documentaries on books, writers and writing.
In 2015, Festivaletteratura will also explore the world of books through cinema. The Pagine nascoste series of events, curated as ever by CineAgenzia, presents nine new films about books, writers and writing.
The films presented are:
Gabo, la magia de lo real by Justin Webster - in Spanish with Italian subtitles
How did a boy from a remote Caribbean city become a writer capable of changing our perception of reality through his works? The answer is found in the incredible story of Gabriel García Márquez, who grew up in the violence and poverty of the Colombian countryside but, driven by a love for life and a sensibility that was both magical and sensual, not only became a great novelist but also a supporter of the political struggles of the 1970s and 1980s, through his militant journalism and friendship with world leaders such as Castro and Clinton. The film celebrates the power of the human imagination, following the interwoven strands of the life and works of Gabo, as he is known to everyone in Latin America.
For three years, the director followed five romance novelists who have been committed to managing their own careers as well as their love lives, coming to terms with the evolution of the publishing market in order to earn a living doing what they love. Authors and readers alike of this much maligned literary genre make up a community that is not only limited to blogs and social networks, but which also expands to the real world. Camera follow the protagonists as they attend events and meetings, where they often encourage readers to become writers themselves, we are able to peek behind the scenes at some of the most radical changes in publishing in over two hundred years, with romance writers at the forefront of experimenting with new survival strategies for writers.
Paul Bowles: The Cage Door is Always Open by Daniel Young
With the exception of The Sheltering Sky, Bowles' literary and musical body of work may remain relatively unknown, but he was a man of immense charisma and influence. In 1949, he moved to Tangier, which was then the promised land for artists and wealthy people from all different backgrounds, where he was soon visited by his American friends: Capote, Kerouac, Ginsberg, Burroughs, Vidal and others. Bowles never hid the fact that he was gay, and he was married to the lesbian writer Jane Auer, two people with different personalities but with a shared philosophy of life: “you have to push yourself to the point of no return in order to find your own salvation.” The film tells the story of a bold and visionary life, and a relationship of mutual dependence that transcends sexuality.
Regarding Susan Sontag by Nancy D. Kates - in English with Italian subtitles
An intimate and thorough investigation of the life of one of the most provocative and influential intellectuals of the twentieth century. Passionate and outspoken, Sontag was one her generation's greatest icons of literature, politics and feminism. Here she is remembered by friends, family, colleague and companions, through source materials and archival images, accompanied by extracts from her writings, read by the actress Patricia Clarkson. Sontag was followed, filmed and photographed more than any other intellectual of her time. She also dedicated herself to subjects as diverse as language, photography, war, disease and terrorism, with reflections and analyses that are just as fascinating today. The documentary lets us watch her as she watches the world around us.
The Six Day War of 1967 ended in a decisive Israeli victory and the conquest of Jerusalem, Gaza, Sinai and the West Bank in a military action that is proudly celebrated as both necessary and legitimate. A few days after the war ended, a group of young people from the kibbutzim, led by the writer Amos Oz and the journalist Avraham Shapira, recorded conversations with soldiers returning from battle, direct testimonies of the moment when the Israel of David transformed into Goliath. The film reveals for the first time those recordings that had previously been censored by the Israeli army. In collaboration with Feltrinelli – Real Cinema.
A journey inside the universe of Tiziano Sclavi, the creator of Dylan Dog, who brought images, suggestions, tales and horror stories into our everyday lives, up until his unexpected decision to withdraw from everything and everyone. The author talks about his memories with sincerity and he reveals the deepest thoughts of his vision, even making his flirtation with death tangible. Sclavi gave his character all of his nightmares, the product of a complex personality full of dark places, even leading to him getting himself hurt. His interview/confession blends well with the images of that anything but reassuring world that has always inspired him.
Istanbul Collecting by Johanna Sunder-Plassmann - in German with Italian subtitles
The film tells the story of the creation of the Museum of Innocence on the part of the Turkish writer and Nobel Prize winner, Orhan Pamuk, in the Çukurcuma area of Istanbul. Istanbul Collecting follows the meticulous artistic process in setting up the museum, and shows how Pamuk's work and imagination, along with that of his collaborators, shapes his literary ideas. At the same time, the film details the research undertaken by the teams of organisers and artists involved, from the huge number of objects described in the book of the same name that inspired the project, which will lead to the exploration of the homes and shops of the most avid and eccentric collectors in Istanbul, each with their own story to tell.
The Cult of JT LeRoy by Marjorie Sturm - in English with Italian subtitles
JT LeRoy was a young gigolo, addicted to heroin and HIV positive when a therapist encouraged him to write down his life story. He published three successful novels, including Sarah and The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things (later adapted into a film of the same name by Asia Argento) But at the height of his fame, there was a shocking revelation: JT was not what he seemed, and success was followed by a tragic and resounding fall. Marjorie Sturm was part of LeRoy's inner circle, and like many others, she had been deceived. With this film, she attempts to reconstruct exactly what happened, explaining how the swindle brought the value of the novel into question, and denouncing the cultural world for its role in creating the alluring personality cult of a writer.