Controversial list missing femme directors

A list of 100 Italo films that are considered cultural treasures was unveiled in Rome on Thursday, but not without controversy.

Launched at the Venice Film Festival by organizers of its Venice Days sidebar, the list does not include a single femme helmer.

“Where are Lina Wertmueller and Liliana Cavani?” cried out producer Grazia Volpi at a packed confab in Rome’s Casa del Cinema where the “Cento Film” list was announced.

Besides shoo-ins such as Federico Fellini’s “La dolce vita,” Roberto Rossellini’s “Rome, Open City,” Vittorio De Sica’s “The Bicycle Thief” and Gillo Pontecorvo’s “The Battle of Algiers,” the list includes less-conventional entries such as Marco Ferreri’s “The Ape Woman” about a woman affected with hypertrichosis.

As far asnumber of films, Fellini leads the list with seven, followed by Luchino Visconti with six, and De Sica, Francesco Rosi and Mario Monicelli with five works each. The list also includes four by Rossellini and three by Michelangelo Antonioni.

Venice Days aims to make these works more readily available to the country’s younger generations. Thorny rights issues however still stand in the way. Organizers said many of the works are being held hostage by producers and distributors who are unwilling to either cede the rights or to shell out for restoration.

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