Actress was country's first Oscar winner
Italy is celebrating the centennial of Anna Magnani’s birth with a host of initiatives, including a new docu and bio, plus a Rome confab dedicated to the star of “Rome, Open City” who went on to become Italy’s first Oscar winner.
Magnani commemorations, under the heading “Ciao, Anna,” kicked off Saturday in Rome with a packed confab at the posh Palazzo Altieri, the former residence of the iconic postwar Italian star, born March 8, 1908, in a Rome slum.
Italo notables, some of whom personally knew Magnani — winner of the 1955 lead actress Oscar for “The Rose Tattoo” — took cues for their tributes from a half-hour sneak preview of feature docu “Anna Magnani, femmina immortale” (Anna Magnani, Immortal Female), helmed by Donatella Baglivo and financed by the Italian government.
The long-in-the-works docu, soon to preem in Italy and featuring interviews with Luchino Visconti, Marcello Mastroianni and Franco Zeffirelli, follows “Anna Magnani, lupa romana,” a much shorter Magnani tribute helmed by Cannes prexy Gilles Jacob that unspooled last year during the Rome Film Festival.
Meanwhile, bio “Nannarella,” as Magnani was known to her legions of Italian fans, is being published by Italo publisher Minimum Fax, underscoring the eccentric earthy actress’s free spirit, just as the Italian postal service is issuing a stamp in her name.
The Rome confab was attended by Magnani’s son Luca Alessandrini, who remembered his mother as “an incredibly modern person who never followed the fashion of the day and whose whole persona was way ahead of her time.”