An artist of radical expressive freedom exercised by a laterality chosen as a point of observation on the reverse of things, Giuseppe Bertolucci, ten years after his death, is very, very much missing.
Above all in a time devoid of artists capable of digging into the subsoil of the repressed and into the no-man’s land of gambling but fertile of suitors of the calculated, of the surface and of the pleasantness traveled as highways towards an easy and fast consensus.
In this time of absence, the most acute and necessary presence of Giuseppe is nestled in his youthful poems, in the theater, in the short films and in the cinema, inside an artist’s work in which he has disseminated traces of his gaze capable, always, of to cheat the cards, to make the demands of reason, the ordinary and the expected lose the game.
Bertolucci’s collaboration with Solares Fondazione delle Arti – Teatro delle Briciole was very close and fruitful, even in his last years: just think of the theatrical project ‘Na specie de cadaverissimo, in L’engegner Gadda goes to war, at Casa d’ others and to A life in verse, a long autobiographical reflection studded with poems dedicated to him, child and boy, by his father Attilio.
To remember Giuseppe Bertolucci, rediscovering him through a perspective that is both passionate and lucid, intimate and full of thought, we reached his wife Lucilla Albano, former professor of Cinema and Psychoanalysis at the University of Roma Tre, whose link with the Parmesan artist , which began in September 1977, when Lucilla is a young researcher of film history at the University of Florence, will last until Giuseppe’s death, which took place at Tricase on June 16, 2012, at the age of 65.
“Ten years without Giuseppe. I remember everything about him, but above all his talent – which developed from an early age, starting with painting, continuing with poetry (one of his poetry books, Professione di poeta incerto, was published posthumously). , published by Diabasis), then passing through the studies of linguistics at the University, and finally arriving at the cinema, through the viaticum of his brother Bernardo. And then I am strongly present and I miss his intelligence and irony, his integrity, generosity , discretion and civic sense, which led him to commit himself for fourteen years to the presidency of the Cineteca di Bologna “.
On Wednesday, as a tribute to one of the most innovative and multifaceted directors of Italian cinema and theater, The Sweet noise of life was presented at the Teatro Argentina in Rome, edited by Prono and Rigola, a volume full of analyzes, interpretations, memories and testimonies of scholars, collaborators and friends, to which is attached the documentary Evviva Giuseppe, by Stefano Consiglio. The image of a very fine artist emerges …
“This book, which I owe to the passion and commitment of Franco Prono, whom I thank, not only liked it very much, but thanks to its reading I have better understood and acquired interesting and important themes and issues on Giuseppe’s creative work. despite being a scholar and teacher of cinema, I had never studied him, I loved him, which is a very different thing. And I have always been the first spectator of his works “.
How to tell Giuseppe Bertolucci to those who approach his work today?
“Giuseppe was an artist and an intellectual, an experimenter and an explorer of new expressive modes, who worked in the maze of contamination and hybridization of different arts, languages, formats and technologies, with ease and confidence, as many later have done, but he much earlier than others. He has made more than 50 directing films and only 10 fictional feature films. These numbers clearly tell us how much he has been involved in directing with different types of representation, in addition to cinema, a lot of theater, many documentaries, often beautiful, a bit of television and various reinterpretations of other people’s works and texts, such as those of Pasolini, not forgetting the radio and opera, with a single direction, that of La Traviata at the Regio di Parma “.
Mimmo Raffaele writes that Giuseppe has always chosen lateral paths, on the margins, without ever failing “the aristocratic eccentricity of his gaze” …
“Yes, Giuseppe has traveled ‘wild paths’ (it is no coincidence that I quote the Italian title of a beautiful western by John Ford, his favorite director), off-the-beaten path, with the desire to break molds and break boundaries (frontier artist had defined the theater critic Renato Palazzi). ‘The only thing that matters is to keep asking questions, so many questions’, wrote Giuseppe in his book Cosedadire: the opening instead of the closing, the suspended endings, the echo elsewhere, the surprise, the unspoken, if not the unspeakable, as Mimmo Rafele wrote in the book “.
Reality was not enough for him, since he was a child he felt the need to duplicate it, to scratch its surface with the machine of his invention, first with drawing and then moving on to poetry and then to cinema.
“Giuseppe was never a realist, or even less an epigone of neorealism, if anything he ‘invented from life’, recalling the famous passage from a letter by Giuseppe Verdi; and always working, with intransigence, on the composition of the shot, on the aesthetics of the image, preferring formalism and stylization to naturalism. He certainly liked very much working with actors and actresses, seeing the bodies, voices and movements of the characters he had invented built up day after day. I am also known for his great flair in discovering new talents or in bringing out their qualities more: I am thinking first of all of Roberto Benigni, then of Laura Morante, Antonio Piovanelli, Sonia Bergamasco and Fabrizio Gifuni “.
Son of a great poet, what role did poetry play in Joseph’s life and work?
“With the title of the book, The sweet noise of life (which comes from a verse by Sandro Penna and which has become the title of one of his films), together with the subtitle: Giuseppe Bertolucci between cinema, theater, television and poetry, is indicated , precisely with the word poetry, an important stylistic figure of all his work. Giuseppe grew up with poetry, first of all with that of his father Attilio. He then disseminated poems, octaves, nursery rhymes, verses in kissed rhyme , many of his works, starting with Berlinguer I love you, passing through Amori in corso and Tino e Tano (a short film) and concluding with L’amore probably, where Sonia Bergamasco, protagonist of the film, signs the ending with verses of Giorgio Caproni. But in particular I would like to mention those works of which I speak in one of my essays, Cinema of poetry and on poetry, and where, for the first time, I was able to write about Giuseppe (before I was not allowed) “.
How did you describe Joseph’s sense for poetry?
“Speaking of three of his works, connected precisely by the very strong presence of poetry: Il Correggio rediscovered, a short film starring his father Attilio, In search of poetry, a montage documentary, and The farewell of the ceremonious traveler, Sinopie video for a film in verses (the sinopias are the preparatory drawings for a fresco). The latter is the work of Joseph that is dearest to me, because it has the stigmata of an impossible dream, irreducible to common categories, a delusional object, but at the same time rigorous. An unmistakable object (because it cannot be compared to anything else) that comes from an occasion, a stage in directing for the Paolo Grassi School of Dramatic Art in Milan. Giuseppe had it in mind for some time, to write a screenplay composed entirely thanks to the verses of Caproni, conceived and written with the collaboration and complicity of the students of the school (and published by Ubulibri). He did not manage to shoot the film in verse, but only a half-hour video with n the pupils of the school. That’s what we have left, but a lot is the same. “