Otello's Secret by Francesco Ranieri Martinotti in Culinary Cinema
by Camillo De Marco
- The doc about the legendary Roman restaurant where filmmakers once met will be screened in the window dedicated to food and ecology which is in its tenth year
Otello's Secret [+see also:
film profile] by Francesco Ranieri Martinotti arrives at the 65th Berlinale making its global debut in theCulinary Cinema section. Accompanying the film to the Festival, apart from the director, is famous folk singer Donovan, inductedin2012 into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and treading the international music scene for fifty years.
Otello's Secret will be screened on 12 February in the window dedicated to food and ecology which is in its tenth year. The documentary, which is the result of an independent production, saw the light of day after a long production thanks to the courageous Andrea Sisti, Otello's nephew, who, with this film makes his movie producing debut. The documentary was made with painstaking work aimed at recapturing the conviviality and the typical ambiance of the Roman restaurant Otello alla Concordia where, since the aftermath of the war to the present day, generations of filmmakers have met. Thanks to valuable unpublished testimonials from numerous directors, filmmakers and actors, including Donovan, Robert De Niro, Ettore Scola, Ennio Fantastichini, Citto Maselli, that intertwine with never before seen footage, including, by Mario Monicelli, Pete Seeger, Armando Trovajoli, we obtain a reconstruction of the story of the famous Roman restaurant founded in 1948 by Otello and Nora Caporicci in a courtyard on Via della Croce where credit was given to directors, screenwriters and actors who, at the beginning of their career, couldn't foot the bill.
“There was a young lady seated at the table beside me and I said: how can that one ever imagine making movies? – I was totally mistaken, it was Sofia Loren”, recalls Citto Maselli. Ettore Scola recounts how the makers of Italian comedy would meet at Otello, among them Scarpelli, Age, Benvenuti, De Bernardi. “Even Jean-Claude Carrière every time he came to Rome he couldn't do without dining at Otello”, relates French critic Jean Gili.
Otello's Secret is not just a documentary of testimonials collected amidst the restaurant diners; in fact, the music is one of the story's protagonists. Pieces from the concert that was held in its historic dining room, on the occasion of the restaurant's 100th year anniversary, played by great musicians like: Donovan, Francesca Schiavo, Luca Barbarossa, Andrea Sisti, Matteo Scarpelli, Luigi Lai, Alessandro Haber, Luca Sapio, create a link to the different stories told by the protagonists of this documentary.
The film is produced by Andrea Sisti for Andrea Sisti Productions with the support of the Roma Lazio Film Commission, written by Silvia Scola and edited by Paolo Maselli.
(Translated from Italian)