Special event - Liliana Cavani
Liliana Cavani is a living paradox, as a woman, as a film director, and as an intellectual. This might be the reason why a deep understanding of her cinema is difficult to reach, as it is made of paradoxes and extreme challenges; it is imbued with a restless spirituality, seeking answers that are not there. Her films embody this contradictory nature that is conveyed through faces, eroticism, and bodies in search of transcendence. It is a deeply earthly cinema, and yet it constantly tries to reach for the sky. Not everyone is so brave as to plumb these depths – she did, putting together an extremely consistent career. Her body of work can be enjoyed all in one breath, with films responding to each other and going back to themes, disquietudes, conflicts, and questions never to be answered.
From the St. Francis of Assisi trilogy to the St. Claire of Assisi of the documentary Clarisse; from the German trilogy – The Night Porter, Beyond Good and Evil, and The Berlin Affair – to the rarefied Ripley’s Game; her film-making is as relevant as ever when it is not prophetic.
The purpose of the volume that we have edited to accompany the Pesaro Film Festival Retrospective (Liliana Cavani. Il cinema e i film, Venice, Marsilio 2021) is to discuss the complexity, obstinacy, and contrarian quality of a film director whose cinema remains at times unfathomable, even repelling with regard to certain extremisms, the sometimes graphic violence that is never concealed, the role confusion between tormentor and victim, and the lucid gaze cast on the history of the 20th century and of humankind. To do so, we have relied not only on the instruments of film criticism, but also on the opinions of scholars apparently far removed from film studies.
In this book, reviews of her films that were released theatrically and will be screened during the Festival are written by various generations of critics and scholars, also with a view to verify how the cinema of Liliana Cavani is still relevant today. A safe bet, thanks to the universal nature of the themes she has tackled, which sets her apart from any narrative contingency. She has proved to be an extraordinary ‘author’ in the etymological sense of extra ordinarium.
This is why we decided to dedicate the Italian Cinema Special Event – a feature of the Pesaro Film Festival since 1987 – to Liliana Cavani, the first woman over the Event’s longstanding and illustrious history.
Pedro Armocida, Cristiana Paternò
FRANCESCO D'ASSISI (Italia, 1966, 126’)
GALILEO (Italia/Bulgaria, 1968, 95’)
LA BATTAGLIA (Italia, 1962, 30’)
I CANNIBALI (Italia, 1969, 95’)
MILAREPA (Italia, 1973, 108’)
IL PORTIERE DI NOTTE (Italia, 1974, 122’)
LA PELLE (Italia/Francia, 1980, 131’)
INTERNO BERLINESE (Italia/Germania Ovest, 1985, 118’)
INCONTRO DI NOTTE (Italia, 1961, 10’)
DOVE SIETE? IO SONO QUI (Italia, 1993, 120’)
AL DI LA' DEL BENE E DEL MALE (Italia/Francia/Germania Ovest, 1977, 127’)
ALL SCREENINGS ARE FREE WITH RESERVATION
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