Every year the Sleepwalkers festival has, in addition to the newer short films, screened the angry, unconventional or provocative early works by authors who have long ago gained classic status. Over the past few years, Sleepwalkers has shown the first achievements of Polish, English, American, French and Spanish directors. Now it is the Italians’ turn. The „Old and dignified” program features short films by Michelangelo Antonioni, Roberto Rossellini, Bernardo Bertolucci and Pier Paolo Pasolini.
Wednesday november 29, 20:00 IN CINEMA SÕPRUS
Short films directed by Michelangelo Antonioni
GENTE DEL PO
A documentary about Po River fishermen. The film was initially supposed to be longer, but half of the footage got lost and was never found.
N.U.- Nettezza Urbana
A documentary about the daily routine of Rome’s street sweepers.
„Loving Lie” is a pseudo-documentary on the making of „fotoromanzi” in a shabby Roman studio. The film served as inspiration for Federico Fellini’s „The White Sheik”, which Antonioni co-wrote.
A short documentary about superstition in rural Italy.
NOTO, MANDORLI, VULCANO, STROMBOLI, CARNEVALE
A documentary about the islands surrounding Italy.
Ro.Go.Pa.G is an anthology of four short films by Pier Paolo Pasolini, Roberto Rossellini, Jean-Luc Godard and Ugo Gregoretti.
Sleepwalkers features two of them:
Dir: Roberto Rossellini
„Illibatezza” is Rossellini’s satiric commentary on the subject of illusion and reality.
Dir: Pier Paolo Pasolini
“La Ricotta” plays an important part in Pier Paolo Pasolini’s career, marking a change in his mode of expression. Although “La Ricotta” is an outcry against the betrayal of religion, it was perceived as blasphemous by Pasolini’s homophobic enemies. The director was put on trial and charged for insulting the religion of the state. He was sentenced to four months in prison and “Ro.Go.Pa.G” was banned. “La Ricotta” is a clever social satire from a man whom Susan Sontag calls “the most outstanding artist that Italy has had since WWII”.
AMORE E RABBIA
“Amore e rabbia” is an anthology of 5 short films by Marco Bellochio, Bernardo Bertolucci, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Jean-Luc Godard and Carlo Lizzani.
Sleepwalkers screens three of them:
Dir: Marco Bellochio
“Discutiamo, discutiamo” leads the viewer into a classroom in Rome during the 1960s where Marxist philosophy is held in high esteem and bold political statements are made.
Dir: Bernardo Bertolucci
“Agonia” is a truly experimental piece about a man who has a spiritual experience facing the agony of death.
LA SEQUENZA DEL FIORE DI CARTA
Dir: Pier Paolo Pasolini
La sequenza del fiore di carta” is a story about a man wandering the streets of Rome amidst protest demonstrations against the war in Vietnam.
PIER PAOLO PASOLINI. Outside of Italy, Pier Paolo Pasolini (1922-1975) is known as one the most important directors of second wave neorealism in post-war Italy, who, in his own words, was in love with reality. A gloomy, hidden and sad reality. By the time he completed his first film Accattone in 1961, Pasolini had already established himself as an important author and thinker. He had published collections of poems, novels, and written articles for several Italian literary and cultural magazines. Throughout his career, he continued to write and paint. For Pasolini, film was an alternative form of self-expression, „writing with reality”. In his works, the social and political dimension is always combined with scandalous sexual presentation. Pasolini himself was a homosexual. He preferred to use natural lighting and non-professional actors in his films. The versatile, talented, and scandalous Pasolini was brutally murdered under unknown circumstances at the age of 53, directly after the completion of his last film Saló o le 120 giornate di Sodoma.
Pier Paulo Pasolini most important films:
“Mamma Roma” (1962), “Ro.Go.Pa.G.” (1963), “Il Vangelo secondo Matteo” (1964), “Uccellacci e uccellini” (1966), “Teorema” (1968), “Amore e rabbia” (1969),
“Il Decameron” (1971), “Il Fiore delle mille e una notte” (1974), “Saló o le 120 giornate di Sodoma” (1975).
