Cinema in Piazza: Rome: A Visual Journey

July 5, 2023

Cinema in Piazza, 2022. Photo by Alexa Hoyer
Cinema in Piazza, 2022. Photo by Alexa Hoyer.

Magazzino Italian Art Presents Cinema in Piazza: Rome: A Visual Journey

A film program curated by Dr. Roberta Minnucci

Magazzino Italian Art | 2700 Route 9, Cold Spring, NY
July 22, 23, & August 19, 20, 2023 | 7-10PM

Magazzino Italian Art is pleased to present the 6th iteration of the Cinema in Piazza series, presented in partnership with the Cold Spring Film Society and Artecinema. Entitled Rome: A Visual Journey, this year’s film program, curated by Magazzino’s 2022-23 Scholar-in-Residence Dr. Roberta Minnucci, will be devoted to a cinematic exploration of the city of Rome from Neorealism to the present day.

In the years following WWII in Italy, Rome experienced a historic, artistic, and cultural evolution—caught between their contemporary society, Fascist past, and ancient history. Whereas in cities like Milan and Turin the postwar years brought about rapid industrialization, Rome’s modern era emerged through cinema. Though constructed during Mussolini’s rule, Rome’s Cinecittà film studios ushered in the mid-century economic boom in Italy and came to be known as “Hollywood on the Tiber.” Using the surrounding city as a set, emerging filmmakers established a unique genre which came to be known as Neorealism, a new wave of Italian cinema that depicted the dramatic existential condition of the poorest sections of the population in the postwar years. In these years and through the following decades, Italian filmmakers engaged with other aspects of Rome—alongside the reality of life in its suburbs—drawing inspiration from the aesthetics intrinsic to the city’s urban mythology.

As Turin’s industrial surroundings were considered the inspiration for Arte Povera, making profound connections between art and life, so too Rome became the muse for Neorealist filmmakers, artists depicting the nuances of the human experience through cinema. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, there was an ever-growing exchange between the two cities and many creatives associated with Turin in fact exhibited, worked, and lived in Rome—a city that also inspired their works. Celebrated Arte Povera artists Pino Pascali and Jannis Kounellis were based in Rome; Pascali worked with Lodolo Films and both Pascali and Kounellis appeared in films directed by fellow artists and experimental filmmakers of the period. Giulio Paolini had his first solo exhibition in Rome at the Galleria La Salita in 1964, and conceptual artist Alighiero Boetti moved to Rome in 1972. For the opening of his solo exhibition at Galleria L’Attico in 1968, Michelangelo Pistoletto rented costumes from Cinecittà—allegedly pulled from Federico Fellini’s film set—welcoming visitors to play dress-up and adopt fictional identities.

This film series will explore the city of Rome not only as a place, but as an idea and a metaphor. Viewers will embark on a visual journey filtered through the perspectives of various directors from different periods of the country’s social, cultural, and political history. Themes covered throughout the program include Pier Paolo Pasolini’s dramatic depictions of the postwar condition, Fellini’s Rome as a site of artifice and disguise, Nanni Moretti’s exploration of Roman nostalgia and longing, and Paolo Sorrentino’s surrealist homage to the city’s avant-garde forefathers. In these films Rome—far from a mere backdrop for the unfolding plot—assumes the role of the protagonist. Evidenced by this unique journey through the moving image, the city’s recent and ancient ruins, layered temporalities, and metaphysical urban landscape provide an endless source of inspiration for a visual investigation that unites art and cinema.

All films in the series will be screened at dusk, around 8PM.


Saturday, July 22, 2023

Pier Paolo Pasolini, Accattone, 1961 (117’)
Declared a hallmark of neorealist cinema by Jannis Kounellis, Accattone—referencing the protagonist’s name and translating to Beggar—was Pasolini’s directorial debut. The film follows Vittorio Accattone, a man who has never worked a day in his life, leading him to a hand-to-mouth existence on the margins of society: prostituting women, scrounging, and exploiting. When his most successful sex worker Maddalena is jailed, his fortunes begin to dwindle, forcing him to confront his own existence.

