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By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

Dante Ferretti On Working With Pasolini (2’36”)

From Criterion’s “Trilogy of Life” boxset. “Legendary production designer Dante Ferretti is known to moviegoers everywhere for the elaborate and period-precise but fanciful worlds he has created for such films as Terry Gilliam’sThe Adventures of Baron MunchausenNeil Jordan’s Interview with the Vampire, and Martin Scorsese’s Hugo (for which he won an Oscar this year). Among his first projects as art director were the films in Pier Paolo Pasolini’s “Trilogy of Life,” which also tread the line between the gritty and the fantastic. In this clip from a new Criterion interview with him—who had already served as an assistant production designer on Pasolini’s The Gospel According to St. Matthew, The Hawks and the Sparrows, and Oedipus RexFerretti describes envisioning The Decameron with Pasolini, divulges the director’s penchant for sliding down banisters, and explains the importance of making mistakes.”

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DENNIS COOPER

The next thing that really changed my world and thoroughly influenced my writing were the films of Robert Bresson. When I discovered them in the late seventies, I felt I had found the final ingredient I needed to write the fiction I wanted to write.

INTERVIEWER

What was the final ingredient?

DENNIS COOPER

Recognizing that the films were entirely about emotion and, to me, ­ profoundly moving while, at the same time, stylistically inexpressive and monotonic. On the surface, they were nothing but style, and the style was extremely rigorous to boot, but they seemed almost transparent and purely content driven. Bresson’s use of untrained nonactors influenced my concentration on characters who are amateurs or noncharacters or characters who are ill equipped to handle the job of manning a story line or holding the reader’s attention in a conventional way. Altogether, I think Bresson’s films had the greatest influence on my work of any art I’ve ever encountered. In fact, the first fiction of mine that was ever published was a chapbook called “Antoine Monnier,” which was a god-awful, incompetent attempt to rewrite Bresson’s film Le diable ­probablement as a pornographic novella. So I came to writing novels through a channel that included experimental fiction, poetry, and nonliterary influences pretty much exclusively. I never read normal novels with any real interest or close attention.
~ Dennis Cooper Discovers Bresson

The whole world within reach.
~ Filmmaker Peter Hutton

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