Archive for July 27th, 2011


Ettore Scola enough is enough, the directors chair has been moved to the attic.

by Marianne Wi

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: They play a part of Italian culture, Alfieri aside, we are not a nation of tragic people. The Italian comedy, however has become a cover for so many things, the difference now is that we wrote to help us understand the world we lived in, reality was ever present. Today it is not so, but we still love Italy, yet why should we love this country? I understand that many men go abroad looking for success, we no longer have the sense of belonging, who are we.
MPF: Italy has awakened by the celebration of Unity … .

ES: Thank Napolitano! It’s absurd, we are tied to a gentleman of 86 years, God preserve him for a long time.
MPF: People used to say “I do not want to die Democrat.” Now?
 ES: I do not think we will die under Berlusconi, even if we have to wait generations to return to being a respectable country. I think we will see better times, in witch there will be more Cicchitto and Capezzone. “

The Guetteur, Il cecchino, The Sniper director Michele Placido, its a rap.

by Marianne Wi

Michele Placido has for the past four weeks been shooting his new venture Le Guetteur, Il cecchino, The Sniper in the streets of Paris, he has  directed the final scenes in the heart of the French capital and is properly looking forward to some good pasta aldente and a glass of chilled white.  The Sniper is a French film starring Daniel Auteuil,  who is playing head of police in hot pursuit of Mathieu Kossovitz our sniper who foiled the arrest of a group of bank robbers by killing numerous Police Officers. The Sniper will have a number of Italian Actors too, Raoul Bova was originally signed up raving about his great joy of being able to work with one of Italy’s greatest directors ……. only having to pull out due to other work commitments, he is currently shooting Ultimo 4, I saw Ultimo 1 whatever happened to 2 and 3 ? anyway a favorite Italian eye candy of mine without a big ego is Luca Argentero has taken over the role. This film sounds very much like a police thriller, yet Placido has pronounced it a ”noir” the latest trend among Italian film makers. Placido describes this film as and I quote “It’s a film about Western decadence of the age we live in and on the eternal struggle between good and evil.” I think we can look forward to that sometime early spring 2012 unless they decide to keep in under wraps untill Cannes.

Cast : Daniel Auteuil, Mathieu Kassovitz, Violante Placido, Luca Argentero, Arly Jover, Oliver Gourmet, Francis Renaud and Nicolas Briançon.

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