Ettore Scola is a great Italian film director who is now 80 years old (10 May 1931), he has made some tremendous films over the past 4 decades, here are some of my favorites : C’eravamo tanto amati, We All Loved Each Other So Much 1974, Brutti, sporchi e cattivi, The Ugly, The Dirty and The Bad 1976, Una giornata particolare, A Special Day 1977, La Familia, The Family 1987, Che ora è, What Time Is It 1989 and his last film Gente di Rome, The People of Rome 2003. Scola directed more than 88 features, documentaries and TV series, a versatile director who has now had enough of the Italian Film industry and put his Directors Chair in the attic. Scola recently gave an interview to Maria Pia Fusco at Pescasseroli, L’aquila, where he tried to describe his discontentment with the industry as a whole.
MPF: You have not directed a film for 10 years, why ? How many times have you been asked this question?
ES: Every time I am interviewed and the answer is always the same. I am grateful to Mr. Berlusconi who has facilitated my decision not to direct again. I was making a film with Depardieu, the contract was drawn with Medusa, when in one of Berlusconis deluding interventions in Parliament, in order to prove his liberalism stated that Medusa was producing a film with the communist Scola. I wrote to Medusa without delay stating that I did not need ”Patrons” and cancelled the film as I was not comfortable making it, however perhaps in the future there might be some collaboration.
MPF: What movie was it?
ES: The title was A Dragon-shaped Cloud. The story of a bookseller, who keeps a little secret in the apartment above the library in form of a disabled daughter, who falls in love with a client. The actress was to be Audrey Tatou, who knew it would be an impossible love, and she helped him find a younger guy. A Twilight story.
MPF: Do you not want to write other screenplays ?
ES: ”No. I read a lot, I read Cicero, the classics, I have the time to read everything I want. I know that some people of my age are still working but tell that Lizzani or Montaldo, who are awaiting calls from either RAI or Medusa to close a deal on a film, it only reinforces my decision. They do very well, they are not critical, but I am 80 years old, I want to avoid the humiliation of expectations. I have my pension of 1,400 euros per month. There is also a bit ‘of pride’ because it is demonstrated that the last great film writers are crap, a few examples are Chaplin and De Sica. I do not want to finish my career in ugliness.
MPF: A Special Day, We All Loved Each Other So Much, The Family. Awesome titles, have you no regrets?
ES: Time is another form of regret, that of negritude to Metz and Marchesti, masters of their craft writing 10 contemporary scripts. They gave me 10 pages on the subject and told me to write the jokes and funny situations and if I did well they were to include them in the next Totó. I still remember the joke I wrote for Totó Tarzan, when he met Jane, Tamara Lees. Totó said ” Me Tarzan, You bona” (you are beautiful, gorgeous etc.)
MPF: Snobbery ?
ES: I am sincere when I say that I am very proud of my written collaboration with Totó and Peppino. Never forget Totó’s sence of humor and delivery of lines, his timing. I did a great job writing, Metz chose the lines and had the responsibility. Shame, Italy no long do parodies.
MPF: How do you imagine a dialogue between Berlusconi and Bossi would be ?
ES: I think it would be a game and a party. You say this, I say that, then you take a step back, I slam my fist on the table, you pretend to be angry. Players, who perform badly. “
MPF: This year has been the year of Comedies…
ES: Thank Napolitano! It’s absurd, we are tied to a gentleman of 86 years, God preserve him for a long time.