Film Student Robert Riglietti’s journey through filmmaking has taken him to some personal, unique, and very experimental places, helping him create a style and technique all his own.
Riglietti, a junior at The University of Rhode Island originally from New York, discovered his love for filmmaking when doing an extra credit project while he was a sophomore in high school. This was one of the many turning points for him that have helped guide him to where he is today.
“I spent so much extra time and energy on that,” Riglietti recalled. “I did a lot of work on the scripts and everything, and I don’t even know why I did it. My friends thought I was going crazy with it. But it was then that I realized that my journey into filmmaking was inevitable.”
After working on some music videos and other videos in later years of high school, Riglietti was met with support from friends and family, telling him to pursue his passion through his collegiate career. Â At URI, Riglietti spent most of his freshman year somewhat removed from filmmaking itself, spending time getting acquainted with college life.
However, in his sophomore year, Riglietti took a class with Ashish Chadha, a filmmaker and an anthropologist. In this class, Riglietti was exposed to experimental filmmaking for the first time. This introduction proved another turning point in his career.
“I was just enamored,” Riglietti remembers. “I was fully involved with everything that he was showing us. These films arose in me something I had never felt from traditional filmmaking. They challenged me.”
For Riglietti, this marked the beginning of his transition away from traditional films and narratives, and into the experimental space. In the spring of 2015, Riglietti made a film called “Past Lives” for that same class with Professor Chadha. This was Riglietti’s first experimental film, and was a very personal and cathartic film for him to create. The film follows a man as he is stricken with apparitions and visions, and plagued by anxiety.
“This was the first film that made me vulnerable, and was a true expression of myself,” Riglietti explained. “This was very important too because it embodied me; it was a piece of me. It was also important because it was representative of a change in who I was. It was freeing, in a way.”
Riglietti continued with his exploration of the experimental side of film in his next works. “SUNSET.ave”, is lighter in nature and features things that are even comedic at times, which is a vast departure from the aesthetics of “Past Lives”. Though these films vary greatly from one another, Riglietti’s artistic fingerprint can be found in both. Referred to as “The Rob Effect” by friends, Riglietti’s use of quick, intercut flashes of film/imagery in the middle of scenes have become a staple of his approach.
“The Rob Effect” can also be found in his newest film, “Moretta”, which was released at the beginning of February. The film is set in an alternate dimension where three characters struggle against themselves, and one another. Shot on 16mm film, this was Riglietti’s first use of actual film, and gives the piece a very grainy aesthetic.
“This was very pivotal for me,” Riglietti said. “It was planned out very well; I went over the concept for months. I stepped outside of myself and covered something in a completely different realm. I’m very proud of how it came out.”
In the way that “Past Lives” was a turning point for Riglietti towards realizing his interest in experimentation, “Moretta” was a turning point in the way that it made him more interested in traditional narratives. Riglietti is looking to try his hand at something more traditional, now that he has seen what he can do with experimentation.
Aside from “Past Lives”, which is currently touring festivals, Riglietti’s work can be found on his website, robrigged.com. Along with his films, you can find his graphic design pieces and music videos that he has shot. Be on the lookout for more from him in the future, and keep up with Rigged Productions online.