The Casa de Regista (Filmmaker’s House) in Milan. A 1930s art-deco meat market with leaky windows, but still one of the grandest buildings I’ve ever failed to sleep in. Having stayed at the disused machine shop a few years ago, this place was no surprise to me, but some of the other filmmakers, and especially folks representing foreign film festivals, were a little freaked out.
The Greek team (who eventually missed their flight due to the evils of Italian trams and Italian airports) were particularly distressed, and urged me to come to their festival in Athens, which is far more salubrious, being based in a disused gasworks full of frogs. Honest, I’m not making this up. “It can be quite eerie,” Naya enthused.
But Milan Film Festival, like Italy itself, has enough organisation and skill and love to keep going more or less smoothly, even though it seems to an outsider as if complete collapse could occur at any moment. And it’s so beautiful. The buildings, often defaced with cables and other modern appurtenances, maintain their grandeur. The shops are gorgeously designed in a way that seems to go beyond the practical need to entice customers in. The bookshops bulge with glossy art books, taking up far more space than in their British or American equivalents. Beauty is their birthright.
On my last evening, I met the very tall Enrico Petrelli, who plays a very tall alien in sci-fi flick INVAXÖN. Since his character communicates telepathically, Enrico didn’t have to learn any lines. His main task was to be tall, which he tells me he pulled off with some success.
The movie looks… amusing.
Then I met Franco Calvano, who told me he had screened my movie, CRY FOR BOBO, for friends in a ship in Antarctica. I told him my producer would want to know all the details: name of ship; size of audience, etc, and I think he thought we were going to sue him. But when he realised I just wanted a record of this exceptional screening (which means that BOBO has been seen on every continent on Earth), he was happy to oblige.
SHIP: THE PROF. MULTANOVSKIY
TIME: THE ANTARCTIC SEASON 2004/5
AUDIENCE: 25 PEOPLE.
On my return, I learn that BOBO is to be posted on the BBC’s online film network, which is why I’ve disabled it on YouTube. A better quality version, on a more prestigious platform, is coming soon.