 9 pm and will receive the Lifetime Achievement Lion of the 79th Venice Film Festival in the Sala Grande. “I consider myself a lucky person. I made my mistakes like everyone else but movies seem to have a useful life, and this is a difficult thing to deal with – Schrader says – How do you convince a person to come back to see your films later twenty years? I discussed it with Bruce Springsteen, there are films and songs that seem to be made on purpose so that they are made to be revisited after a long time “. And she concludes: “I have been many things, director, screenwriter, but also entrepreneur. There are many aspects, even for this alone, I deserve a Golden Lion”.