Tuesday, 18. June 2013 - 07:06
27. 12. 12. - 15:00
Antonio Pietrangeli (1919-68) was also a loner, but in a completely different way than his friend, Valerio Zurlini, with whom his work connects only posthumously: Zurlini finished Pietrangeli's last film, Come, quando, perché (1969), supervising the post-production and making sure that everything was done in the spirit of the deceased. On the very last day of shooting, after the last shot was in the can, Pietrangeli had drowned – a death scene that could have appeared in one of his films.
Pietrangeli started out studying medicine but turned to his first love at the very first opportunity: He became a film critic, writing for the magazines Bianco & Nero and, above all, for Cinema alongside Luchino Visconti, Gianni Puccini and Carlo Lizzani. This was the group around Giuseppe De Santis, and they all fought for a renewal of Italian cinema: for neo-realism. While Visconti and De Santis were soon able to direct and were already pioneers of the postwar cinema during the battles for Italy, Pietrangeli first concentrated on writing – screenplays. He participated in many key films of the period like Visconti’s La terra trema or Gioventù perduta by Pietro Germi, but also in several exquisite “outsider” works such as Quel fantasma di mio marito, a romantic fantasy, or Roberto Rossellini's sharp comedy with Totò: Dov'è la libertà ...?
It is important to remember here that Hollywood genre filmmaking was one of the central models upon which the Cinema group based their theory of neo-realism. The pronounced film noir bent of Gioventù perduta or the reshuffling of fantasy and screwball comedy in Quel fantasma di mio marito both owe a debt to this breeding ground. And Pietrangeli would stay true to it even in his directing work, regularly clarifiying social and human relations through strong genre elements. Fantasmi a Roma (1961), for instance, tells the story of anxious ghosts and phantoms of the past; Marcello Mastroianni in the role of an heir must realize that it is impossible to escape the traditions of one's ancestors. The ending of the film, in which he returns to his usual table at the same restaurant day after day – to the great satisfaction of the ghostly waiters – is overwhelming and devastating.
The past weighs heavily on Pietrangeli's protagonists. Memories are always connected to pain. Again and again, his characters must learn that they are prisoners of their own circumstances – and the older they get, the more they are trapped inside this jail. In the magnificent La visita (1963), for example, a not-very-attractive couple finds that their past infatuations and love affairs stand in the way of their new relationship. The four touching heroines of Adua e le compagne (1960) cannot escape their whorehouse past as they try to heed Italy's new morality laws and start a restaurant business. One of Pietrangeli's masterpieces, lo la conoscevo bene (I Knew Her Well, 1965), tells the story of a young woman who believes in the boom era fantasy of riches through beauty. Or, more precisely, the film relates her story as told by those she has met; a few good but many evil people, all of whom are allowed to live on after the heroine has killed herself.
This is Pietrangeli's great theme: "She," who so many "know well," is done in by society's double standard of morality. The men of Il magnifico cornuto (1964) go crazy because their women want to be just as unfaithful as they are – or are these simply the nightmares of their own guilty souls? The young woman at the center of La parmigiana (1963) seems to drift from one man to the next, while in Come, quando, perché, the all-pervasive promiscuity has already turned into a boring parlor game and true love is the greatest catastrophe imaginable (except, maybe, the loneliness of the eternal bachelor, as portrayed by Alberto Sordi in Lo scapolo, 1955). Few other filmmakers were capable of describing the social, emotional and psychological costs of “modern life” in such devastating fashion as Antonio Pietrangeli. But he did so in the most popular language – lovingly and with extreme tenderness. In his work, comedy and drama are truly one.
The retrospective is organized in collaboration with Cinecittà Luce and the Italian Cultural Institute in Vienna.
Red Light Process starts again in Vienna
The so-called "Red Light Process" is being continued in the regional court in Vienna today.
Gay pride in the sunshine
More than 150,000 people took part in the 18th edition of the Vienna gay pride parade this weekend.
Registration for Vienna Childrens Uni now open
The childrenâ€™s university (Kinderuni Wien) from July 8 to 20 will offer a variety of seminars, presentations and workshops.
Father saves his son from pool
A three-year-old who almost drowned in a pool accident in Waidhofen an der Thaya (Lower-Austria) was narrowly saved by his father.
Vienna Jazz Fest kicks off today
Viennaâ€™s Jazz Fest starts today with Bobby McFerrin, best known for his song "Donâ€™t worry, be happy".
1,500 at SchÃ¶nbrunn Zoo run
Over 1,000 runners in fancy dress took part in the second edition of the SchÃ¶nbrunn Zoo run in Vienna on Tuesday.
Tschernobyl: host families urgently needed
Austrian families are being sought to host children from Belarus who urgently need to get away to recover from the consequences of the Tschernobyl radiation 27 years ago.
Fly Niki plane loses part of its panelling
An Austrian Airbus A320 lost part of its panelling when it landed in Vienna.
International Christian School of Vienna to offer International Baccalaureate
The International Christian School of Vienna (ICSV) has been accepted as an official IB World School Candidate for the Diploma Program. The ICSV is pursuing authorisation as an IB World School for the school year 2014/15.
Case of tuberculosis at Viennas general hospital
Bosses at Viennaâ€™s General Hospital (AKH) have reassured parents of new born babies they are not in danger after a nurse was diagnosed suffering from lung-disease tuberculosis.
The most popular stories –
last 7 days
|Smuggled birds put down after one found with bird-flu|
|Croat star Gibonni conquering Austrian market with 20th century rock|
|Clearance at the KostÃ¼mhaus|
|Breast cancer advice calls multiplied by five|
|OAP chases robber with pen|