MICHELANGELO ANTONIONI. Michelangelo Antonioni (b. 1912) is a film director whose works are considered as some of the most influential in film aesthetics. Unlike his contemporaries, Fellini and Pasolini, whose films dealt with the working class and the outcasts of society, Antonioni focuses his interest on the elite. He doesn’t romanticize the rich bourgeoisie but rather focuses on the emptiness and aimlessness of their lives, at the same time betraying his weakness for beauty, luxury and design. His films have a dreamlike quality with spare plots and dialogue. They are full of visual beauty and are perfectly calculated to capture the alienation of the characters. Antonioni does not consider himself a film theoretician: „If you ask me what directing is, the first answer that comes into my head is: I don’t know. The second: All my opinions on the subject are in my films.” “When I am shooting a film I never think of how I want to shoot something; I simply shoot it. My technique, which differs from film to film, is wholly instinctive and never based on prior considerations.”
Michelangelo Antonioni most important films:
“L’Avventura” (1960), “La Notte” (1961), “L’ Eclisse” (1962), “Il deserto rosso” (1964), “Blowup” (1966), “Zabriskie Point” (1970), “The Passenger” (1975), “Il Mistero di Oberwald” (1980), “Identificazione di una donna” (1982), “Beyond the Clouds” (1995) koos Wim Wendersiga.
MARCO BELLOCHIO (b. 1939) started his career in film in the early 1960s, making short films and documentaries. His first feature film I Pugni In Tasca, a powerful drama about incest, launched his international career. Other equally provocative films followed, most notably La Cina e vicina (China is Near) and Nel nome del padre. Bellochio lost none of his rebel status in the ensuing years, directing films like Salto nel vuoto and Diavolo in corpo. He continues to challenge moral norms and to expose the illusions of everyday life, making a new film after every couple of years.
Marco Bellochio most important films:
“La Cina è vicina” (1967), “Nel nome del padre” (1971), “Marcia trionfale” (1976), “Salto nel vuoto” (1980), “Diavolo in corpo” (1986), “Il principe di Homburg” (1996)
“La balia” (1999), „Buongiorno, notte“ (2003).
ROBERTO ROSSELLINI. By the age of 22, Italy’s future directing star Roberto Rossellini (1906-1977) had made a couple of amateur films, so that it did not come as a surprise, when he moved on to the world of professional cinema. For him, this did not mean huge decorations or effusive emotions, but rather the creation of a new kind of cinematic naturalism. The young director was then more fascinated by the mechanical intricacies of film-making than with such things as plots and performers. In 1943, he began work on what many consider the first neorealist film, Desiderio. Unfortunately, he was forced to drop the project, but his brush with cinematic naturalism had left an impression, and, in 1945, he gained international fame with his stark, neorealist feature Roma Citta Aperta. With this film, Rossellini turned the former code of aesthetics to a completely new direction by giving up professional actors and artificial lighting.
Roberto Rossellini most important films:
“Roma città aperta” (1945), “Paisà” (1946), “Germania anno zero” (1947), “L’amore” (1948), “La macchina ammazzacattivi” (1948), “Stromboli, Terra di Dio” (1949), “Francesco, Giullare di Dio” (1950), “Europa 51” (1952), “Giovanna d’arco al rogo” (1954), “L’età del ferro” (1964).
BERNARDO BERTOLUCCI (b. 1940) started out as Pier Paolo Pasolini’s assistant. His works are characterized by open sexuality and political themes. Bertolucci’s “Last Tango in Paris”, completed in 1973, opened the door to eroticism in general-release films. Here, as in many of his previous films, Bertolucci examines the power of sexuality in human relationships. He may have been too far ahead of his time though, because the film was banned and all copies were ordered destroyed. Bertolucci managed to keep a clandestine copy of the film which was later shown in a slightly censored version. Bertolucci does not only bare the bodies of the characters but also their souls, scrutinizing even the slightest inner movements. Bertolucci’s own dreams have also been the subject of psychoanalytic dissertations on the director.
Bernardo Bertolucci most important films:
La commare secca (1962), Prima della rivoluzione (Before the Revolution, 1962), Il Canale (1966), Amore e rabbia (1969, episod "il Fico Infruttuoso"), La strategia del ragno (Spider’s Stratagem, 1970), Konformist (1971), Last Tango in Paris (1973), 1900 (Novecento, 1976), La Luna (Luna, 1979), La tragedia di un uomo ridicolo (1981), L’ultimo imperatore (1987), The Sheltering Sky, (1990), Väike Buddha (1993), Steeling Beaty (1996), Ten Minutes Older: The Cello (2002), The Dreamers (2003)