Archive for Milan Film Festival

Necronomical in Milan

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , , , on September 17, 2008 by dcairns

So, according to the presumably reliable and indispensible, Antonioni isn’t buried in Milan, but in Ferrara. And Luchino Visconti, a native of Milan, isn’t buried there either. Though he does have his own street:

So who IS buried in Milan? The only name I could find on findagrave with a movie connection was Pina Menichelli, a once-famous vamp of the silver screen whose most famous film today is surely Giovanni Pastrone’s epic proto-peplum CABIRIA — but she only has a small role in that one. She’s supposedly buried at the church of San’ Ambrogio, along with a couple of actual saints. Somehow I don’t think Meg Ryan will get that kind of a classy plot. I shambled over to the basilica to see if I could find any trace of Pina.

Crumbling corpse alert! It’s not Pina though, just Saint Imbruglia himself, or whatever his name is. With “friend”. I’m not 100% sure Pina’s in the crypt, to be honest, but they don’t let you go in and rummage so it’s hard to know for sure. Still slightly startling to see a prostrate zombie on public view like this — the picture doesn’t do him justice.

Here I am with another Italian starlet.

Silvana Mangano, who was so successful she had two metals named after her, silver and manganese. In Hollywood, only Sharon Stone has had similar geological acclaim.



Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , , on September 16, 2008 by dcairns

Ace photographer Eduardo Tavoli captures me trying to stay awake. Eduardo was negotiating to get a shot of Terry Gilliam, as he is collecting images of the great geniuses of our time And he’s already got The Village People. Terencino eventually obliged.

I am wearing, for your pleasure, my Masaki Sakai Monkey Magic T-shirt. The classic Chinese legend-novel Monkey’s Journey to the West given a Japanese roller-disco makeover in the late ’70s, then dubbed into English and broadcast at confused kids. Marked me for life.

Insomnia watch, day 5! Got up feeling slightly rough, then realised it was because I’d slept. Probably for about an hour, hence my disorientation. I won’t make that mistake again. Took a shower, and my room-mate Mehar, in the next cubicle, suggested that there was no hot water. I ascertained that hot water could be summoned by turning the dial to the right, and said, “You have to turn the dial to the LEFT.” He thanked me, but was probably freezing his nuts off. In my defence, I must say that binary choices lke Left and Right are much too tricky when you’re in a state of advanced sleep deprivation. Why did Mother Nature give us two sides?

Last time I was here, after a week of no sleep, I heard a kid on a bus and thought to myself, “Hey, what a clever kid. He can speak Italian.”

I probably have a headache but the part of my brain that would process it is no longer working.

Been catching bits of the brilliant TV show The Last Machine, exploring the Victorian roots of cinema, and presented by Terry Gilliam. The whole show seem to take place in a wondrous clockwork toy theatre, with the only glimpses of external reality being provided by the excerpts of Lumiere, Feulliade etc. Quite good to watch in a semi-conscious state… but even better if you’re alert.

Dr Gilliam, I Presume?

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , , on September 14, 2008 by dcairns

The Imaginarium of Doctor Gilliam is the most complete retrospective of Terry Gilliam’s work ever assembled, here in Milan. They even have the excellent TV show The Last Machine, on the origins of cinema, which Gilliam presented.

In case of bumping into the reformed Python and BRAZIL auteur, I boned up by watching TIDELAND at last before I came out here. It was quite impressive, and made up for the rather sour taste left by the Weinstein-Gilliam “collaboration” THE BROTHERS GRIMM. I identified with TIDELAND’s child heroine, since she has a collection of dolls’ heads, like me. Here’s mine:

And here is Djeliza-May’s in TIDELAND:

Festival organiser Ben ushered me into The Presence of Greatness and I shook the mighty hand (Gilliam has a mighty head, shaped like a dodgem-car, and mighty gnarled and chunk hands. If Ernest Brgnine was a pair of hands, he would be these. “You were pointed out to me in your T-short and shorts,” he said, “They said, ‘He’s from Scotland, he thinks this is NICE weather.’ I do too!”

We discussed the Filmmakers’ House, which I recommended he visit. A leaking art-deco meat market (“The film business!” he chortled) seems like a Gilliam kind of place. So maybe he’ll show up to party later (he has more stamina in his 60s than I do at 40, it seems).

And in other news, they’re showing my film in the park by the castle tonight at 10.45. The weather seems to have been improving slowly all day so I hope it’s a sunny night.