It’s old news, the things that Quentin Tarantino said about the Italian film industry – that he loved the Italian movies of the 60s and 70s but that the ones today are all the same and that it’s a tragedy. More recently as the president of the film jury for the Venice Film Festival he created controversy by giving the big awards to his friends (ex-girlfriend Sophia Coppolla got Golden Lion and Silver Lion went to his friend Alex de la Inglesia) and none to Italians.
Who cares. Chi se ne frega. “Who knows, maybe he was drunk when he made that statement, ” said Fernan Ozpetek at the Naple Film Festival about the “tragedy” comment.
While I don’t care what Quentin Tarantino says, ( his movies were on my “do not see” list long before this) I do care about modern Italian movies. The Italian movie industry is not what it should be and I want to know why.
People talk about practical problems, like distribution – it’s expensive and Italy only has two distributors. And I often think that a country like Italy just gets overshadowed by the Hollywood Death Star and is too often compared to it. C’mon. I challenge anyone who praises a movie like “Rachel Getting Married” and then calls “Caterina in the Big City” dull to a duel. (pistols – at dawn). That person is just being obstinate and extremely thick headed. That is someone who can only talk about what they like and not be objective – much like Quentin Tarantino.
He’s not an elitist, as Italy’s culture minister called him. He’s just a geeky know-it-all with a platform to pontificate from. You see, American celebrities can’t seem to help themselves; they think everyone is just hanging on their every word and it’s probably because we are, for some reason. Quentin is Tom Cruise lecturing us about postpartum depression. He’s Mel Gibson on Judaism. So here’s the thing, Italians, while Tarantino is just another celebrity mouthing off about something he doesn’t know anything about, we can thank him if it gets everybody thinking and talking. Italy has all the right stuff for a strong film industry – creative people, good acting, beautiful places to film, and stories to tell. I have high hopes for it.
First off, Italian movies have to start seeming cool to Italians – because if they aren’t even going to give their own filmmakers a chance, who will? I mean, please, 80% of our movies are total shit and the whole world should stop pretending otherwise. When I go to the cineplex in Italy it’s me and a couple dozen other old ladies at the Italian made film and everybody else packed in like sardines at the American ones. Give your own actors and filmmakers another chance, Italy!
PS -Just don’t let Berlusconi choose the jurors for the next film festival, as he threatened to do. That kind of stuff just makes you look nutty,