The 11th Rome Film Fest pays tribute to a selection of key figures in the history of Italian and international Cinema with a series of previews, screenings, restored films, conversations, and events. The ideal itinerary starts with Michael Cimino, who passed away last July, and proceeds to Luigi Comencini and Gregory Peck, on the one hundredth anniversary of their birth; it pays tribute to one of the great masters in the history of the seventh art, Fritz Lang, and remembers one of the best-loved films of all time, L’armata Brancaleone (For Love and God), in the version restored by the Cineteca Nazionale. It then traces an imaginary journey through Italian cinema from Gillo Pontecorvo to Alberto Sordi, from Dino Risi to Citto Maselli; and ends with a commemoration of the doyen of Italian film critics, Gian Luigi Rondi, president of the Fondazione Cinema per Roma from 2008 to 2012.
Screening | Le più belle scene di musical, footage film, 30’, from the classics with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers to Carmen by Carlos Saura
The Rome Film Fest remembers Michael Cimino, who passed away last July, with the screening of a film containing the greatest dance scenes in film history, personally selected by the director. Cimino made the film – presented in collaboration with Studio Universal – on the occasion of his public talk at the 2008 Rome Film Fest, curated by Antonio Monda and Mario Sesti. The director commented: “I know how hard it is to film and edit people dancing, and this is why I feel so strongly about this compilation. I put in the scenes that I not only adore but also admire, for the challenges the director faced and the talent that went into making them. Every film is a love story; films that use singing and dancing to tell that story, it’s as if they’re telling it through poetry.”
Exhibition | “Comencini fotografo: il dopoguerra raccontato in 50 immagini” + Book “Luigi Comencini. Italia 1945-1948”
Screening | LE AVVENTURE DI PINOCCHIO by Luigi Comencini, Italy, France, Federal Republic of Germany, 1972, 6 ep. x 50’ | Thanks to Teche RAI
Conversation | Luigi Comencini’s daughters, Paola, Cristina, Francesca and Eleonora talk with Mario Sesti and Giorgio Gosetti
On the one hundredth anniversary of his birth, the Rome Film Fest remembers Italian director and screenwriter Luigi Comencini with a series of events. At the Auditorium Parco della Musica, in collaboration with the Cineteca di Milano, is hosting a precious exhibition of 50 photographs taken by the director between 1945 and 1948, all of them black and white, discovered purely by chance and saved from the oblivion of time. The images bear witness to the difficult and precarious post-war years, and at the same time anticipate some of the themes that were most important to Comencini: his sensibility towards children and poverty, his ability to tell a story within a frame. The photos are also the subject of a book, “Luigi Comencini. Italia 1945-1948”, published by Humboldt Books, with essays by Cristina Comencini, Giovanna Calvenzi, Giorgio Gosetti, Mario Sesti, Antonio Monda, and Matteo Pavesi. The tribute will also include the screening of Pinocchio, a celebrated television series that forges an incomparable compromise between style and popularization, philology and audience taste, poetry and fairy tale, allegorical writing and a remarkable representation of the dream of rural Italy, unexplainably wrought by the splendour of poverty and nostalgia, grief and wonder. Last but not least, Comencini’s four daughters, Cristina, Eleonora, Francesca and Paola, will take part in a conversation curated by Mario Sesti and Giorgio Gosetti, the most important Italian scholar of his work. Their reminiscences and anecdotes will be alternated with scenes from their father’s films and videos offering glimpses of their family life.
Screening | ROMAN HOLIDAY by William Wyler, United States, 1953, 118’
Screening | A CONVERSATION WITH GREGORY PECK by Barbara Kopple, United States, 2001, 97’
Conversation | with Cecilia Peck Voll and Anthony Peck
The Rome Film Fest ideally blows out one hundred candles on Gregory Peck’s birthday cake and celebrates the event by presenting the romantic comedy par excellence, immune to trends and the passing of time: Roman Holiday. The film will be screened in piazza di Spagna. The screening is promoted by the Peck Family with Crescentera Productions, under the patronage of the Embassy of the United States in Rome, American Academy in Rome, in collaboration with Associazione Via Condotti, Associazione Piazza di Spagna, Confcomercio Centro Storico, Gruppo Martini6 SPA. The Casa del Cinema (Villa Borghese Park) will host the screening of the documentary A Conversation with Gregory Peck by Barbara Kopple, and a conversation with producer Cecilia Peck Voll and Anthony Peck. The event is promoted by the Peck family with Crescentera Productions.
