Ciao Anna!

October 16, 2008

Um… I think, I’m stuck now… My fingers are dancing around the keyboard for how many minutes? 25 or 30… while trying to start writing… my wrists are almost red and totally furbished from heavy reclining at my table…

How to make a cool blog intro for such an actress as cool as Anna Magnani was?!

Magnani & Mastroianni in Correva l’anno di grazia 1870

Never mind, few days ago I’ve visited the photography exhibition ‘Ciao Anna’ in Cinema Europa, which is an overture for Zagreb Film Festival 2008. As you can guess, the exhibition is dedicated to the remarkable Italian actress Anna Magnani.

Poster for the exhibition Ciao Anna

‘Ciao Anna’ is staged on two floors as an extra programme for visitors of the film screenings, presenting photographs which are divided into several cycles of Magnani’s career: cinema; TV roles; stage works; private moments; photos from sets; several Italian magazines; film poster from Tennessee Williams’s ‘The Rose Tattoo’; and a compilation with excerpts from her movies displayed on the screen.

Anna Magnani & Burt Lancaster

Anna Magnani…

Mamma Roma… Wild Is the Wind… The Fugitive Kind… Roma, citta aperta… Bellissima… The Secret of Santa Vittoria… Le Carrosse d’or… The Rose Tattoo… L’Amore… The Fugitive Kind… The Wild, Wild Women… …


Magnani’s uncompromising approach is really hard to compare with some other actresses… Her way of acting was so elemental, immediate, intuitive and irresistible. What a scale of characters she has played in her career and always with the same acting devotion!

Anna Magnani with her son Luca

I used to perceive Magnani mostly through her movies, but this exhibition gave me a chance to get a little bit closer look to who Anna Magnani was in her private life. Photos with her soon and their dogs are touchy, sure, but you can almost sense Anna Magnani’s extraordinary energy.

Photos covering her theatre works could be particularly interesting to people who are not so familiar with Magnani’s career at the stage (I’m the one, too!), but they are more of documentary/archiving character. The same counts for the TV section.

Tennessee Williams & Anna Magnani

An inspiring artist (I really want to avoid somehow the term icon, coz it wouldn’t be likely to Magnani’s attitudes), she was a temperament and natural female philosopher who found that movies can teach us a lot.

Let’s read now what the crew from Zagreb Film Festival has stated about the exhibition (I’m quoting here because it’s really good): ‘Some stars never fade out. One of them is Anna Magnani who would now be one hundred years old. Anna Magnani’s film work marked the golden ear of Italian neorealism as well as the world cinema of the 1950’s and 1960’s. She paved the path for many future generations of actresses creating a place within the seventh art for the character of a strong, confident and temperament woman.’

Magnani in ‘Bellissima’ by Luchino Visconti

‘Please, don’t brush up my wrinkles. It took so long to get them, said to a photographer Anna Magnani, the legendary actress who created her film and theatre career counting solely on her talent and expressiveness, and not on the size of her bosom and feminine appeal. Indisputable gift for acting, spontaneity and courageous life attitude made her the beloved actress and muse of famous directors and dramatists of the 1950’s and 1960’s, such as Vittorio De Sica, Luchino Visconti, Roberto Rossellini, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Jean Renoir, George Cukor, Sidney Lumet and Tennessee Williams, while her roles of a brave and passionate ‘‘ordinary woman”, particularly in film classics such as ‘‘Rome, Open City” (1945) and ‘‘Bellissima” (1951) gained her such popularity that at the peak of it only three types of postcard could be bought in Rome: city sights, Pope and Anna Magnani.’

Anna Magnani

‘Among many awards, Anna won Oscar in 1956 for the role of Serafina della Rosa in the film ‘‘The Rose Tattoo”, thus becoming the first Italian owner of the golden statue. Today, we are reminded of the 100th anniversary of the birth of unforgettable Nannarella, as she was affectionately called, by numerous photo exhibitions and cycles of her best films at such events as Venice Film Festival and elsewhere around the world.’

Anna Magnani

In one of her last interviews, she said:
When I die, when people will be thinking of me, they should know that Magnani never betrayed them.
And that Magnani never betrayed herself!

p.s. ‘Ciao Anna’ was curated by Edvin Liveric – actor, performer and artistic director of the Street Art Festival.
p.s.1. Zagreb Film Festival is on schedule between 19th and 25th of October.
p.s.2. Enjoy Italian neorealism… Enjoy moviez…
p.s.3. Ciao!

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