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Exhib fetes Italian film centennial

The blueprints were unveiled last week for “La Citta del Cinema,” an extensive multimedia film centennial exhibition to be mounted at Rome’s Cinecitta Studios covering 100 years of the Italian screen.

Organized by state film group Ente Cinema and national pubcaster RAI, with a budget estimated at around $5 million, the exhibition will take place from October to December 1996.

Backed by research consultants from Italy’s major film archives, cinematheques, studios and production companies, veteran film scholar Gian Piero Brunetta will oversee planning of the event, which could constitute the cornerstone of an Italian film museum.

RAI president Letizia Moratti and Ente Cinema topper Giovanni Grazzini outlined the exhibition structure at a June 13 press conference.

Entry will be through the jaws of the mythological Moloch creature from landmark silent feature “Cabiria.” The exhibit is then divided into seven historical periods, starting with the pre-sound era and proceeding through the sword-and-sandal historical epics, propaganda pics and the so-called “white telephone” films of the Fascist years.

Then comes the flowering of neorealism followed by the prosperous period during the ’60s in which Cinecitta became known as Hollywood on the Tiber. Maestros like Michelangelo Antonioni and Federico Fellini are featured, as well as the commedia all’italiana and even the erotica boom, continuing to the nuovo cinema italiano of the late 1980s and early ’90s.

Interactive exhibits and cybernetic installations will show in what direction Italian films of the future are headed. Other techno elements will include a special effects laboratory.

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