Bellocchio: "Against the culture of the past"
by Camillo de Marco
18/04/2006 - "Italy is a country where the dead rule". This is a line from the new film by Marco Bellocchio, Il regista di matrimoni (lit. “The Wedding Director”), which will be released April 21 by 01 Distribution on 200 screens and which will probably be screened at Cannes in May.
A highly "political" line, in the strictest sense of the word, that which indicates the art of being a citizen, the chief moment of sociality. "I don’t think there is renewal in art and culture, I think that Italian film is dominated by old ideas", explained the director. "With the predominance of TV, film has gotten smaller. It will seem extremely elitist, but I claim cinema to be supreme for its image, form, beauty."
Starring Sergio Castellitto, Donatella Finocchiaro and Sami Frey, Il regista di matrimoni, set mostly in Cefalù (Sicily), tells the story of a director in crisis who runs away from the umpteenth production of an adaptation of Promessi sposi by Alessandro Manzoni to end up improbably involved as the director a wedding of convenience between the daughter of an impoverished prince and a young man from a local, rich family.
The predominant tone in the film’s first sequences is grotesque, creating a strong link with the director’s previous film, The Religion Hour, above all for the religious references. Bellocchio himself admits that he wanted to give a lot of space to the image and the editing, taking out much of the dialogue even during shooting. "We sought out the essential in every sequence, giving up on words as much as possible. The energy and vitality make you find and develop images you did not possess previously. I think you can guess the life the filmmaker lived on screen, with his developments and changes”. The result is several moments of enchanted grandeur. "I’m fascinated, now more than in the past, by the power of fables, thus I went back, to my first literary experiences.
The film was produced by Film Albatros and RAI Cinema, with Dania and Surf Film, in co-production with France’s Filmtel. RAI Cinema CEO Giancarlo Leone will not divulge the budget: "From €4-6m. The film is a 90% Italian production ".
(Translated from Italian)