A young Audrey Hepburn in the role of Princess Anna, on an official visit to Rome, decides to escape the obligations of Court to enjoy a walk through the streets of Rome. During her wanderings she meets the American reporter Joe Bradley on the prowl for a scoop, brilliantly played by Gregory Peck who is perfect in the role of this carefree Casanova in the splendid setting of Rome. This tender Cinderella story in reverse consecrated the charisma of Audrey Hepburn who won the Academy Award® for Best Actress. William Wyler, uncharacteristically at work on a romantic comedy, directs the cast with great elegance, painting a portrait of Rome populated with eccentric characters and dotted with delightfully picturesque accents thanks to the screenplay by Ian McLellan Hunter, John Dighton, and Dalton Trumbo. A tribute to the fascinating Gregory Peck who guides us through a dream world on the back of his Vespa, like moonstruck tourists through the Eternal City.
A tribute to Cinema from Via Condotti | Via Condotti pays tribute to cinema for the entire duration of the Rome Film Fest. From October 13th to 23rd, the world-famous shopping street will celebrate the relationship between fashion and the seventh art: the boutique window displays will be dedicated to the world of cinema. The event is organised by the Associazione Via Condotti.
FOR LOVE AND GOD | L’ARMATA BRANCALEONE
Screening | FOR LOVE AND GOD / L’ARMATA BRANCALEONE by Mario Monicelli, Italy, France, Spain, 1966, 120’
Restauration curated by the Cineteca Nazionale (National Film Archive)
The Rome Film Fest celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of Mario Monicelli’s For Love and God (L’armata Brancaleone) presenting a tribute screening of this road-movie of sorts, a cross between a period adventure and an Italian-style comedy, a true groundbreaker. For Love and God appeared on the big screen portraying a group of likeable losers, in the darkness of 11th century Italy, departing on a quest to conquer the fief of Aurocastro as directed by a mysterious parchment. This original and amusing reinvention of the Middle Ages, which blends picaresque adventure with farce, is emblematic of the director’s attention to a group of misfits in a venture they cannot hope to achieve, with a less than authentic reconstruction of the Dark Ages. Age and Scarpelli, with Monicelli, reach legendary heights in their invention of the amusing language used by Brancaleone from Norcia and his followers, the result of an erudite reconstruction based on literary texts of the time mixed with dialect and philology. The grim and evocative settings, the surprising costumes and an all-star cast (Gassman, Gian Maria Volonté and Enrico Maria Salerno, with a beautiful Catherine Spaak) did much to make this film a classic.
Screening | QUEIMADA by Gillo Pontecorvo, Italy, France, 1969, 132’
Thanks to Istituto Luce Cinecittà and Cineteca di Bologna
Ten years after the death of Gillo Pontecorvo, the Rome Film Fest pays tribute to the director with one of his most deeply committed films, from both a spectacular and thematic point of view, which summarizes that fertile period of politically engaged Italian filmmaking of the Sixties. Queimada is the director’s long and anguished meditation about life, history, slavery and the laws of profit. The historical and geographical reconstruction of Portuguese colonialism in the 19th century is surprisingly realistic. Some of the actors were cast directly in Cartagena, Colombia, where the film was shot, to bring the greatest possible truth to the acting. The story is told by the English agent William Walker, played by an outstanding Marlon Brando, sent to the island to advance the interests of the British government. He is a metaphor of Imperialist capitalism. His antagonist, José Dolores, the leader of the rebels, enflames hearts as he demands independence for his country. The allusions to the war in Vietnam, the revolution in Cuba and Marxism make this film openly biased. Queimada, which shows how deeply Pontecorvo cared about the imperfect fate of revolutions and his need to dream of them, may also be credited with giving us a powerful view of the historical transformations and changes in class structure and power.
