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The “beautiful greatness” (why the world acclaims Paolo Sorrentino’s The Great Beauty and Italians do not)

So, we did it: Italy wins the Oscar after quite much time of abstinence.

This obviously brings along several implications: who is ready to jump on the bandwagon, experts of the film who did not even see it, various “it’s awful”, “masterpiece”, “Fellinian”, and so on.

Let alone who simply did not give it more than a quarter of hour because it was boring, he did not understand it or alike.

That is understendable, it is not a film for all tastes.

Not everyone likes caviar.

My daughter, as an example, does not even like ice cream, and this is harder to me to explain.

But back to us. I see it this way: it is always a complex work to translate an idea into images. In Italy, we are more used to do it in a “naturalistic” way. So, whenever someone proposes a mis-en-scene of a different kind, coming out from the pattern of realism, it is forthwith labelled as “Fellinian”. Perhaps we really did not have more dreamers after him? Not at his standing. Neither here, nor anywhere.

Sure, Sorrentino himself thanks the master as an inspiration, but I believe that the truth is that whoever founds himself to face cinema with a stance different from the simple portrayal of reality, he cannot -not even unwittingly- not homage Fellini.

Both for who puts in on stage and who is its spectator.

It is like seeing a red sport car and not think unconsiously to a Ferrari.

I’ve loved the film and appreciated it more at the second viewing. As I did for almost my favourite films.

The narrative line, which cannot be clear at the first viewing, appeared more evident to me at the second passage.

Then, there is her, Rome. A Rome that takes your breath away. Unreal, because polished up from its sins of ill and decadent city.

Sins that we can find in those who live there, in the bewildered humanity’s fauna which lives there.

It’s exactly this contrast to fascinate me: the prominence as a cover of Rome and the desperate emptyness and research of sense of the people who lives in it.

And I think that, to represent our country, for better or for worse, this abstract portait is worth more than an hyper-realist picture.

The lacks I hate most seeing in the others are the ones that I own, or that I have owned.

Maybe I can explain in this way the comments of who hated the film or whi criticizes it as offensive.

For the rest I can do nothing more that compliments to Mr. Sorrentino for the greatness, the wonderful greatness, that he manage to bring back to Italian cinema, proposing a overwiev and a lyric that, as far as I am concerned, has been missing on our screens for a long time.

Corrado Ravazzini (Movie maker and director)





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