ROME — Italian director Vittorio De Sica’s 1971 foreign-language film Oscar winner “The Garden of the Finzi-Continis” will be reissued in a digitally restored print funded by Italian fashion label Antony Morato in collaboration with Italo state film entity Istituto Luce-Cinecittà and Vogue magazine, which are world-preeming the fresh version in Rome with an international launch to follow.
Restoration of the “Finzi-Continis” film, which is based on Giorgio Bassani’s largely autobiographical novel about an aristocratic Jewish family in the beautiful Italian town of Ferrara prior to their deportation to Nazi death camps, marks the latest instance of the film and fashion worlds intersecting. A glitzy March 25 gala at Rome’s Casa del Cinema will be attended among others by De Sica family members, by actor Lino Capolicchio — who starred in the film, which also featured Dominique Sanda — and by Vogue Italy editor-in-chief Franca Sozzani.
Screenings of the Italo classic are set to follow at New York’s Film Forum, London’s BFI, Toronto’s TIFF Cinematheque, San Francisco’s Castro Theatre and an unspecified venue in Israel.
The restoration, performed by Italy’s prestigious L’immagine ritrovata lab in Bologna and Rome’s Studio Cine, also marks the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.
Gianluca Curti’s Minerva Pictures and Stefano Libassi’s Movietime hold “The Garden of the Finzi-Continis” rights.
“For my generation this film represents an important milestone in our consciousness and also in our rapport with the art of cinema,” enthused Luce-Cinecittà topper Roberto Cicutto in a statement.
“Nobody has been immune to the fascination of its characters: beautiful, young, many of them rich, immersed in the beauty of Ferrara. An extraordinary approach (thanks to Bassani),mwhich then leads us into the darkest darkness that history has ever known.”
“We are proud of having connected two worlds, those of fashion and film, which have a lot in common,” said Sozzani.
Other cases in which fashion labels are helping bring cinematic gems back to light include Dolce & Gabbana’s sponsorship of the restoration of Giuseppe Tornatore’s “Cinema Paradiso” in 2014 and Gucci’s ongoing partnership with Martin Scorsese’s the Film Foundation, which has salvaged many Italian and global cinema classics.