Screening | SMOKE OVER LONDON by Alberto Sordi, Italy, 1966, 122’
Thanks to the Cineteca Nazionale (National Film Archive)
A television referendum consecrated him as the most popular Italian of all time: Alberto Sordi is without a doubt one of the most important stars in the history of Italian cinema and Italian-style comedy, and along with Aldo Fabrizi and Anna Magnani, a charismatic representation of Roman identity. He was brilliant at representing and ridiculing the most common shortcomings of the Italians: naive and petulant, boastful and mean, opportunistic and sometimes arrogant, no one has ever equalled his ability to reflect his audiences in the characters he portrayed, who were as funny as they were ridiculous and sometimes even disturbing. The Rome Film Fest pays tribute to Alberto Sordi in his role as director celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the release of the first film he directed, Smoke over London. Comedy allowed him to fully express his acting talent: in the role of antique dealer Dante Fontana on a mission to London, he appears as a typical English gentleman, as a country squire and as a young man in the Swinging London of the Sixties. The film is a sort of documentary about lifestyle in Great Britain, filtered through the cunning eye of the average Italian, with a fantastic soundtrack by the great Piero Piccioni.
GIAN LUIGI RONDI
Screening | 60 – IERI OGGI DOMANI by Giorgio Treves, Italy, 2016, 59’
Sixty years of the David di Donatello awards represent a long history of successes, of famous actors and award-winning directors, of box-office hits and auteur films that have distinguished the history and identity of Italian cinema. A journey into Italian filmmaking creativity.
Screening | M – MURDERERS AMONG US by Fritz Lang, Germany, 1931, 117’
The Rome Film Fest pays tribute to the great master Fritz Lang on the fortieth anniversary of his death, with the screening of M – Murderers Among Us, his first sound film. With magnificent style, Lang merges the highly expressive techniques of silent films with the incredibly modern quality of a sound film made to horrify the viewer. In the masterful opening sequence, with a brilliant use of a simple motif, he teaches us the suggestive power of the off-screen voice that introduces the figure of the monster. Inspired by a true story that took place in Germany, Lang sets the film in a German city in the early 1930s, in a popular neighbourhood where a mother vainly waits for her daughter to return home from school. The little girl was accosted by a man who took her to a park and killed her. Panic grips the city: the hunt is on for the monster. Peter Lorre’s outstanding performance, and the revolutionary editing of the film, lead the viewer in the hunt for the mysterious killer with a remarkably refined narration. In M, Lang begins his investigation into justice, society (even criminal society), freedom and the nature of the individual. To enter the world of M means to plunge into a cinematic world of rare, pure beauty, of dark and relentless perfection in search of the monster that dwells restive inside us all.
Screenings | BAMBINI, Italy, 1952, 10’ | OMBRELLAI, Italy, 1951, 11’ | ZONA PERICOLOSA, Italy, 1951, 10’ | Gli sbandati, Italy, 1955, 100’ | IL SOSPETTO, Italy, 1974, 115’ | LETTERA APERTA AD UN GIORNALE DELLA SERA, Italy, 1970, 116’ | “Storia di Caterina” from AMORE IN CITTÀ – Italy, France, 1953, 40’ | CIVICO 0, Italy, 2007, 80’ | AVVENTURA DI UN FOTOGRAFO, Italy, 1983, 65’ | STORIA D’AMORE, Italy, 1986, 109’
The event is presented in collaboration with Istituto Luce Cinecittà, and curated by Giacomo Martini. Our sincerest thanks to Minerva Pictures, RAI TECHE, Surf Film and Viggo for approving the screening.
The Rome Film Fest, with the Casa del Cinema and Istituto Luce Cinecittà, pays tribute to the films of Citto Maselli and a career distinguished by his exemplary coherence and intellectual honesty, with a retrospective of his most significant films including: Gli sbandati (Abandoned), Il sospetto (The Suspect), Lettera aperta a un giornale della sera (Open Letter to the Evening News), Storia d’amore (Tale of Love). Known not only for the films he directed, but for his civil and political engagement as well and for his personal conception of a dry and acerbic approach to cinema, Citto Maselli pursued his expressive experimentation, a process in which social commitment and a more strictly political engagement merged with his inclination to probe deep into the psychology of his main characters. Civil passion, creative power and a capacity for renewal are the linchpins around which his idea of cinema-vérité revolves: Maselli has always believed that political films must first and foremost ask questions and provoke debate.
Screening | DINO RISI FOREVER (CENTO ANNI MA NON LI DIMOSTRA) by Fabrizio Corallo, Italy, 2016, 45’
For the centennial of the birth of director Dino Risi, a collage of previously unreleased interviews will present the master of Italian comedy, who passed away in 2008, in a series of personal memories and anecdotes that illustrate, with his proverbial irony, his long and prolific career in Italian cinema from the post-war years to the present.