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Francesco Gallo is an ANSA journalist. He has been following the Venice Film Festival for thirty years, but he is also sent to Cannes and the Berlin Film Festival. Most of the days of the Venice festival are spent in cinema halls, and then they write reviews of the films they have watched. He tells me that the Cannes Film Festival has a higher budget than the Venice Film Festival, so the French are better organized, but still our artistic directors sometimes make a better product. I ask him about a particular episode he witnessed at the Festival, he tells me about the first time he saw Nicole Kidman in the flesh in Excelsior, an extraordinary beauty who stood out from the darkness of the crowd, so much so that his article began with the words : “Goddess…..”

Francesco Gallo (© Andrea MEROLA)

Alessandro “Sandrone” Dal Pra is the production manager. Venetian doc. In this role, for a long time he was a biennale consultant in all sections “Art”, “Dance and Music”, “Theater and Cinema”, but for five years he has been organizing the Campari event, the general sponsor of the film festival, which, thanks to Sandrone, in this year the event was held at the historic Hotel Des Bains, in Death in Venice Luchino Visconti, closed and fallen into disrepair for decades. Sandrone still remembers the gala concert he organized on the occasion of the film’s premiere. Board number one1997, directed by Wolfgang Petersen, with fireworks shot from Excelsior Beach and a party at Palazzo Pisani Moretta on the Grand Canal, when an extraordinarily cheerful Garrison Ford dived into a huge white cream cake topped with a marzipan plane and began to throw handfuls of cream at the shocked guests.

Alessandro “Sandrone” Dal Pra (© Andrea MEROLA)
(© Andrea MEROLA)

Gianfranco Tagliapietra is a Venetian photographer. He was sixteen years old, in 1959 he first attended the Venice Film Festival. Much of the history of Italian cinema after World War II unfolds in his memoirs: Great War Monicelli and General Della Rovere Roberto Rossellini he saw them at the premiere in the Sala Grande of the Palazzo del Cinema, a red badge around the neck was enough and one could freely roam throughout the festival. But above all, you lived with the movie stars of the time, you almost came into contact with them in everyday life on the Lido: Vittorio Gassman, Alberto Sordi, Marcello Mastroianni, Claudia Cardinale and Burt Lancaster (in Venice for Leopard Luchino Visconti, 1962) Alec Guinness, Shirley MacLaine or the Kessler twins dance the Da-Da-ompa at Excelsior Dam. It was a different era, no TVs and few photographers, the newspapers were social networks: and here, thanks to Gianfranco’s photographs, the unknown Tony Renis pops up on the headlines playing the guitar, admires the star Carol Baker, and the unflappable George Hamilton willingly agrees to be photographed in a hairdresser.

Gianfranco collected this and much more in a photo book, which he not accidentally named LidoHollywood. Gianfranco also talks about a typical day for a photojournalist of the time: dark suit in the morning, RolleiFlex camera around his neck, up and down between the beach, Excelsior and Palazzo del Cinema looking for curtains that were always in short supply, then running to a dark room to develop and print , an impromptu laboratory set up in a warehouse in the basement of the Palazzo del Cinema, provided by the Festival management, and then rushed to the Posto Pubblico Poste Italiane inside the same building, where there is already a line of other colleagues waiting for a telephoto transmission on a tambourine, an optical radio reader. And an unpleasant surprise from a blank film could also happen, because, albeit a little, the photographers were a little naughty, and often in the excitement of shooting, a quick hand stuck a stamp on the RolleiFlex shooting lens, leaving it free. the high level required for vision therefore spoiled the work of a potential competitor, but this did not happen to Gianfranco, because he was already an old fox.

Gianfranco Tagliapietra (© Andrea MEROLA)

Angelo Quarti is a highly specialized psychologist, but at some point he discovers that communication and psychology have a lot in common and decides to become a press officer. For more than thirty years he has followed the film festival in many roles always associated with the press services: for twenty years, from 1992 to 2008, he was the photo and television coordinator of the Film Biennale, or the “Tamer” of photographers at the photocall and on the red carpet, the idea is not always easy, but fascinating, because, perhaps, thanks to the initial training of a psychologist, he realized that it was photography that made cinema immortal: in fact, more than in many films, we remember Marilyn Monroe for the picture that immortalized her in a white skirt, blown up from the pavement, and James Dean for a photo of him walking down the avenue, wrapped in his overcoat with the collar turned up. Among the many memories there is a curtain that sees him as the protagonist: the end of the film’s press conference Wrestler, director Darren Aronofsky, 1997: at a certain moment, the main character, restless and unpredictable Mickey Rourke, dramatically disfigured by plastic surgery and holding his inseparable chihuahua in his arms, begins to show signs of intolerance, in a cramped dressing room, waiting for his turn at the photocall: Angelo quickly everything understands, takes him to his spacious office, he has a bottle of champagne in the refrigerator, which they both drain in a few minutes, while the dog roasts water in a bowl, nervousness boils away and Mishy Rourke and chihuahua go to treat themselves to serene and smiling photographers.

Angelo Quarti (© Andrea MEROLA)

Show types last edited: September 7, 2023 To ANDREW MEROLA

Show types
last edit: 2023-09-07T15:45:24+02:00

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