“I’m a liar doctor, I tell you only the truth: don’t believe anything”

Pesaro. This is a story that risks not starting. Dante Ferretti, 80, winner of three Oscars as well as countless other awards, was born in the winter of war. A few months later, on Easter Eve, Allied bombers missed their target and struck his building. The small body of that child was pulled out from the debris with great difficulty. but I live. The Americans who, several decades later, welcomed him as one of their own, covered him with cinematic glory, almost managed to kill him in 1944. Life has won. And the March that ran away from home and then always came back, once he grew up to find that his vocation was to make dreams happen. He did it so well that he won three Oscars for production design for The Aviator, Sweeney Todd, and Hugo Cabret. And yesterday at the Pesaro Film Festival he presented his autobiography Imaginare Prima (Jiménez, p. 270, €22), co-written with Davide Miliozzi.

all true master

“No, they’re all fake.” I am devoted to lies. just think.”

Something must be real.

“Nonsense. I had told all of them to my father that instead of studying, they should quietly go to the movies.

In short, not exactly a perfect student.

“Every summer I was put off until October.”

Nightmare at school?


like gymnastics. No one has ever failed in that matter.

“I do. I hated jumps, I wasn’t good at it. I got 6% in high school.

Therefore, a certain educational success.

“I had to reach the finish line. When I asked my father to send me to the Academy of Arts in Rome, he laughed at me. I can’t be wrong. Failure means missing out on the future I wanted.’ ‘

And really he was not wrong.

“I still remember the faces of the mates and watchmen when I went to see the billboard. Nobody believed it. He always used to watch me in the cinema.

How many movies did he watch then?

“Many, until three in the afternoon.” After leaving one room, I entered another room. I remember the guys from Via Pal, The Tattooed Rose.

What is the last seen today?

“And who remembers this?”

What, don’t you go to the cinema?

“Nobody goes there anymore. I can tell you the last time I did. It’s called Verona and it’s an American blockbuster about Romeo and Juliet.

The place where Brad Pitt was supposed to be?

“But then nothing happened. Director Timothy Scott Bogart, who took over filming at Castell’Arquato, was released along with cheerleaders Rebel Wilson, Jason Isaacs and Rupert Everett.

In short, America is at home. One may ask whether Hollywood or Italian cinema is better.

“The important thing is that it’s beautiful.”

so far so true

“Not at all. Nice knots.”

Excuse me, but what is a lie to you?

“Another way to tell the truth.”

I am lost if the lie doesn’t match the truth

Guess that’s a nice way of saying what you think. A weird key. After all, one who believes more in serious matters is said in a truthful way.

what about lies?

“Oh, everyone believes so.”

You made six films with Fellini who defines himself as the quintessential great liar. How did you understand each other if both of you were lying?

“Very well. We knew the limits of our thoughts, where reality ended and – so to speak – the dream began. Or provocation.”

You have worked with a number of directors. Favorite?

« Between the Italians Fellini and Pasolini. Scorsese in The Foreigner. My best memories are there.”

He and his wife, Francesca Lo Schiavo, won three Oscars. Where is the tomb established?

“On the Ikea shelf.”

Rome or Los Angeles?

“Rome. In the house that belonged to Federico. I bought it from him.”

But after working there for so many years, aren’t you half American too?

“Yeah, but I don’t like it. America”.

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