I’m just translating so don’t shoot the messenger.
No argument that Paolo Sorrentino is the definition of auteur but many would give Allen the same title. Hey, whatever. Farinotti says that Sorrentino will show us a truer vision of Rome in his new La Grande Bellezza (The Great Beauty ) and that it will be closer to the way the great classic directors like De Sica. Fellini, and Rossellini have shown it to the world. Sorrentino’s will be the the “dolce vita” without the Hollywood hype .
The foreign directors, says Farinotti, even the great ones like William Wyler with his Roman Holiday, and Jean Negulesco. who made Three Coins in a Fountain, paint Rome with pretty broad strokes. Even Minelli made movies that showed an “Americanized” Rome.
Not surprisingly, if you want to see the more honest and authentic Rome, you have to look to the Italians; it’s the poor Rome that De Sica shows us in The Bicycle Thief, the occupied Rome of Rossellini’s Rome, Open City, and the decadent Rome that Fellini made movies about.
Sorrentino’s Rome will be the same, honest depiction, a “great beauty”, irony intended, with Toni Servillo playing a journalist who writes about it. Also in the all-star cast: Sabrina Ferilli, Carlo Verdone, Isabella Ferrari and Giorgio Pasotti. Angelina Jolie’s in it too, her voice, anyway, and she’ll be playing herself.
The irony that I see and that Farinotti missed is that Sorrentino’s done what she’s complaining about – he made a movie about America, This Must Be The Place. Sorrentino, an Italian telling Americans about America, did a pretty good job, though – I’m not complaining. With Frances McDormand and Sean Penn This Must Be The Place could easily have been mistaken for an American production with an American director.
Do Americans do a good job of accurately portraying Italians in the movies we make about them? No, probably not, but I’m not sure that an inaccurate portrayal always makes a bad movie.
To Rome With Love is not very good, but Roman Holiday is entertaining; right? We just have to remember not to mistake the movies that Americans make about Italy for documentaries.