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“Now no excuses, get up from the sofa and come to the cinema”

“Now no excuses, get up from the sofa and come to the cinema”
“Now no excuses, get up from the sofa and come to the cinema”
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The box office is in trouble, lo streaming takes hold more and more, the cinemas close. But there are those who, despite the damage caused by the pandemichas the courage – and the imagination – to go against the trend and even relaunch by betting on the hall: in the center of Rome, in the homonymous square at the top of Via del Tritone, at the end of October (after hosting the events of the Mia, the audiovisual market) will reopen on Barberini completely refurbished. The radical restructuring of the venue, a massive investment, was decided and carried out «despite all the obstacles created by the bureaucracy» by Caterina and Francesca Saviotti, belonging to the family that owned the cinema designed in the 1930s by the architect Marcello Piacentini. The reborn Barberini will have 6 rooms, which in 2023 will become 7, latest generation technologies (Dolby Atmos audio, laser and 4K), very high resolution screens, large armchairs in pastel colors, designer furnishings, restaurant, spaces for exhibitions, concerts and shows, a terrace for parties and events. And, surprise, one of the rooms will be named after Carlo Verdonea very popular expression of cinema, culture and the spirit of Rome.

What effect does it have on you, Verdone?
“I am honored, almost intimidated. It seems to me even too much … They didn’t wait until I was dead to dedicate this tribute to me, so I can enjoy it alive. Seriously, I’m happy to be part of a project that will help get people out of the house after the pandemic ».

In the months dominated by the Covid threat, did you feel isolated too?
«Of course, and I paid the price for that terrible period because during the first lokcdown of 2020 my film You only live once was blocked 48 hours after release. Since then, my social life has become rarefied. Even today I see fewer friends than in the past while the city appears empty, silent, poorly lit, sad. Let’s get up from the sofa at home, stop communicating only digitally, let’s go back to the cinema. Rediscovering human contact is fundamental ».

Is it enough to renovate the rooms to convince the public to attend them as in the past?
“Of course, we also need good films. All of us filmmakers now have a responsibility to come up with stories aimed at the general public, not just a targeted group of viewers. And then it will be necessary to regulate the relations between theaters and platforms, so as not to penalize the former ».

Is there any memory that binds you to the “Barberini”?
«Year 1982, the first of Traveling with Dad, the film I shot with Alberto Sordi. Outside, hidden behind a newsstand, Albertone and I spied on the comings and goings of the public and the progress of the proceeds. After the 8.30pm show that had such so-so results, we went to dinner and I have never seen Deaf so tense. He was on edge and only brightened up when we discovered that at 10.30 the film had hit the box office ».

And what did he do?
«He hugged me exclaiming:” In Carlé, in this profession you start all over again “. I was surprised to find that this giant of cinema was just as vulnerable as me, a novice at the time. ‘

At what age did you start going to the cinema?
“When I was a child. My father Mario took me to see westerns and then, in the hottest moments, he stood up pretending to shoot towards the screen while from behind they shouted at him: “Sit, che nun se vedente!” ».

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Was some of your love born in the darkness of the room?
“Well, I’ve tried some kid-friendly approaches with mixed results. But many of my fans have written to me that they got married thanks to a movie of mine after taking their girlfriends to see it. I am proud to have given birth to so many loves. And who knows how many children ».

The second season of the “Vita da Carlo” series will start shooting immediately after the elections: what do you expect from the vote?
«I hope with all my heart that, after putting aside a 90’s piece like Mario Draghi, Italy will send to power prepared people, with common sense, with a pro-European and diplomatic vision. We need it more than ever in this delicate moment ».

And what do you wish for Rome?
“The rebirth. The capital is alas in decline, under the check of the bureaucracy that paralyzes initiatives and projects. It is dirty, neglected, with the walls still filling up with graffiti. Depressing. But it is useless to blame the degradation on the administration: it is we Romans who have to take care of our city, I am speaking above all to the sprayers armed with sprayers. We must all work hard. Rome is not reborn by itself ».


The article is in Italian

Tags: excuses sofa cinema

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