Make a kiss immortal. Only the cinema could decide to set out on this path bordering on the credible. Technology, a certain digital visionary nature and an irrepressible passion for images have given life to a unique operation in the world: to transform the most iconic shot in the history of 1960s gossip into a digital work, Nft to remain in strictly technical language, to sell at auction.
Starring Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, living monuments of post-war Hollywood whose personal stories crossed with the talent of a photographer whose story deserves a separate film. Marcello Geppetti, Roman, exponent of that extraordinary world that has become the legend of the paparazzi of Via Veneto, as Fellini had renamed them by playing with the name of one of his characters from the Dolce Vita.
Marcello had an eye for images, a talent for stories, the ability to find himself in the right place, but above all he was gifted with an out of the ordinary intuition. In a world of great professionals, Geppetti knew how to discard the normality of the day’s work with an unpredictable feint. And it is thanks to this ability of him that in 1962 he became the protagonist of a story that actually shook the foundations of the respectability and glamor of that Hollywood.
It is June 1962, the filming of Cleopatra, the Mankiewicz film about which legendary stories of failure will be told, are being completed. Suffice it to say that the madness of that film brought the entire Twenty Century Fox one step away from bankruptcy. But our heroes, the photographers of the stars, on the hunt for gravure stories lived with only one idea: to immortalize the secret love between Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. They were the only ones who were certain of the relationship. Again for a banal and fascinating reason: a cinema detail. It is in fact in one of the press conferences at the beginning of the shooting that the secret is revealed: one of the photographers in picking up a roll of film fallen under a long table, he noticed how stealthily the two brushed their hands under the table without others could know their history. In the world of photographers that detail turned into adventure, the hunt for the holy grail of photography, the shot that changes your life, the image that makes you immortal.
Change of scene, Ischia, Cleopatra’s last day of shooting, the photographers are weakened by the heat, but above all they feel the sense of defeat on them. This time, Hollywood got the better of it, it didn’t miss a single detail, it didn’t leave anything to the imagination of the cameras. Just a few glossy shots on which to let the words flow, but real images, of flesh on which to dream, nothing. The set is passing the deliveries to the movers, the photographers are all together and there Marcello Geppetti finds the pretense that sends the whole of Hollywood to sit. He walks away on his own, it’s a feeling, the last chance to change history. He runs to the opposite side of the island, climbs the stairs three steps at a time and finds the right space to accommodate the speedboat carrying Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. The looks, the sunscreen, the inability to resist, the desire not to resist. The two kiss, Marcello Geppetti shoots, shoots again, before and after. It is a dear story Hollywood, a Roman photographer passed you in front of you, playing in advance, with cunning, with talent. He knew you were going to give in and he screwed you.
The rest is history, that image becomes an icon of an era, as Secchiaroli had immortalized the striptease of Aïché Nana, so Marcello caught the kiss that made the history of the glamor of a generation. Richard Burton tried to block the publication by offering through his law firm an amount close to 150 thousand euros today. Geppetti said no and not out of a question of money but of ethics: “If I sell to private individuals, I pass for someone who does blackmail and instead I work for the press”. That image was sold in England for 370 thousand euros today. The New York Post included it in first place among the “7 most legendary Paparazzi photos”.
Marcello had beaten them and today his son Marco leads an operation that looks like the second half of that film. The collaboration between Marcello Geppetti Media Company and ItaliaNFT now makes it possible to relaunch that scoop in the form of Non Fungible Token. Made in Tomorrow, the company that manages and takes care of the enhancement of Marcello Geppetti’s photographic archive has worked on the generation of an unpublished video through the computer graphics processing of the sequence of the original shots, ItaliaNFT presided over the entire minting phase on the Blockchain necessary to authenticate the work.
Presented in a world preview at the Casa del Cinema in Rome, Saturday 18 June Il Bacio Immortale (The infamous kiss) will be auctioned on ItaliaNFT, the first marketplace dedicated to the enhancement of digital goods of Made In Italy: starting price of 30 thousand dollars .
“The rebirth of the immortal kiss in the form of NFT video represents a historic moment because it attests once and for all the potential of NFT in giving new life to the artistic and cultural heritage present in our country – explained Achille Minerva, CEO and founder of ItaliaNFT, present at the event with the critic and director Marco Spagnoli, Andrea Dezzi CEO of Made in Tomorrow, Marco Geppetti, son of Marcello and Sandra Milo who was the protagonist of that Dolce Vita – the quality and historical significance of Marcello Geppetti’s photos, advances in computer graphics technologies and the inviolability guaranteed by a granite platform based on Blockchain, represent a winning model for bringing excellence of this type into the new era of digital value “. Perhaps a kiss has truly become immortal.
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