ITALY FOR MOVIES/Cinema for Cultural Assets

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CULTURAL LOCATIONS/Good Practices

A scene from Paolo Sorrentino’s THE GREAT BEAUTY

One of the most evocative sequences of “The Great Beauty” (2013) by Paolo Sorrentino takes us on a nighttime tour of some of the most beautiful buildings in Romeincluding the Capitoline Museums inside Palazzo Nuovo, leading us to the Aventino, to the famous keyhole from which it is possible to see the Dome of St. Peter’s Cathedral in the gardens of Villa del Priorato dei Cavalieri di Malta, continuing to Palazzo Barberini where we can admire Raphael’s La Fornarina illuminated by the faint light of a candelabra then on to the courtyard of Palazzo Spada where we are tricked by the “false perspective” of the 8 meter long tunnel (although it appears much longer to us), coming to an end at dawn in the garden of Villa Medici.

In “Naples in Veils” 2017), Ferzan Ozpetek gazes at the most esoteric component of the city, amidst rituals and traditions which often seem obscure to those who approach them as a foreigner.
Many beauties can be glimpsed behind the actions of the protagonists: these include the so-called “secret cabinet” room in the Archaeological Museum of Naples which is characterized by the presence of works of an erotic nature or the Chapel San Severo which contains the Veiled Christ, a masterpiece of 18th century realism by Giuseppe Sanmartino.

“Inferno” (2016), Ron Howard’s movie based on the novel by Dan Brown, is set in Florence. Professor Robert Langdon moves easily around the Boboli Gardens inhabited by statues of Roman divinities.
He follows a secret passage that gives him access to the Vasari Corridorthrough the Uffizi Gallery to the Salone de’ Cinquecento in Palazzo Vecchio. The solution to the enigma he has to solve is contained withinVasari’s painting of the Battle of Marciano della Chiana.

But where Naples, Rome and Florence as described here reveal themselves for what they are, very often works of art conceal themselves in places where they do not belong for the purpose of enhancing the setting.
The filming of the second season of the Rai co-production “Medici” involved various views and buildings in Tuscany, Lazio and Lombardy.
It is, however, curious that, in order to decorate the various ambients, paintings have been used that are located very far away from the rooms
used for filming: behind the infirm Piero de’ Medici we see the Fresco of the Month of March painted by Francesco del Cossa which is preserved in the Hall of the Months in Palazzo SchifanoiaFerrara; in the bedroom of Lorenzo the Magnificent we find the Fresco of the Six Ancient Sages, the masterpiece by Perugino which embellishes the Collegio del Cambio in Perugia; the reception room of Palazzo dei Vespucci where Botticelli meets his Venus is decorated with the central panel of the Triptych of San Vincenzo by the Portuguese painter Nuño Gonçalves preserved at the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga in Lisbon.
While cities are a casket for works of art for the use and consumption of cinema and TV, often cinema which is placed at the service of cultural assets brings works that are not within everyone’s reach to a wider public.

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