Sunday, July 23, 2023

Federico Fellini, Roma, 1972 (128’)
A lesser-known film by Fellini, Roma is a love letter to the city in spite of, and motivated by, its many contradictions. Suspended between an obscure past and problematic present, Fellini recounts his youth in Rome. With snaking traffic jams, guesthouses inhabited by Mussolini lookalikes, liturgical fashion shows, and visits to both palatial and dilapidated brothels, the film offers vignettes of paradoxical subcultures in the city—a frenzy of empire, fascism, luxury, poverty, Catholicism, and eroticism.

Friday, August 18, 2023

Giorgio Cappozzo, La forma del limone - Astrattisti a Roma, 2004 (32')
Piero Dorazio, Achille Perilli, Carla Accardi, Lucio Manisco, Ela Repellino and Plinio De Martiis recall when they were in their twenties: the end of the World War II, the discovery of the world, and the first steps in the art world. A film about the colors and words of the artists that brightened one of the most prolific season of the Italian contemporary art. 

Fabiana Sargentini, Tutto su mio padre Fabio Sargentini, 2003 (41’)
The film directed by Fabiana—Fabio Sargentini’s daughter—recalls the career of one of the most interesting Italian gallerists, and traces the history of L’Attico, the renowned gallery based in Rome that hosted works and performances by Pascali, Kounellis, De Dominicis, Ontani, Merz, LeWitt, Oppenheim, Tinguely, Trisha Brown, Philip Glass and many more.

Saturday, August 19, 2023

Nanni Moretti, Caro Diario, 1993 (100’)
In this narrative triptych—translated as Dear Diary—Nanni Moretti takes the viewer on three disparate journeys. First, the filmmaker rides through Rome on a scooter while he muses on cinema, welcoming chance encounters with strangers and celebrities such as the actress Jennifer Beals. Next, he and his friend Gerardo tour a number of islands searching for a peaceful place to write a screenplay. Finally, hampered by a nagging skin rash, Moretti goes from doctor to doctor looking for the right diagnosis.

Sunday, August 20, 2023

Paolo Sorrentino, La Grande Bellezza, 2013 (142’)
In Sorrentino’s Roman fantasia, the city is captured through the eyes of Jep Gambardella—a sixty-five-year-old, but young-at-heart, journalist—whose awe for the capital is filtered through surreal encounters with friends, artists, and tourists. A pastiche of Fellini’s fantastical odysseys, the film reverberates with the strobe of Rome’s decadent high life, a cesspool and sanctuary for the carnal and sacral. Simultaneously desperate and divine, Rome is unveiled for its eternally evolving beauty.

About Artecinema

Artecinema is an international festival of films on contemporary art established in Naples in 1996, curated by Laura Trisorio which, for several years, has been awarded medals from the President of the Republic of Italy. Each year the festival presents a selection of some thirty documentaries from all over the world about the most important artists, architects and photographers of the last fifty years. Artecinema is one of the most anticipated events of the sector and provides an opportunity for a learning experience as well as social gathering and cultural exchange.

About Cold Spring Film Society

The Cold Spring Film Society is a 501(c)(3) non-profit volunteer-run arts organization based in Cold Spring, NY dedicated to fostering goodwill, community fellowship and appreciation of the moving image arts by screening enjoyable films in local venues. Their annual outdoor Summer Film Series at Dockside Park provides an evening of free entertainment in the village’s unique outdoor spaces for people of all ages. In addition to their Summer Film Series, CSFS also programs an indoor Winter Film Series and partners with other local organizations like Boscobel House & Gardens, Hudson Valley Shakespeare, Butterfield Library and the Haldane schools to provide additional screenings and film enrichment programs throughout the year. For more information or if you’re interested in helping out at screenings, please visit or check us out on facebook/coldspringfilm or twitter/coldspringfilm and instagram @coldspringfilm.

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