Laureates 2017-09-30T14:45:34+00:00

LAUREATES



GIUSEPPE ROTUNNO


 

The laureate at the 38 edition of the “Manaki Brothers” Festival of the Great Golden Camera 300 for Lifetime Achievement is GIUSEPPE ROTUNNO, as one of the greats, and the greatest among the great cinematographers of Italian and world cinema.

Giuseppe Peppino Rotunno was born in 1923 in Rome. He started his fruitful career spanning over nearly six decades, first as a photo-camera enthusiast, working at the Cinecitta studios in Rome, and then as a video reporter for the Italian army, while in 1942 he took his first job as a camera assistant and camera operator. In this capacity, and as an apprentice of the then leading cinematographer G.R. Aldo, he took part in the making of several famous Italian films, such as the war film THE MAN WITH THE CROSS (1942) by Roberto Rossellini, then, after the war, in 1951, the film UMBERTO D. by Vittorio de Sica, then in 1952 his next film STAZIONE TERMINI and immediately after, in 1953 in SENSO by Luchino Visconti with whom he proceeded to collaborate as a cinematographer on some of his most important pieces.

As a founder of the post-war Italian cinema which draws from Italian neorealism, Rotunno has made a dozen of anthological films from the, first and foremost, Italian cinema, most of which are a result of his greatest and most effective tandem collaboration with the master director Federico Fellini. Their joint achievements are dozens of films which are deemed milestones not only in FELLINI’ or ROTUNO’s opus as a tandem, but also landmarks of the Italian and world cinema, with many of them reaping awards, such as primarily: AMARCORD (1973) the masterpiece which earned them the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. This nostalgic autobiographical reminiscence of Fellini’s birthplace – Rimini, that he wrote the script for together with his fellow citizen, the famous scriptwriter Tonino Guerra, while Rotunno created the majestic visual atmosphere of the town in the Adriatic coast – Rimini from the late 1930s, the time of the birth of Mussolini’s fascism – focusing on young teenager Tita’s family (as Fellini’s alter ego from his early adolescence. As an exceptional cinematographer, Rotunno builds a lovely reminiscent, visually abundant atmosphere through sequences like visual vignettes, the most brilliant one of which is when they celebrate spring, or the comedic events in the “crazy”, tutti matti family, with the uncle standing on the top of the tree and shouting “Voglio una donna!”, followed by the school sequence and the meeting with the femmesfatales Gradisca and Volpina. After Amarcord, Rotuno, together with Fellini first made one of the two historic films FELLINI – SATYRICON (1969) and then E IL CASANOVA DI FELLINI? (1976), where through the rich color varieties, set and costume design, Rotunno builds his inspiring visual palette. In Fellini’s other films, such as ROMA (1971, where Rotunno, as a native of Rome visualizes the portrait of the eternal city in a special manner), followed by ORCHESTRA REHEARSAL (1978), LA CITTA DELLE DONNE (1980), E LA NAVE VA (1983), where once again, in each of them separately, Rotunno demonstrates his cinematic maturity up until the last film signed by him in 1996 with the founder of the Italian Neo-Horror Suspense, director Dario Argento – THE STENDHAL SYNDROME. Rotunno’s first post-war with a prominent Italian director came on 1955, with the film SCANDAL IN SORRENTO directed by Dino Risi. It is worth mentioning that in the first stage he shot this film in color photography, but later he showed off his mastery of black and white photography as well, which was most typical for the films which, before his collaboration with Fellini, he shot with another master of Italian cinematography, Luchino Visconti. Thus, in this early period, two years later, in 1957, he shot LE NOTTI BIANCHE/WHITE NIGHTS, that Visconti based on a novel by Dostoyevsky, featuring the actors: Maria Schell, Marcello Mastroianni and Jean Marrais in the historic love triangle the sensitive nuances of which were shaded by Rotunno through the mild tones of the black and white palette. The Rotunno-Visconti tandem continued its creative collaboration in 1960, 1963 and 1967 when they executed/created three more anthological films ROCCO AND HIS BROTHERS (in black and white photography, with the excellent casting: Alain Delon in the title role, Renato Salvatori was one of his brothers, with Annie Girardot as the woman causing the conflict between them in his family moral drama between two brothers), followed by the 3-hour long historic love drama IL GATTOPARDO/THE LEOPARD with the great acting trio: Claudia Cardinale, Alain Delon, and Burt Lancaster as the Prince of Salina, the viscount Leopard, whose aristocratic attempt to preserve the class and family is captured by Rotunno with colourful abundance in the expression, with the aid of the set and costume design (with the especially anthological ball scene as the climax of the film) and LO STRANIERO/THE STRANGER (based on the eponymous novel by Albert Camus, with Mastroianni in the title role, while the cumbersome atmosphere of the Algerian summer is masterly transposed on the screen through the specific color gamma by maestro Rotunno. In his earliest creative phase, Rotunno, as part of the quartet of cinematographers, in 1959 took part in the creation of the also anthological LA GRANDE GUERRA, by another great director Mario Monicelli, with the great acting tandem: Gassman – Sordi. In this period, in 1963, Rotunno also collaborated with the great actorwriter- director Vittorio de Sica, signing his popular movie IERI, OGGI, DOMANI as a cinematographer (and Rotunno contributes with his photography to the playfulness and lightheartedness of the stories in this omnibus with the three female characters, Adelina, Anna and Mara, all three portrayed by Sofia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni as her partner). – From the multitude of other prominent Italian directors that Rotunno has collaborated with is also Lina Wertmuller, in the three films LOVE AND ANARCHY (1973, their best film, with the excellent Giancarlo Giannini in the role of the anarchist Antonio who comes to Rome in 1930s in order to kill Mussolini, but falls in love with a sex worker). Then, TUTTO A POSTO E NIENTE IN ORDINE/ALL SCREWED UP (1974, a social drama about the life of a group of Italian immigrants who come to Milan from the poor south) and A NIGHT FULL OF RAIN (1978, with the actors Giannini and Bergen in the role of fatallyattracted lovers with clashing ideologies, whose drama Rotunno depicts with dark color tones). – Rotunno has also collaborated with notable foreign directors, mainly American ones, working as a cinematographer of exceptional works from the international cinematography. One of them falls in the domain of historic spectacles, shot in 1966, the high-budget THE BIBLE directed by John Huston, who plays the role of Noah, the film narrator and voice of God, while Rotunno paints this Biblical version in its entire voluptuous spectacularity, produced by Dino De Laurentiis, with a duration of nearly 3 hours, on 70 mm tape (for the creation of which he won the highest Italian film award David Di Donatello). Rotunno also collaborated with director Mike Nichols with whom they shot the films CARNAL KNOWLEDGE (1971, about the sexual/erotic temptations of two friends Jonathan/Jack Nicholson and Sandy/Art Garfunkel, on the hunt for girls to prove their manhood with, which is adequately captured in an intriguing visual style by Rotunno) and WOLF (1994, from the horrorsuspense genre with an equally attractive casting consisting of Jack Nicholson, Michele Pfeiffer and James Spider and whose transformation into a werewolf is portrayed by Rotunno with special mysticism and energy adequate to this type of horror films).

