Saturday, June 25, 2016

China 9, Liberty 37

This  post originally appeared in a slightly different form in my newsletter I Was Bigfoot's Shemp, which you can subscribe to here.

In a single week I sold my house, closed on another, moved, and then jetted off to Italy.  One day, those seven days will seem funny.
As usual, I made my annual pilgrimage to the grave of fellow A/V nerd Guglielmo Marconi, and stocked up on fumetti.

But five trips to Italy later I finally fulfilled my dream of visiting Cinecitta, the legendary Italian film studio.

I had always wanted to go, but it is more than a dozen stops from Roma Termini, the central train station, so I have never been able to find the time.  Even though it is a giant studio space, there isn't a ton available to the public, but I still found it interesting.

As you might suspect, Fellini gets a lot of space here.  Apparently he used to crash out and sleep at the studio a lot back in the day.

In the museum, there is a lot of time spent on Italian Neorealism, one of my favorite genres even before I visited Italy, but also a fair chunk on Spaghetti Westerns and Sword and Sandal movies (or Peplum as they are called there).  I thought there might be a section on Poliziotesschi films (Italian cop movies) but I guess that genre hasn't reached critical nostalgia mass yet.

Since this is Italy, they also have an area dedicated to Italian starlets of the 60s and 70s like Sophia Loren, Claudia Cardinale, and the like.  There was a section about Cinecitta during World War II, and the destruction that led to Neorealism. 

I thought one of the more unusual displays was a room full of drawers that were objects that inspired various directors that have worked there.  The photo above was for Martin Scorsese's, and includes a pair of glasses he apparently left lying around.  Tarantino was the only other American director represented, but the great Sergio Leone left some junk there, as well as Roberto Benigni and Lina Wertmuller.

A pretty cool day, and I'm glad I went there.

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