Michael Mann’s Long Drive to Make ‘Ferrari

In September, film critic Bilge Ebiri traveled to Italy to cover the Venice Film Festival, where he reviewed many of this fall’s biggest movies. But there was a special place in his heart for Ferrari, the latest from one of his favorite directors, Michael Mann. While at Venice, Bilge popped over to Modena to talk to the man himself, who has been spending much of his time lately in the city where car manufacturer Enzo Ferrari lived and died. The film follows Enzo (played by Adam Driver, 20 years younger than Enzo in the film) during a tumultuous period in his life professionally and personally, as he juggles life at home with his wife, Laura (Penélope Cruz), and in his second home with Lina Lardi (Shailene Woodley), with whom he’s raising a child. The director has a keen eye for depicting the complexities of human behavior, and in this conversation, the two discuss the ways in which this has been true throughout his entire career, from Heat to Manhunter to Ferrari. “To me, Enzo was a giant representational picture of something profoundly human,” Mann says. “He’s bound to Laura; he’s repelled by Laura. How do these oppositions end in most of our lives? We sit around in a BarcaLounger, or watching daytime TV, and then we die — they don’t get resolved.” Come for the philosophical insights, stay for the stories about getting fired by Aaron Spelling’s team, partying with cocaine importers, and much more.

—Gazelle Emami, culture editor, New York

In Conversation: Michael Mann The director on his inspiration rooms, clubbing with cocaine importers, and the obsessive research he did for Ferrari.

Photo: Amanda Demme

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