Thursday, 05. December 2013 - 15:12
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.
Finissage for Outsider in a Box by Dwora Fried
Itâ€™s hard to believe that Dwora Fried â€” a native Austrian with unruly, fiery red hair, a lesbian, world traveler, mother of four and daughter of a Holocaust survivor â€” is able to create artwork just as complicated, dynamic and vivacious as herself, all within a wooden box thatâ€™s only 31 centimeters wide, 21 centimeters high and 8 centimeters deep.
Semmering Zauberberg Opens This Weekend
The long awaited ski start at Viennaâ€™s local ski resort Semmering Zauberberg kicks off this weekend when the pistes are opened for snow sports fans.
Meeting over oil production level held in Vienna
In a meeting behind closed doors in Austria this week, the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) decided to maintain their target for oil barrel production at 30 million a day.
Insurers encouraged to loan directly to big companies
Austrian insurers are being given access to additional revenue from early next year, when the country's markets watchdog will allow insurers to loan directly to big companies.
Bank Austria launches investigation into leaked data
Information published in the media about Bank Austria's history of speculative trading with public money has led the bank to launch an investigation into the leaking of customer data.
Austria sees biggest increase in property prices in Europe
Property in Austria has seen the highest rate of price growth in Europe since the Lehman brothers bank crashed, throwing the region and other countries housing markets into an economic downturn.
Acclaimed comedy show comes to Vienna
Vienna's English Theatre in the eighth district of the city is putting on two new shows in the new year, including one that may help to chase any post-Christmas blues away.
Iran nuclear meeting to be held in Vienna
Representatives from Iran, six mediators, and members of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) are meeting in Vienna in December to discuss an agreement made last month regarding Iranian uranium.
Austria paving the way in air traffic control
Austria has taken a step forward in the move to unify Europe's air traffic control systems by implementing the latest software from the Co-operation of Air Navigation Service providers (COOPANS).
Talks with China begin on high-speed railway from Vienna to Black Sea
Talks have begun with Chinese partners about the construction of a 'European corridor' that will connect Vienna to the Black Sea port of Constanta in Romania.
The most popular stories –
last 7 days
|Bank Austria Admits Former CEO Being Investigated Over Madoff Fraud|
|Skull collection from Austrian anatomist available for "adoption"|
|Three days of musical festivities over New Year in Vienna|
|Win daily prizes with Viennas travelling Santa|
|Settlement puts an end to scandal between Vienna art museum and former director|