Poetry meets cinema in Sulmona

On Monday 24 October 2022 in the Maria Caniglia theater in Sulmona, as a corollary of the Sulmona International Film Festival, the immersion in the cinematic imagery of two of the most original poets on the Italian scene was held. Contemporary poetry has met cinema in the words of Vivian Lamarque in dialogue with Valerio Grutt.

The Sulmona International Film Festival is a short film festival that takes place in Sulmona every year in autumn, organized by the cultural association Sulmonacinema. This year has reached the fortieth edition. An important milestone that was reached through an equally important story for the choices and events that have characterized the work of the Sulmonacinema Association in recent years.
In fact, on the festival website we read: “In 1983 the Sulmona cinema Film Festival was born. In the first seven editions, the Festival dialogued with emerging cinemas on the international scene such as Hungarian, Canadian, Swiss, Cuban, Latin American and Australian.

Starting in 1990, the core of the event became the competition for feature films dedicated to the first and second works of Italian directors. The jury, made up of students from Italian film schools and chaired by an internationally renowned director or actor, awards five Silver Ovids (best film, best director, best actor, best actress and best column) during each edition of the Festival. sound). The festival event is also characterized by experimental, avant-garde and artistic research screenings. Since 2007, the Sulmonacinema Film Commission desk has provided operational and logistical support to film and television production companies operating in the area. Among the numerous collaborations, the one with the production of the film “The American” with George Clooney stands out. Since 2016, under the name Sulmona International Film Festival, the event has once again opened up to the world with the establishment of an International Short Film Competition, out-of-competition sections, previews, meetings with authors and workshops.”

As Ansa writes: “A prestigious and highly coveted goal, ever since, in 1992, the cultural association “Sulmonacinema” adopted the project of the national ACLI launched ten years earlier. An event that has been able to evolve and renew itself to explore the different forms of language that have characterized and still characterize international cinematography. Many celebrities have been hosted in forty years: from Paolo Sorrentino to Matteo Garrone, from Mario Monicelli to Claudia Cardinale, from Alessandro Haber to Valeria Golino, passing through Nanni Moretti, Gabriele Muccino, Luca Guadagnino, Luigi Lo Cascio, Claudio Santamaria , Sonia Bergamasco and many more. Some of them as competitors, others as guests or presidents of juries made up of students from Italian film schools. Also in this edition there will be days dedicated to the youngest thanks to the solid collaboration with the local schools. As for foreign directors, Siff can boast of having shown numerous Italian premières to the public in theaters and of having had many candidates in the official selection for the Academy Awards, including some winners of the coveted Oscars (The Neighbors’ Window by Marshall Curry in 2020, Farah Nabulsi’s The Present in 2021, Ben Proudfoot’s The Queen of Basketball in 2022). Not only that, since 2007 the Sulmonacinema Film Commission desk has been offering operational and logistical support to film and television production companies operating in the area. Among the numerous collaborations, the one with the production of the film “The American” with George Cloney stands out.”
But the event of this fortieth edition to which I am referring and which interests this section is the meeting of Vivian Lamarque in dialogue with Valerio Grutt. , two of the greatest Italian poets who, alongside the festival, spoke about cinema and poetry in the prestigious seat of the Maria Caniglia theatre.
Giuliana Legnani writes in this regard: “While in the cinema the images follow one another in a more or less rhythmic, fast, harmonious, romantic, terrifying succession, in poetry the word plays a fundamental and decisive role in the creation of rhythms, styles, metaphorical expressions , creation of harmonious, melodious and ringing verses.”
And the words of Lamarque and Grutt, like those of their verses that we recall later with their curricula, have led listeners to wander, with the mind of course, in that imaginary par excellence which is cinema. Stories, gestures, actions, music, words, sounds that are sometimes an emotional shock that lasts a long time. And while in poetry a satisfying silence is built after the emotion of reading the verses, in cinema one continues to think with all the connections between what one has seen and the experiences of one’s mind: which is ultimately a kind of creation poetics that takes its cue from images. So that cinema and poetry become inseparable, indeed specular. Let’s think, for example, of Pasolini’s cinema of poetry to which, among other things, on 25 October the Peligna film festival left a space “cinema and literature” in which we will talk about “Pasolini and Moravia, two faces of the scandal”. The book by Renzo Paris “
Giuliana Legnani continues: “To demonstrate this indissoluble deep bond, which has its roots in less tangible areas, here are poems and poets who coexist in a more or less apparent way in Il postino, where the poet Paul Neruda is played by Philippe Noiret, while the postman from Massimo Troisi; Wystan Hugh Auden, “Funeral Blues” mentioned both in “Dead Poets Society” and in “Four Weddings and a Funeral;

