Happy Birthday to one of Italy’s best directors!
I got the chance to talk with Roberto Andò in New York City back in 2015 and it was one of my favorite interviews. In those days, I would often ask actors and directors about the new wave of Italian cinema and what had happened to cause it.
Andò was mesmerizing, talking about what he called a “mortification” of Italian cinema that had developed, where, unlike in the US where filmmaking is a strategic industry, Italians just wanted movies that “didn’t hurt”.
He told me a great story about Bernardo Bertolucci, who for years made beautiful films that nobody saw. “It was in the moment that Bertolucci decided that he wanted an audience that he began to fill theaters, because if you don’t want an audience, then why would an audience want you?”
When I talk about the directors that are changing the face of Italian cinema, I am talking about directors like Andò, who see the future and want to be part of it.
Andò is an author as well as director and he took his award-winning novel, Il Trono Vuoto, and turned it into an award-winning film, Viva La Libertà, starring Toni Servillo.
Also available to us in the USA, Le Confessioni (The Confessions), starring Toni Servillo.
Billed as a “thriller”, Le Confessioni is a good old-fashioned whodunit, one that is staged in my favorite way; it’s got a big “Clue Game” cast of characters in forced seclusion at a picturesque luxury hotel by the sea plus a murder (or was it a suicide?). Everybody seems a little sinister, including the monk (Toni Servillo) who was invited by the rich and powerful director (Daniel Auteui) for reasons that no one’s quite sure of.
A great read, Marco Olivieri’s book about Roberto Andò and his filmmaking: