Italian Cinema: Treasures List Dominated by Fellini and Visconti

February 28, 2008–A list of 100 Italian films that are considered cultural treasures was released in Rome.

Launched at the Venice Film Fest by organizers of its Venice Days sidebar, the list does not include a single female director, such as Lina Wertmueller or Liliana Cavani.

Besides 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,” starring Annie Girardot as a woman affected with hypertrichosis.

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 available to the country’s younger generations. 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.