Archive for the ‘ 1981 / Il mistero di Oberwald ’ Category

Profession Against (August 1983)

I considered refusing the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, but I could not come up with a good enough reason. I would have refused it on instinct alone. I have received many awards, at almost all the film festivals – Cannes, Venice, and Berlin. The only place I have not yet won is Moscow, but that’s such a particular festival that I could do without. So, when I think of another Golden Lion added to the one I already have, it is already too much. I do not know how to say it – I mean, it puts me into a situation – that is, it gives me another responsibility in dealing with the past, and this is what bothers me. I do not want this responsibility. My films are what they are, I do not know if they deserve another Golden Lion or not, and I do not want to have to talk about it. This is how I feel about that prize.

Then what made you accept it? 

I did it because it is very difficult to say no to Venice. It seems a bit presumptuous for me to say: “No, I do not need another award, I am already who I am.” After all, I guess it is OK to have another one.

Maybe you don’t like these festivals because they show films that no longer satisfy you as they did when you filmed them, films that you have regrets about. Have you ever thought about that? 

Well, in my professional life I have regrets in the sense that when I see one of my films again I do not always like it. That is, I might not like the whole film, but rather just parts of it – certain sequences, or maybe its subject matter. I would not say that I am satisfied with the entire film. There has not been a film of mine that has completely satisfied me.

Not even one? What about The Girlfriends, The Cry, La notte, Red Desert, Identification of a Woman, The Passenger?  Continue reading

My Method (December 1982)

To begin with, we want to ask a ‘very simple question, the same one that the child asks Niccolo in Identification of a Woman: “Why don’t you make science-fiction films?” Let us ask you the same thing. 

A question like that isn’t for you – it’s OK for a child like the one in the film! You know well that I haven’t been able to do everything that I wanted to do. I suggest ideas, but it is the producer and his distributor who make the decision. It’s very difficult today to make suggestions for films, especially for a science-fiction film; they immediately make comparisons with what the Americans are doing in this field, even though we don’t have access to the same resources as they do. It’s useless to try and compete with them; we have to do something different. In the end credits to Blade Runner; there were at least forty technicians. There aren’t that many in the whole of Italy! And even if there were, they would cost too much to hire. 

I thought your film was trying to be an answer to American science fiction films – an answer to E.T. and Blade Runner, a European ‘version of these things, dealing with everyday issues. 

Perhaps. What you say is interesting. Why did you think that?

The character of Niccolo – the director seems very interested in everything that has to do with science. The telescope allows him to approach the farthest his human eye can reach. And then there is the issue that recurs throughout the film: the issue of otherness, be it a woman or other objects. Or perhaps the “other” is extraterrestrial? 

That’s interesting. I like interpretations, a film is always open. You can interpret it any way you want. Seeing a film is always a personal experience. I would like to make a science-fIction film, but to do so in an Italian style isn’t easy. It’s such an alien mentality to us. Still, I did write a script for a science-fiction film: it’s half classic science fiction, with extraterrestrials; but then that format gives way to a different type of science fiction, where you find yourself inside the characters, who are all characters from science fIction. It was interesting, but I wasn’t satisfied with the production deal so I didn’t go ahead with it. Continue reading