Ferzan Ozpetek was one of the first Italian filmmakers that I ever met in the flesh, and no wonder I was nervous; he’s a legend in his own time.
I don’t want to make it seem like Ferzan Ozpetek is nothing more than a gay director that makes gay themed films, because he’s not just that; he’s one of Italy’s finest filmmakers. But on the other hand, I don’t want to forget the fact that he’s a gay director that makes gay themed films either, because that’s important.
Maybe “gay themed” isn’t the right way to put it.
Let’s start again. He makes beautiful films and some of the characters are homosexual. These days, it’s not such a big deal, but when Ferzan started, it was pretty huge. Italy is a wonderful country with some of the finest people I’ve ever known, but it had a little trouble coming out of the closet and in the old days it wasn’t what you’d call “gay friendly”.
I’m not being hyperbolic when I say that Ferzan Ozpetek was THE pioneer that got things changing. Turkish by birth, he now has Italian citizenship, and Italy is lucky to have him.
And he’s directed everyone, and I mean everyone, including Margherita Buy, Pierfrancesco Favino, Elio Germano, Raoul Bova, Giovanna Mezzogiorno, and Stefano Accorsi. Riccardo Scamarcio’s role in Mine Vaganti (Loose Cannons) is one of my favorites.
Tanti Auguri Ferzan!
Although some of my favorites haven’t been distributed here (Like Magnifica Presenza) check out some of his movies that are available to us in the US.