Stop all the clocks, isolate the telephone,
silence the dog with a juicy bone,
close the piano, and between a muffled roll
bring out the coffin, let the mourners approach.
I pass plaintive airplanes up there
and write on the sky the message He Is Dead,
fasten crepe ribbons around the pigeons’ white necks,
firefighters put on black cloth gloves.
He was my North, my South, my East and West,
my working week and my rest on Sunday,
my noon, my midnight, my tongue, my song;
I thought love was eternal: and I was wrong.
The stars are no longer needed: turn them all off too;
pack up the moon, take apart the sun as well;
empty my ocean and uproot the forest;
because now nothing can help. (Translation by Gilberto Forti)

Ferzan Ozpetek in the film “The ignorant fairies” he makes his characters quote poetry “Your Words Were Men” from Nazim Hikmetthe most important Turkish poet of the twentieth century:

They were sad, loving
they were cheerful, full of hope
they were brave, heroic
your words
they were men.
In “Girls Interrupted” the film by James Mangold with Winona Ryder And Angelina Jolieis quoted “Resumé” by Dorothy Parker of 1926.

The razor hurts
the river is too low,
acid is beastly,
the drug gives the collapse,
the rope breaks,
the gun is forbidden,
the gas stinks,
then live life.

More recently, in 2014, Mario Martone he directed the film “The Fabulous Young Man”romantic biography of Giacomo Leopardiconfirming how much poetry there can be in cinema.
And then Vittorio Gassman, Fellini, Benigni, Troisi, memorable poets, directors and actors who have been able to embody the image-word combination well. Not least and certainly most poetic of all, Charlie Chaplin, who with his pathetic and pregnant images alone has given cinema more poetry than anyone else. Therefore, within this perimeter Vivian Lamarque and Valerio Grutt entertained the listeners.
Vivian Lamarque born in Tesero in 1946, a small mountain town in the province of Trento, she was given up for adoption at the age of nine months to a Milanese family because she was an illegitimate daughter. After the early loss of her adoptive father she discovers at the age of ten that she has two mothers, in the same year she begins to write her first poems.
She grew up in Milan where she still works and lives with her daughter and grandchildren. Her first publications take place thanks to the poet Giovanni Raboni, who inserts Lamarque’s poems in some literary magazines.
His first book, Teresino, won the Viareggio Opera Prima Award in 1981, the first of a long series of awards: Montale Award, Camajore Award, Elsa Morante Award and Rodari Award. His writing is characterized by a much appreciated simplicity of style and in his career he has received several awards. Among his poetry collections are: Teresino (1981, Winner of the Viareggio Prize for the First Work), The Golden Lord (1986), Poems giving del Lei (1989), The lord of the scared (1992), A quiet dust (1996), Poems for a cat (2007), Winter Mother (2016, Bagutta Prize 2017). You have taught Italian to foreigners and literature in high schools, you have been a translator, you collaborate with Corriere della Sera.
Valerio Grutt was born in Naples in 1983. He has published A city called six in the morning (Edizioni della Meridiana, 2009), Someone say goodnight (Alla chiarasource editor, 2013), Let’s go (Edizioni Pulcinoelefante, 2013), and But something calls – Poema of the Veiled Christ (Edizioni Alos, 2014) later interpreted by Mark D’Amore inside the Cappella Sansevero museum in Naples. Some poems by him have been published in the anthology Italian underground poets (Ed. Il essatore, 2006) and in the ebook I 4 elements (Subway Edizioni, 2014). He was editorial director of Popcorner magazine, artistic director of the Lyrics – Autori di Canzoni festival and co-founder of the International Center of Author Songs. He directs the Center for Contemporary Poetry at the University of

Poetry meets cinema in Sulmona – The capital