Meeting with Marco Bellocchio
22 October 2022, h 21:30
Marco Bellocchio is a Maestro. Not only in cinematography. His artistic career has crossed and told the conflicts of our country, political, religious, human, with a rare intellectual lucidity and emotional power, even unique in the world panorama. From I Pugni in Tasca to Esterno Notte, he has given us masterpieces that have looked fearlessly into the abyss, into the darkest shadows of a country, with the strength of his ever-young anger, without ever giving up on challenges that are impossible for others. He taught us that Marx can wait, that God and the ego are necessary interlocutors for our growth. And that in us, as individuals and communities, the shadow line is the main road to be men and artists.
One of the most important directors of contemporary cinema, Marco Bellocchio, born of a middle-class family in the province of Emilia, enrolled in the Experimental Center of Cinematography in Rome in 1959. He studied Bresson’s and Antonioni’s films at the Slade School of Fine Arts in London, and he made his feature film debut with “I pugni in tasca”, work that signals his undisputed talent and his vocation to make a critical dissection of traditional family values. In the following years, in the midst of the pre and post-sixty-eight climate, he directs “La Cina è vicina” (1967) and “Nel nome del padre” (1971), followed by, with mixed fortunes at the box office but with just as many critical acknowledgements, “Sbatti il mostro in prima pagina” (1972), “Matti da slegare” (1975) and “Marcia trionfale” (1976); the first, an open criticism of the Italian journalistic system; the second on asylums in Italy, in the total anti-institution climate of Basaglia; the third, on the environment of the barracks. During these years his two forays into television with the direction of “Il Gabbiano” by Cechov (1977) and “La macchina Cinema” the following year, a film-investigation on the world of cinema and on those who dream of it.
Bellocchio’s artistic partnership with the psychiatrist Massimo Fagioli, dates back to the eighties, and from which the following films were born: “Diavolo in corpo” (1986), “La visione del Sabba” (1988) and “La Condanna” (1991), Golden Bear in Berlin, irreverent reflection on the subject of rape, “Il sogno della farfalla”, presented at Cannes Festival in 1994. The nineties are still to be mentioned either for “Il principe di Homburg” (1997), as well as for “La Balia” (1999), based on a story by Pirandello with the theme of the inability to love. No less complex was the director’s work at the beginning of the third millennium, “Il sorriso di mia madre” (2002), which sees Sergio Castellitto in the role of a painter whose mother is about to be sanctified by the Vatican. From the following year is “Buongiorno, notte”, on the kidnapping of Aldo Moro and the years of terrorism in Italy – theme he will return to in 2022 with “Esterno Notte” – which will be followed by some works still centered on the family and the environment of his childhood, Bobbio, with “Sorelle Mai” (2011). In the last decade he has made a critical reinterpretation of the myth of Mussolini with “Vincere” (2009), starring Filippo Timi and Giovanna Mezzogiorno. After “sangue del mio sangue” in 2015, Bellocchio draws from a novel by Gramellini “Fai bei sogni” (2016) confirming his own investigation into the complex nature of family relationships. In 2019 he presents “Il traditore” at Cannes Festival and two years later the French festival will award him the Palme d’Or for his career. On the threshold of eighty years, Bellocchio faces the suicide of his brother in a direct way for the first time “Marx può aspettare”, a tragedy which, however, openly accompanied and permeated his work as an artist.