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Nanni Moretti - director

Interview

The director talks about the difference between European cinema and European auteur-driven cinema

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by Federico Greco and Valeria Chiari

European cinema is a thing. There's auteur-driven European cinema, that can be divided into – at least as far as I, the filmgoer, am concerned – into bad auteur-driven films and good ones. If, for generosity’s sake, you were to imagine that only good films exist – and that is not the case – I’d say that film theatres play a hugely important role. We have so few theatres in Italy that have won and maintained the trust of a slice of the public. By that I mean the kind of theatre, a good example of which is Milan’s Anté Cinema or, why not, the Nuovo Sacher in Rome... A theatre that is knows full-well that there is a slice of the public out there who care about and are interested in auteur-driven films, and that these filmgoers have the most complete trust in the choices made by the theatres in question...”

“Right now there’s a lot of confusion: screens and films have all grown in number, and the public is confused. Sometimes there are films – I am talking about Italy which is the place I know best - that are not released by the right distributors. An auteur-driven film released by a commercial distributor, a major, is almost always distributed badly. So it is very important that there be specialised theatres, and that auteur-driven films be released in Italy by the right distributors.

“It is important that there are exhibitors out there willing to take a risk. We cannot always just sit back and expect a perfectly packaged product to fall into our lap. It is important for there to be exhibitors who believe in the more “difficult” films because they know that a large number of people are interested in those films.”

“Of course, it is necessary – and I’m talking about Italy here – to create a new atmosphere around cinema, something that has been missing for so long. Suffice it to say that not one of our six national TV stations, RAI’s three and Mediaset’s three, has a programme about cinema that’s worth watching – or even a bad programme. And that really is a scandal.”

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