Meeting Suso Cecchi D'Amico

in 5th Lecce Festival of European Cinema

by Marco Lombardi

Suso Cecchi D’Amico embodies Italian cinema, and that’s the reason why her presence as jury president at the 5th edition of the Lecce European Film Festival became really important, really memorable.

The is almost ninety years old, but her presence and energy is the same as at the times when she wrote scripts for Luchino Visconti (“Bellissima”, “Death in Venice”, “The Leopard”, “Ludwig”, “Senso”, “Rocco and His Brothers”), Vittorio De Sica (“Bycicle Thieves”, “Miracle in Milan”), Mario Monicelli (“I soliti ignoti – Big Deal”, “Let’s Hope It’s a Girl”, “Dearest Relatives, Poisonous Relations”), Luigi Comencini (“The Adventures of Pinocchio”), Franco Zeffirelli (“Brother Sun, Sister Moon”, “Jesus of Nazareth”), Francesco Rosi (“The Challenge”, “Salvatore Giuliano”), Nikita Michalkov (“Oci Ciornie”, starring Marcello Mastroianni).

She has been passionate in her jury meetings, and a real leader in the conference she has had with journalists and film lovers. Everybody has been completely charmed by her memories of Italian cinema.

Suso Cecchi D’Amico said that one of the main problem of today would be that young people want to do all by themselves, including script and direction. “Italian cinema was great in the past because we were a group of friends that lived together, discussed together, worked together, had a good time together”, she added. One of the proofs of how she believes in this team-work is that she always throws away her scripts after they had been adapted for the screen: “Only the movie exists, at the end: a script is just a cocoon that has to become a butterfly”, she confessed. At this point she revealed which is her favorite film where she wrote the script for: “I soliti ignoti – Big Deal”, and how she enjoyed working with the cast.

Suso Cecchi D’Amico underlined the importance of cooperation between European countries, to allow our cinema to gaining more authority all over the world. “We have so much cultural wealth, we just should share it and be all together”, she concluded.