From the film-maker:
The painting suggested to me the basic idea for the particular nature of my character’s conflict. Though the first ideas for the script were all focused on the creative and contemplative moments of a writer or a man writing a diary, I soon started reflecting about the lighting, and so about the character, in a different way. Even if at the beginning the room seemed to be characterised by a peaceful and ‘protective’ mood, I realised that the hard shadows and the fact that he sits in the background of that large room could be read as symptoms of a voluntary, total detachment, of the paranoid (self-) isolation of a man tormented by a particular, powerful obsession; at the same time the viewer’s point of view may suggest that someone is constantly staring at him.
A piece inspired by Follower of Rembrandt, A Man seated reading at a Table in a Lofty Room, about 1628-30