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Artistic Director's Blog
Italy - Land of Masterpieces, Volcanos and Poets

Artistic Director's Blog
Italy - Land of Masterpieces, Volcanos and Poets

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I’m leafing through the pages of the book about Titanus that supports the retrospective. Before becoming immersed in the words, I’m caught by the expressive force of the accompanying images. Anna Magnani and Alberto Sordi, Silvana Mangano and Aldo Fabrizi, Totò and Renato Rascel… whether studied poses or snapshots stolen on set, they form a gallery of films able to sublimate an entire society and its characteristics. Titanus-brand productions – starting from the unforgettable Gattopardo – have the power to go beyond the real into a world that today is no longer possible.

Instead, reality pervades contemporary Italian cinema: in Perfidia, which turns the father-son relationship in a provincial city like Sassari not so much into a model of the absence of relationships, but a prism through which we can read a country that has stopped communicating and is contenting itself with survival.

Perhaps even more significant in this respect is the diachronic perspective adopted by Gianfranco Pannone in Sul vulcano, a story with multiple “texts” about a place very close to the director’s heart. Archive footage and images of reality contribute to creating a mosaic where the past coexists with the present, where the individual detaches from collectivity in order to represent it at another level.

The young protagonist of Damien Manivel’s film, shot in Sète, wants to become a poet. In a meticulous, almost programmatic way, he seeks inspiration, at times relying on his intuition but more often on alcohol, and ending up every evening in front of the grave of the poet whose spirit has inspired him. Un jeune poète is a film about the ineffability of poetry, that thing which – as Pasolini mode Totò say – escapes if you name it. Like clouds. So there is not much poetry in the young poet’s notebook, but Manivel’s film ends up being “poetic” precisely in the absence of lyrical inspiration. Poetic because it is able to create a reality, instead of reproducing it in its banality.

Carlo Chatrian
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