The multi-awarded THE ADVENTURES OF BARON MUNCHAUSEN by the Monty Python creator Terry Gilliam, demonstrates all the segments of cinematographer Rotunno’s visual creativity. The spectacularity and production specificity of this type of fantastic comic film based on the popular literary tales about the greatest liar of all times, in which Rotunno visually unites all the visual segments: the Oscar-nominated set-designer Dante Ferretti, costume-designer Gabriella Pescucci (BAFTA presented them with their awards, with a remark that this award of the British Film Academy should have deservedly and immediately been given to Rotunno too!) along with the visual effects and make-up, so that this was best assessed by the Italian film journalists and critics who awarded all of them, headed by the uniting creator of the visual aspect of the film – Rotunno, with their Silver Ribbon. – Rotunno’s peak as a cinematographer with the American directors is ALL THAT JAZZ by Bob Fosse, reaping four Oscars for: best set-design, best costume-design, best editing and original score, which also won the Golden Palm in Cannes in 1980, and although he did deserve the Oscar for best cinematography, he was overlooked together with Bob Foss by AMPAS, and left only with their Oscar Nominations, Rotunno got the deserved recognition by BAFTA which presented him with the well-earned award for the creation of ALL THAT JAZZ. In the genre of musical, inspired by the suicidal life of the choreographer, dancer and director, Bob Fosse (in the inspiring and effective role of Roy Scheider, who similarly to Fosse and Rotunno was only nominated for the Academy Award for best actor in a male lead role), this film is an impressive visual product packed by maestro Rotunno who has all the credit for the high artistic and creative achievements of this work.

