Monday 17 November, Academy-award winner Robert De Niro to meet the audience for the Italian preview of the documentary “Remembering the Artist Robert De Niro, Sr.” by Perri Peltz and Geeta Gandbhir
Monday November 17th, the Fondazione Cinema per Roma and the MAXXI – National Museum of XXI Century Arts will organize, in collaboration with Mazda and with the kind concession of HBO and Italian Sky Arte HD channel, a preview screening of the documentary Remembering the Artist Robert De Niro, Sr. by Perri Peltz and Geeta Gandbhir, dedicated to the life and work of Robert De Niro Senior, American painter, poet, and sculptor of Italian origin, and father of the great actor Robert De Niro. After the preview, to be held at 5:00 pm in the Auditorium of the MAXXI, the extraordinary protagonist of Taxi Driver, The Deer Hunter, Once Upon a Time in America, winner of the Academy Award® for Raging Bull and The Godfather – Part II,will meet the audience during a conversation moderated by Italian film critic, and Rome Film Festival senior programmer Mario Sesti. De Niro and Sesti will also introduce the second screening of the documentary, scheduled for 7:00 pm in the same venue, with the President of the Fondazione MAXXI, Giovanna Melandri.
The documentary Remembering the Artist Robert de Niro, Sr.– presented last January at the Sundance Film Festival, and to be aired as the exclusive television premiere on the Italian Sky Arte HD channel on Sunday, December 28th at 9:10 pm, brings to the screen a moving portrait of Robert De Niro Senior, one of the most esteemed figurative painters in New York after World War II, whose work, following the remarkable success of his early years, was overshadowed by the advent of new artistic movements such as American Abstract Expressionism, Pop-Art, and Minimalism. In letters and journals, archival family footage and interviews with the artist, friends, and experts in the field of art, the film narrates the rise and successive decline, the hopes and frustrations of the artist, from his childhood in Syracuse, NY, living with his highly demanding father, to his short-lived marriage to Virginia Admiral, from the birth of his son Robert to his unacknowledged homosexuality. Robert De Niro Senior is affectionately portrayed in the words and memories of the person who knew him best, his son Robert, who has been committed over the years to honour his father’s work and memory. The film is directed by Perri Peltz, documentary filmmaker and journalist, director of the famous HBO documentary The Education of Dee Dee Ricks, and Geeta Gandbhir, Emmy-Award winning film editor for her work in the HBO documentary When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts by Spike Lee and By the People: The Election of Barack Obama by Amy Rice and Alicia Sams, produced by Edward Norton.
REMEMBERING THE ARTIST ROBERT DE NIRO, SR.
by Perri Peltz and Geeta Gandbhir, United States, 2014, 40’
Robert De Niro, Sr. was part of the celebrated “New York School” of artists who enjoyed success in his early career during the 1940’s and 50’s in New York City. His paintings blended abstract and expressionist styles with a representational subject matter, bridging the divide between European Modernism and Abstract Expressionism. In 1945 his work was exhibited at Peggy Guggenheim’s “Art of this Century” Gallery, beside the works of Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko, and reviewed by the major art magazines of the time. But his success was short lived as his work was overshadowed first by the Abstract Expressionism and later by the emergence of Pop Art and Minimalism. As the art world embraced these new movements in the late 1950s and early 1960’s, more traditional painters like De Niro were marginalized, thus he decided to embark to Paris to immerse himself in the art of the masters and enliven his own work and career. But the art market of post-war France offered little opportunity for DeNiro. He returned to the United States and continued to paint in relative obscurity. He found solace writing about his hopes and dreams in his journals and poems, hoping that one-day his work would be re-discovered and afforded the critical acclaim that had eluded him throughout his career, even if after his death. His dreams were realized, orchestrated by the man who knew him best — his son, the actor, Robert De Niro.
Perri Peltz is a documentary filmmakerand public health advocate who began her career as a television news journalist. She directed the acclaimed HBO documentary The Education of Dee Dee Ricks, a documentary which explores the disparities in the United States health care system as seen through the lens of an unlikely friendship between two women battling breast cancer. Prior to directing and producing documentaries, Perri spent much of her career as a television news journalist: she joined WNBC in 1987 serving as a reporter, then as a co-anchor, then went on to serve as a contributor for NBC’s Dateline and later as one of the first anchors at MSNBC; from 1999-2000 she was a news correspondent for ABC’s 20/20. She also worked at CNN as a reporter. Her interests also include film promotion: after reporting the story for CNN about a chess team from a public school in the South Bronx (that went on to become national chess champions), she produced the feature film The Knights of the South Bronx, starring Ted Danson, based on their accomplishment. Both in and outside journalism, Perri has pursued her passion for public health and medicine. Since 2010, Perri has been the host of Dr. Radio Reports, a one-hour weekly program about public health issue.
With over twenty years of experience in the fields of film, television and animation, director, film editor, and producer Geeta Gandbhir has won two Emmy Awards for film editing for the HBO documentaries When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts by Spike Lee and By the People: The Election of Barack Obama by Amy Rice and Alicia Sams, produced by Edward Norton. In addition, the films she edited have won an Oscar® (Music By Prudence by Roger Ross Williams), and an Oscar® nomination (God is the Bigger Elvis by Rebecca Camisa). In 2014, she collaborated with Oscar® award-winner Alex Gibney, editing the musical documentary Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown. Other significant works include the POV film on welfare reform Take it From Me, directed by Emily Abt; the PBSseries African American Lives with Henry Lewis Gates; What’s Going On: The Life of Marvin Gaye for PBS American Masters. Recently, she completed a feature-length documentary entitled Budrus by “Just Vision Films”, the team of directors and producers of the award-winning film Control Room, winner of the Silver Bear at the 2010 Berlin Film Festival and of the Special Jury Mention Prize for Best World Documentary at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival. Gandbhir has also worked on a series of films for HBO, including Spike Lee’s follow-up to When the Levees Broke entitled If God Is Willing and Da Creek Don’t Rise for which she was nominated for an Emmy Award, and The Education of Dee Dee Ricks, with director Perri Peltz which premiered at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival, as well as American Promise by Joe Brewster and Michele Stephenson, which won the Jury Prize at Sundance in 2013.