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Ray Pride

By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

Capturing the improbably voluptuous: Italian set fotog Pierluigi Praturlon

“It was a moment that marked a turning point in postwar Europe: Anita Ekberg wading through the Fontana di Trevi in Federico Fellini’s film La Dolce Vita as improbably voluptuous as the fountain itself,” writes John Hooper in the Guardian. “[W]hile Ekberg’s low-cut, dark evening dress may look back to the formal 50s,
pierluigi03.jpgher insouciant transgression points unmistakably ahead, into the subversive 60s. What few cinema-goers realised was that the scene in the film was a reconstruction of a real event. Two years earlier, Ekberg had spent the evening with a set photographer, Pierluigi Praturlon, at the Rancho Grande nightclub in Rome. To ease her aching feet on the way home, she climbed into the fountain. Praturlon, who never went anywhere without his Leica, lit up the scene with the headlights of his car and caught the moment in a photograph that Fellini later saw in a magazine…” An exhibit, “Pierluigi. On Cinema” is at the Galleria Photology, Milan, until September 8. Hooper continues: “Praturlon established himself as Italy’s top film set photographer. He worked on many of the great movies… and photographed most of the actors who starred in them. The first major exhibition of his work has opened in Milan… Though he was often described as a paparazzo, “Pierluigi” (as he was known to all) was nothing of the sort for most of his career. The paparazzi were the bane of celebrities. Praturlon, a cultured man who spoke five languages, was their collaborator and, in some cases, confidant. Sophia Loren made him her personal photographer. Frank Sinatra consulted him about which tapestries to hang in his personal jet. Claudia Cardinale describes him as a “gentleman”. Having worked earlier in his career as a photo-reporter, Praturlon was able to bring to the film set a journalist’s sense of reportage – indeed, he is credited with transforming the craft of the on-set photographer. Before his arrival, in Italy at least, stars merely posed for stills during breaks in the filming. Praturlon roamed the sets, capturing them as they went about their work. During the filming of La Dolce Vita, he shot an unprecedented 13,000 frames and, as he got to know the stars, had unrivalled access.” [More at the link.]

2 Responses to “Capturing the improbably voluptuous: Italian set fotog Pierluigi Praturlon”

  1. Edy Williams says:

    Pierre was friendly,always very THIN,He told me he ate “steak Tartare, which is raw With Capers & Lemon juice poured on top..quite good. He took great shots of me for the studio! One dressed as a Nun with the Bodice “Open”! It was in many magazines, CiNe’ Revue. He smoked alot & had so many Friends. His apt/studio was near the lovely italian River..
    Ms Edy Williams

  2. Ray Pride says:

    Lovely story. Grazie.

Movie City Indie

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“These words worked on me like a hit of morphine. Like two hits. It felt as if I was no longer the occupant of my own body. The legs had gone weak, the ears warmed, the eyes watered, the heart rate increased rapidly. Barely able to keep myself upright, I told him, “Thank you.”

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“I managed, “It’s too late, sir. There’s no turning back. I’m in.”

“Nodding slowly, he said to me, “Well then, good luck.”

“After which I went back to work.”
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