From the abundant experience of art and life, from the biographical memories of the great Rotunno I would single out the following credo/motto as the essence of his visual expression: …”Just like music has 7 notes, the art of a cinematographer has only three lights: Key light, fill light and back light, which when combined create many different results. Light is like a kaleidoscope, but these three lights mixed together are much more impressive than a kaleidoscope.” Giuseppe Rotunno, due to him being 94 years, will not be able to be physically present in Bitola to receive the Grand Golden Camera 300 for Lifetime Achievement, so we will present it to him either in Rome, in his home, where he lives with his dear wife, or to his student, the now already experienced cinematographer Luca Coassin, at the opening of the 38th edition of the Manaki Brothers in Bitola, who will then proceed to give the award to Rotunno in Rome so that he can have it in his collection as an eternal memory of his great film opus.

Blagoja Kunovski – Dore


PIERRE LHOMME


 

The acceptance of the award by Mr. Lhomme, was the quickest to take place in my experience so far, which also served as a great personal encouragement as it became clear to me that he is already familiar with our festival, the gravity of the award he is presented with and the honor bestowed on him. After I sent the invitation on the afternoon of 10 May, on the very next morning Mr. Lhomme sent his positive answer which I quote in full:

“Dear Sir, Thank you for your invitation and the Lifetime Achievement Award. It is a pleasure to accept it. I will be coming with my wife Renee and we would like to stay a few days to enjoy the festival and discover/get to know your country”. We will be departing from Marseilles or Paris. Kindest regards, Pierre Lhomme

– I was indeed glad and I immediately replied, thanking him and writing that he honestly made that day very special to me. And how else could I have felt when by getting a new member in the Club of Greats of the caliber of Pierre Lhomme, our festival hits right into the bull’s eye. Because, not only is Lhomme one of the greatest living French and world cinematographers, he is also an invaluable addition to our anthology of cinematographers.

Lhomme’s abounding opus, consisting of over 100 movies — about 60 long-features ones in addition to the documentaries and shorts, in a career spanning over half a century, is composed of films from various visual, cine-aesthetic and genre expressions. Another spec- THE RECIPIENT OF THE LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD GOLDEN CAMERA 300 AT THE 38 EDITION OF THE MANAKI BROTHERS FESTIVAL IS THE FRENCH CINEMATOGRAPHER: PIERRE LHOMME/AFC 34 ificity in this sense is that he collaborated with a multitude of leading French directors, and has also worked on a significant number of films signed by foreign authors. Many of these films were promoted at the Festival in Cannes, where Lhomme has also won the best cinematographer award, and he has also been the laureate of the main French film award – César, for several of his anthological films. Pierre Lhomme was born on 5 April, in the town of Boulogne-sur-Saine, France.

From 1951-53 he attended the École nationale supérieure Louis-Lumière, while his study visit to film schools in America was also of great importance. Also between 1990 and 1993 he was the president of AFC, the Association of French Cinematographers, whose honorable president he still is, even now.

Over the course of his career he consistently worked on shooting shorts, documentaries and feature films, and naturally, after his studies, in the early period in the 1950s and 1960s, he was gaining experience as a camera operator and camera assistant. In this first stage he shot the short films of the later-to-become notable French directors, such as Éric Rohmer, Philippe de Broca, Jean Eustache, Chris Marker, with whom, after Lhomme’s independent realization of the short film PARIS MON COPAIN (1954) where he took on the role of a director as well, he co-directed the long documentary LE JOLI MAI (1962, with Yves Montand, Simon Signoret and Lhomme as narrators), which, after the short film, is another portrait of Paris and the Parisians, in the spring of 1962 after the end of the colonial war and the Algerian trauma. In the course of 1978 we also have the series of shorts that Lhomme shot with the author Marguerite Duras.

