F., Su.: Noel Very, Benjamin Wolf, Florence Dauman. Mo.: Florence Dauman, Lucas Fretin, Claudine Kaufmann. Testimonianze di: Raymond Bellour, Michel Brault, Yves Coppens, Françoise Gilot, Richard Leacock, Albert Maysles, Edgard Morin, D.A. Pennebaker. Con la collaborazione di Dominique Ruspoli e Noel Very. Prod.: Florence Dauman Digibeta. D.: 76’.
Mario, a childhood friend of my father (who later produced his films), quickly became my favorite companion in childhood, which he delightfully enriched. His first move, which was repeated many times to my great entertainment, was to roll me up in the entryway carpet, heave this shapeless bundle on his shoulders, go into the living room where various guests were before dining, unroll the carpet in the middle of the room and present… Cleopatra!
Despite his pivotal role in documentary film history, Mario Ruspoli and his work have been unjustifiably ignored. His widow, Dominique Ruspoli, contacted me so that Argos Film would produce a movie about Mario. The idea struck me immediately, and I wanted to give back to the Prince what he was owed. “Finally, the tribute he deserved” were the words of his friend Chris Marker after having seen the documentary.
Dominique brought us wonderful gems from their house in L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue. Reels of film, Nagra soundtracks, photos, paintings. All the music in the documentary is the work of Mario. Archive images, family movies, testimony of his relatives, collaborators, and friends (Edgar Morin, Yves Coppens, Brigitte and Gilles Delluc, Richard Leacock, D.A. Pennebaker, Michel Brault, Albert Maysles) have been selected for the film.
Making a documentary is not enough of a tribute to a filmmaker worthy of the name. Mario’s films must have the opportunity to be seen. It was Gian Luca Farinelli and Cineteca di Bologna, and not I, that gave new life to Mario’s work, restoring all the films produced by Argos and hence allowing them to enthrall audiences once again.