Screenplays of Michelangelo Antonioni

Screenplays of Michelangelo Antonioni

Screenplays of Michelangelo Antonioni

Screenplays of Michelangelo Antonioni

Excerpt

In my country, anything can be easy and anything can be hard. The movies were hard for me. It was hard to get into the field, hard not to make certain pictures in order to make others, hard to develop an audience. It took me ten years.

It's a pity to have ideas and not know what to do with them. For ten years, the movies forced me not to use ideas but empty words, cleverness, business sense, patience, stratagems. I am so scantily blessed with such gifts that I recall that period as being the most painful one in my life. I was compelled to lead a life which wasn't mine, talk to stupid and presumptuous people, spend hours in waiting rooms, tell stories to unfamiliar faces, write pages and pages uselessly, from 1940 until 1950. I must really love the movies if I forgave them all this.

In 1950, a friend of mine introduced me to someone who knew an individual with money to invest and who had the movies in mind. I had him read the plot of Cronaca di un amore. He didn't like it. He was a likeable fellow with a carefree disposition. His name was Franco Villani. He told me that if I were able to convince him that the plot was good, he would finance the film. We went to his hotel, and I started talking about this story, which was set among the upper middle class of Milan. I could tell that he liked that background and was trying hard to develop interest in the plot but wasn't able to. I kept talking for three hours-that's a lot for a reserved fellow like me. Villani kept looking at me half amazed and half amused. I almost had the impression that he was watching my mannerisms.

Those three hours were unnerving, absurd. He finally told me that the subject still didn't appeal to him, but since I liked it so much he was willing to go along with me. On one condition: that I find him a co-producer.

It would be too long and complicated to relate how we closed the deal with fifty million non-existent lire. One fine day I began shooting; it still doesn't seem possible.

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