Lhomme’s filmography visibly indicates that he did not get categorically attached to a certain director in order to build a lasting tandem partnership, although it is evident that there is a group of directors that he shot 2, 3 or 4 films with, acquiring a certain habit to match their directorial style with a visually adequate style, regardless of whether it was black and white or color photography. In this group that he repeatedly collaborated with, we list primarily the famous French directors: Jean- Paul Rappeneau with the films LE SAUVAGE (1976, César nomination), ALL FIRED UP, and one of the best films shot by Lhomme – CYRANO de BERGERAC (1990, more on this masterpiece below); Patrice Chéreau: THE FLESH OF THE ORCHID (1976, Nomination for the French Film Award César) and JUDITH THERPAUVE (1979, another César nomination); Claude Miller: THIS SWEET SICKNESS (1978, one more César nomination) and DEADLY CIRCUIT (1984, the fifth César nomination); Alain Cavalier: FIRE AND ICE (1961, his second film since the start of his career made in black and white photography), PILLAGED (1967), HEARTBEAT (1968). With the American director James Ivory Lhomme shot the following films: MAURICE (1987), QUARTET (1981), THE DIVORCE (2003), as the last film in his active career) and the historic biographical drama about the double life of the American President – JEFFERSON IN PARIS (1995).

The list of one-fold collaboration between Pierre Lhomme with other directors is slightly longer, and on this occasion I selectively single out the following directors and their films: Yves Boisset with COPLAIN SAVES HIS SKIN (1968), the American William Klein with Mr. FREEDOM (1968), the German director, the Oscar-winner, Volker Schlöndorff with whom he worked on the VOYAGER (1991, featuring Sam Sheppard and Julie Delpy in an adventurous and passionate love drama), Claude Berri with LE SEX SHOP (1972), Benoît Jacquot with the CLOSET CHILDREN (1977), Dusan Makavejev with SWEET MOVIE (1974), Jacques Doillon with THE PRODIGAL DAUGHTER (1981), Bertrand Blier with MY MAN (1996).

However, Lhomme’s opus also contains, accord ing to my affinities and taste, some of the most sublime cinematic creations, which reaffirm his high cinematographer’s standing in the domain of visual expression. In the subtleness of the recent expression of Robert Bresson, in the film adaptation of the anthological short story “White Nights” by Dostoyevsky and its modern version, in the Parisian atmosphere of Pont-Neuf, Lhomme embeds the magic of the meeting between the young painter and the disillusioned girl on the verge of suicide, in the film FOUR NIGHTS OF A DREAMER (1971).

It is with a related color gamma that Lhomme depicts the pending tragedy of the two lovers who seem to be destined to miss each other (Dominique Sanda and Mathieu Carrière) through the panoramic in the film LE NAVIRE NIGHT of the always unpredictable, unconventional Marguerite Duras. From the historic topics, in the film CAMILLE CLAUDEL by director Bruno Nuytten, through the color-palette of his expression, Lhomme builds the biographical fatal love drama of the authentic lovers, the then still anonymous Camille Claudel, the sister of the writer Paul Claudel and the already famous sculptor Rodin (Depardieu), which reaped Lhomme the César Award in 1989. In 1973, a certain discovery of the Cannes Film Festival in the competition was the 3.5 hour long film LA MAMAN ET LA PUTAIN, by writer and director Jean Eustache, the epilogue of which was the critics award FIPRESCI, and the Grand Prix of the jury in Cannes. In black and white photography, cinematographer Pierre Lhomme builds the atmosphere of the bizarre ménage-a-trois love story, based on the authentic love story between director Eustache and actress Françoise Lebrun, who plays the promiscuous Veronica in the film, while her partner Alexander is played by Jean-Pierre Léaud, with Bernadette Lafont, as his friend Mary, the third member of the trio. In one of the films with biggest cult following by writer and director Jean-Pierre Melville, L’ARMÉE DES OMBRES (1969), as an adaptation of the roman by Joseph Kessel, Pierre Lhomme visually upgrades the story from the time of the resistance movement in France during the occupation in 1942 so that it can match the psycho-thriller action tension, with the tandem of actors Simone Signoret and Lino Ventura, in one of their most striking achievements.

