Together with a short art film, Paolo Roversi searches for the essence of Juliet

Verona, 3 December 2019 — Paolo Roversi’s 2020 Pirelli Calendar “Looking for Juliet” was presented to the public today at Verona’s Teatro Filarmonico.

Drawing inspiration from Shakespeare’s timeless drama, Paolo Roversi has tapped into the “Juliet that exists in every woman” with Claire Foy, Mia Goth, Chris Lee, Indya Moore, Rosalía, Stella Roversi, Yara Shahidi, Kristen Stewart and Emma Watson  as the protagonists of this 47th edition of The Cal™.

This year represents the first time the calendar merges photography with cinema as it is accompanied by a short film. In the 18-minute film, Paolo Roversi plays himself as a film director interviewing candidates for the role of Juliet, who pass one-by-one before the director’s lens to portray the multifaceted character with a broad gamut of emotions and expressions.

The scenario unfolds in two phases. In the first, the protagonists are shown arriving at the set, without makeup or costume. They sit and talk with Roversi about the project under way, each one vying to be chosen, telling the director about their personal experiences and how they envisage Juliet. In this way, the actresses reveal their intimate, personal side. In the second phase they put on the costumes devised to transform them for their personal interpretation of Shakespeare’s heroine. The idea is to portray a story in which reality and fiction dovetail and their distinctions blur, as in a hazy photograph.

“I was looking for a pure soul, someone full of innocence that combined strength, beauty, tenderness and courage,” observes Roversi. “I found this in the glimmer of an eye, in the gestures and words of Emma and Yara, Indya and Mia and in the smiles and tears of Kristen and Claire…in the voices and chants of Chris and Rosalía. In Stella we have the innocence. There’s a Juliet in every woman,” he concludes. “And I will never stop looking for her.”

The photo-shoot took place in May, and the 2020 Pirelli Calendar is the first to be created by an Italian photographer, who chose Verona for the setting, the city that is indelibly tied to the young woman’s fate; but also Paris, where Roversi has lived for the past forty years.

As a passionate opera-lover of long standing, Roversi wanted to create an object with a unique graphic design deeply inspired by the opera libretto. The 2020 Calendar comprises 132 pages, with the monthly calendar on the cover, along with sections of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and 58 photos in both colour and black-and-white capturing the story’s protagonists and the city of Verona. The cover opens to reveal a drawing of a firmament which represents the universe and, ideally, contains and envelops the story of Juliet, making it eternal. The front and back covers are emblazoned with the gilded letters of the calendar itself, highlighting the date of Juliet’s birth, her first meeting with Romeo, their wedding, and their death. These dates are complemented by the birth dates of the stars of the Calendar, whose names are scattered on the cover, among the constellations, creating a kind of poetic firmament.

The many behind-the-scenes moments during the photo-shoots and filming, along with the characters and backstage stories of the 2020 Pirelli Calendar can be found online at the dedicated site, which also offers the chance to explore the over fifty-year history of The Cal™ with films, interviews, photographs, and hitherto unpublished texts.



For the characters and backstage stories of the 2020 Pirelli Calendar, along with the background history of the over fifty years of The Cal™

Published on: 3 December 2019, 18:37 CET