Scen.: Christopher Jones, Marie-Dominique Montel. F.: Christian Carmosino, Frederic Zamochnikoff. M.: Frederic Zamochnikoff. Mus.: Pierre-Antoine Winter Savary. Int.: Claudia Cardinale, Vito Zagarrio, Anna Maria Mori, Gianni Bozzacchi, Jacques Perrin, Jacques Sorel, Laurence Schifano, Massimo Cristaldi. Prod.: Christopher Jones, Marie-Dominique Montel per Ciné + Classic, Zoulou, Università Roma Tre. DCP 4K. D.: 52’. Col.
Da: Archive des films de Marie-Dominique Montel e Christopher Jones
Claudia Cardinale remains an exception in that special firmament inhabited by movie stars, because of the length of career (more than 150 films) and, even more, the quality of the movies she has starred in, which include several unforgettable masterpieces.
Born in Tunis, discovered at the age of 18, famous by the age of 20, she worked with the greatest. Fellini called her “The Mysterious Claudia”. And then there Luchino Visconti and Sergio Leone, who brought her international acclaim.
The Leopard and Once Upon a Time in the West made her face and her unusual style popular with audiences. Unlike many more conventional Hollywood types, she embodied determined female characters, a feminist ahead of her time.
In real life the actress was hampered by a secret which took her many years to accept. Her personal and professional history form an inseparable part of the 1960s and the changes they wrought. As so often, cinema reflects social change and even anticipates it. Cardinale provocative beauty both heralded and accompanied a growing awareness of the female condition.
Christopher Jones is American, born to cinema – his parents worked with Walt Disney. Marie-Dominique Montel is French, a journalist and historian. Working together for more than ten years, they have produced many films about cinema: La Naissance de “L’Ange bleu”, Babelsberg, l’âge d’or du cinéma allemand, Vittorio De Sica, Fellini/Visconti, duel à l’Italienne and Ciao Cinecittà.
The latter two productions brought them into contact with Claudia Cardinale and began the process of collaboration that has led to Claudia la mystérieuse. Following her, they lead us on a tour of the most magical years of Italian production, showing the splendour, the glamour, the dazzling brilliance of the directors, the dangerous interconnections between private and professional life. And they take us backstage, showing the mechanisms of stardom through the eyes of those actors, directors, producers and photographers who were Cardinale’s partners and colleagues and whose witness-accounts illuminate, like banks of lights, the film of her life.
Gian Luca Farinelli
Archive des films de Marie-Dominique Montel e Christopher Jones