Fabio Ferzetti • Venice Days
"European cinema, a very rich reality"
by Gabriele Barcaro
In his second term as delegate general of Giornate degli Autori - Venice Days, film critic Fabio Ferzetti is ironing out the last details. Just a few hours before the opening of the 2007 edition, his goal is to pair up the selected titles with personalities from recent and historical Italian cinema. This dialogue has always characterised the section, promoted by filmmakers associations ANAC and API as part of the 64th Venice International Film Festival.
Cineuropa: Where are you at with these “adoptions”?
Fabio Ferzetti: I showed one of the selected films, Gianni Zanasi’s Non pensarci [+see also:
film profile], to Mario Monicelli: he was enthusiastic. He says “it’s extraordinary, a film of images in which the dialogue is secondary”. We’re trying to involve other Italian directors, as is our tradition here at Venice Days.
Why so many European filmmakers in a festival that seems not to be very interested in this continent?
Europe continues to be our continent of choice, although it’s no longer the only territory we look to, as in the past. The cultural variety it offers and its wealth of languages and histories...all compete to make its cinema a much richer reality than it seems.
With respect to last year’s edition, is this year’s selection more open to mainstream, less purely cinephile product?
Our ambitions are to seize upon whatever is new, uncomfortable and stands out throughout the world, and from among the most diverse types of cinema. The production world is in a state of tumult, elsewhere more than in Italy, and I believe that this year the aesthetic battles are not detached from production battles. The Spanish/Mexican co-production La zona [+see also:
film profile], for example, proves that Spanish language films uniting the codes of mainstream product transfer onto this cinema something unusual, raw, powerful, and unthinkable in US consumer films.
Speaking of codes, this year you’re not lacking in genre films either…
The fashion of genre cinema today frankly leaves me cold, even annoyed, I don’t like that it detracts space and attention away from those who deserve it. However, many filmmakers have flirted or are flirting with genre films.
Alexey Balabanov and Andreas Kleinert, for example?
Alexey Balabanov is a very important filmmaker, we’ve been following him for years. Although not physically, from his resume he is the “oldest” director ever invited to the Days. His Cargo 200 is explosive, and at home this almost horror interpretation of the recent (buried and forgotten) past has sparked very heated discussions. Andreas Kleinert’s Head Under Water [+see also:
film profile] is a film that stands out. It constantly changes the rules of the game, it is stylistically very brilliant, but with a backdrop of unease and authentic anxiety: it does not at all resemble the new “new German cinema”, which depicts the past with great simplicity but without great originality. Kleinert’s film is different than anything else, and is made by a professional who has also worked a lot in television. Despite the section’s name [lit, “Auteurs’ Days”], I think that besides the very talented auteurs there are also interesting professional filmmakers to discover as well.
Lastly, which are the films you’re betting on, the ones that most represent the spirit of Venice Days 2007?
Andalucia [+see also:
film profile] by Alain Gomis is a manifesto film: on the Europe of recent years, on métissage and the need to learn to cohabitate according to still unwritten rules. It is an auteur film that would be unthinkable without its lead actor. I also hope that Non pensarci [+see also:
film profile] will allow Gianni Zanasi to get out of the circle of film lovers. Because festivals need to be a point of departure, not arrival.
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