THE COMIC BOOK
L’ Insonne is an esoteric thriller starring Desdemona “Desdy” Metus, a young DJ of Radio Strega, a small private radio station in Florence. Desdemona is affected by a form of insomnia of traumatic origin, which allows her to perceive aspects of reality that are hidden from ordinary people. The night radio broadcast she leads is called L’ Insonne and, thanks to it, Desdemona comes into contact with the listeners of the night who, sometimes, are witnesses of dark and mysterious stories. Desdemona’s father, Isaiah Metus, is affiliated with La Fratellanza, an esoteric sect of the Masonic style in a perpetual struggle with an adverse faction, the Loggia Nera. The main character will discover with horror that the fight between these two secret societies orbits right around her. The plot of L’ Insonne is a mixture of yellow, noir, political intrigue, occultism, and conspiracy theory, but it does not neglect more intimate and poetic themes of human life.
The comic book, created in 1994 and then relaunched in 2004, is composed of thirteen episodes plus some special episodes. In 2006 it won the ComicUS prize as best Italian series. In 2008, L’ Insonne also became a novel, written by Giuseppe Di Bernardo and published by Del Bucchia Editore. It is embellished by illustrations of the cartoonists of the comic book and by Carlo Lucarelli and Mauro Smocovich’s preface.
THE TV PILOT
Desdemona is a tormented deejay of Florence that conducts a night program called L’Insonne. Radio listeners are often bizarre night dwellers who tell their life and torments. This, however, is the turn of Luca, a child who calls her from a hospital room. Desdemona perceives in his voice the shadow of fear. What frightens him? Her sixth sense pushes her to investigate. Sometimes a small stutter hides a terrifying story.
After a small experiment for the web, Mescalito Film, in collaboration with Frame by Frame Italia in Rome, produced the first cinematographic transposition of the comic strips by director Alessandro Giordani. Thanks to the screenplay, which in 2014 won the MiBACT call for tenders and was one of the first in the session for the national cultural interest, the production benefited of a state funding of 25,000 euros with which it was possible to make a medium-length film.
Despite the low budget, the production has managed to involve a crew of young professionals and a varied cast that sees Chiara Gensini in the role of the main character Desdemona: according to the fiercest fans of the comic book, it was a perfect choice. Francesco Montanari was given a minor but important role, who, with friendly participation, embellished the product giving rise to the difficult and controversial character of Commissario Leone.
Other productions have tried to bring the comic strip onto the screen, but so far only Mescalito Film has succeeded in this operation. The chosen story, which is taken from the number zero of the comic book series, does not deal with esoteric and conspiracy intrigues, but focuses on social issues, while maintaining those fundamental characteristics of investigation and mystery. This is because the pilot, lasting 45 minutes, has been conceived with the intent of showing the atmospheres, some characters and narrative potentialities to be able to develop into an all Italian TV series, but with an international appeal.
Our objective with the project of “L’Insonne – La Serie” is to develop a television series in which the story of the main character Desdemona intertwines with Italian places and stories, linked to the themes of mystery and social problems. In the TV series we have in mind, we will meet Desdemona during a certain period of her life, we will accompany her, scrutinise her soul and observe her changing the rhythm of the events that happen to her. Past and present, fiction and reality, they will shrink in the dense nights illuminated by the Moon and will penetrate into the consciences of those who follow the adventures of L’ Insonne. Black stories, the night, both printed and on screen, have always given strong emotions to an audience insatiable for intrigues and stories that remain in the skin and heart.
The type of series that Mescalito Film would like to make takes inspiration from American serial series (True Detective, The Killing, Dexter…) while maintaining an Italian identity that can be exported abroad. History, which has Italy as its background and the city of Florence, ranges from news stories to fantasy elements, twisting on the reality that surrounds Desdemona and us. The story would, in fact, be divided mainly into two levels: Desdemona’s everyday life with her work on the radio and the mystery of her past, which she herself will have to investigate. The series will focus a lot on the intricate and captivating plot with a noir flavour and on a dreamy atmosphere. It is rarefied by the gothic shades that follow the aesthetics of the comic strip from which it is drawn. A lot of space will be given to the music with the use of repertoire tracks of mostly rock genre and an original soundtrack, mysterious and atmospheric.
The television series would cover a programme of 10 episodes with weekly frequency, each of which lasts 50 minutes: each episode, culminating in a cliffhanger, is a not self-conclusive piece, but it continues the story until the last episode that opens its doors to the next season. The television series is a fantastic genre/thriller, with themes addressed to a predominantly adult audience.