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the Italian magnificent 9 (according to Scorsese)

Martin Scorsese, guest in Italy at the Roma Film Festival, and asked on his 9 favoured films of Italian Cinema, quoted, among many others, the following ones:

  1. ‘Accattone’, by Pier Paolo Pasolini: “the first film I felt close to, with characters I could identify with, it was a powerful experience, a shock to see something like that in connection with me. The sanctity of the human soul, the suffering of those who are at the base of society have not left me anymore”.
  2. ‘The taking of power by Louis XIV’, by Roberto Rossellini:  “from the filmography of a master of neorealism, in that television production, in his ‘didactic’ period I found an influence. Rossellini told me ‘art is not important, education is important’, when I met him in Rome. That film, reduced to the essential, has opened the way for me, and I find the seeds in ‘Raging Bull’, ’The King of Comedy’, and many others”.
  3. ‘Umberto D’, by Vittorio De Sicais an extraordinary film, not as sentimental as it may seem, it is the pinnacle of neorealism but it already contains something else: the elderly protagonist tells of a society that has already changed since the post-war period ”.
  4. ‘Il Posto’, by Ermanno Olmiis special to me. The American distributor, who owned several rooms, was so enamored of it that he decided to show it for free on the first day. It is a film of great purity, it has an almost documentary style, leanfor. For ‘Raging Bull’ it was an inspiration”.
  5. ‘L’eclisse’, by Michelangelo Antonioniwas not easy to read, it is a work, like the others of the director, that you have to learn to read, and my energy is faster. But, seeing scene by scene, as if it were a work of modern art to watch and pay attention to understand it, I learned the use of space, a staging that becomes artistic composition, narrative itself. Antonioni has redefined the image”.
  6. ‘Divorzio all’italiana’, by Pietro Germiwith his satirical style, the fine humor, the camera movement with the shots glued on Marcello Mastroianni. No doubt on how influenced me, for example for ‘Goodfellas’” .
  7. ‘Salvatore Giuliano’, by Francesco Rosi: “it’s hard to comment as much as I still feel today.” The mother of the bandit who despairs over her son’s body is La Madre … This film has ancestral reasons for me, it represents the South, the tragedy and the suffering of the South, of Sicily from which my grandparents left in 1910. In America they make us grow up saying not to get out emotions, see Salvatore Giuliano with that the explosion of feelings is returning to the origins
  8. ‘Il Gattopardo’, by Luchino Viscontiis anthropology of life, a microcosm that refers to the macrocosm The lesson of Visconti with that passage of time has always struck me a lot, as well as his luxuriant style diametrically opposed to that of Antonioni… Donnafugata is the country of origin of my grandmother Cimina”
  9. ‘Le notti di Cabiria’, by Federico Fellini, “is something religious, sacred, it is a spiritual rebirth”. What about the final scene with Giulietta Masina that goes from asking to die to the look full of tears, and the desire to live?


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