Here’s what Nanni Moretti has to say about why people don’t go to Italian films.
“I see that there is always an excuse for not going to see an Italian film”, said director Nanni Moretti. “I don’t like that actress, that guy is neurotic.”
He gives more examples, “I don’t want to suffer at the movies, that film is too sad, I don’t like the advertisement. Sometimes the public is a little lazy. And then there’s the huge problem of the new generation. Kids go to see another kind of film, in another kind of movie theater”.
I ask Italians all the time, “Why don’t you like your own movies?”, and my own, unofficial and unscientific conclusion; it’s because they don’t know enough about them. They are too focused on American movies. I say, “Do you like Italian movies?”, and they say, “No.” But if I mention specific movies, they’ll either not have heard of them, or say, “Oh yeah, I liked that one.”
He has a few good points though. When he says, “I don’t like that actress”, he obviously means Margherita Buy, and “that guy is neurotic”, the “neurotic” guy; that’s him. Ask Italians if they like either one of them and chances are they’ll say “no”. And yet Margherita Buy was named “best actress” for the 5th time this year, and Nanni Moretti is one of the most successful directors in Italy.
So Italians, here’s your question. Why don’t you go to see your own movies? We are all ears.