The peak of creativity of the cinematographer Pierre Lhomme, the masterpiece, the historic drama, as a film adaptation of the anthological love poem by writer Edmond Rostand is the eponymous film CYRANO de BERGERAC (1990) of the already mentioned writer director Rappeneau, in which Lhomme visually impressively elevates the Shakespearian spirit of this work, with the unforgettable actor’s creation by Depardieu in the role of the frustrated due to his long nose, Cyrano, which is in fact the role of his life. This dimension is applied in Lhomme’s mastery in the work with actors, which is something that all the above mentioned collaborators – directors, that he has built his impressive filmography with, are grateful for. And the fact that the crown in his filmography is the film CYRANO de BARGERAC is also supported by all the important awards it reaped: the BAFTA (the award of the British Film Academy), the award of BSC (the British Society of Cinematographers), the Technical Grand Prix in Cannes, the French César for best cinematographer, although he was unjustly overlooked by the American Film Academy for the well-deserved Oscar, as well as the award of the EFA (the European Film Academy). The cherry on the top of his magnificent opus as a cinematographer is our Lifetime Achievement Award – the Golden Camera 300, which makes us immensely proud!

Blagoja Kunovski – Dore


MILCHO MANCHEVSKI


THE RECIPIENT OF THE SPECIAL AWARD GOLDEN CAMERA 300 FOR OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO WORLD CINEMA ART IS THE MACEDONIAN AND WORLD-RENOWNED DIRECTOR MILCHO MANCHEVSKI

If one takes the path of art and steadily, virtuously, precisely and uncompromisingly moves towards the desired outcome, and if to this adds the invisible embroidery of authentic cinematic and poetic language, the audiences will certainly recognize it. It no longer matters whether Milcho Manchevski, 11 years before his debut, developed his directorial expression by working in each of the segments of film activity and so the explosion of his first feature film was not by accident; or whether, like any other great artist, he intuitively sensed the right moment, or the moment sensed him. The truth is that for the third decade in line, BEFORE THE RAIN (1994) thrills the world. There is no spot on both hemispheres of this planet where it does not pose a challenge for aesthetic and theoretical analysis. It has proved inspiring for a number of writers as well: essayists, film critics. The studies of each of its frames have not come to a halt. It makes waves across the oceans that it crosses on the world silver screens. And not only his debut film, but his entire opus of 50 shorts, ten of which are short films (features, experimental, documentaries), as well as the work on The Wire television series. Macedonian history, in an equal measure to Macedonian cinema, turned into a completely new direction after the moment when in Venice, the prestigious statue of the Golden Lion went into Manchevski’s hands, and even more so on the day when Jeremy Irons, at the Academy Award Ceremony, spoke the name of the young director, and at the same time the name of our own country, loud and clear. With his debut he had the tough luck of competing with another sublime cinematic achievement, and the Oscar went to Nikita Mikhalkov, but the critics could not resist and divided the FIPRESCI Award. No other artist from Macedonia has brought this kind of pride and joy to our country ever since. But as important as it is that Macedonia has one great film giant, is the fact that world cinema has it. The New York Times put BEFORE THE RAIN on the list of 1000 most important films of the century and this position speaks for itself. To Manchevski this only meant even greater assuredness, but also responsibility to continue in the same directorial vein that he certainly knows is not wrong. After the major success he continued playing with genres and playing with conventions in general, reinterpreting and reinventing. He likes posing questions and seeking challenges, because, as he himself says, there’s no innovation without them. That is how he reached his latest movie, BIKINI MOON where once again he explores the line between truth and fantasy, fact and fiction. The topic – the embrace and struggle of the truth and the story –  is his subject in MOTHERS, the short film TUESDAY and THE END OF TIME, and in the essay he presented in Vatican.

Yet, in the years when he did not even image that he would become a laureate in Venice, Milcho Manchevski (born on 18.10.1959), after the studies at the Faculty of Philosophy in Skopje, at the Art History and Archeology Department, went to the USA and graduated from the Faculty of Film and Photography at the University in South Illinois. Aside from his film activity, he has also authored the book “The Ghost of my Mother”, published in New York. He wrote the lyrics for the Bastion Band, a number of scripts for music videos and advertisements, and he also had a few appearances as an actor in several shorts, two documentaries and one theater show. Between 1985 and 1991 he worked in New York as a cinematographer of documentaries, then as an editor, assistant-set designer for industrial videos, best boy and assistant director of videos. After the great success in 1994 he collaborated as a director with all seven Hollywood Studios. In 1995, the Bologna Cinematheque, Italy, organized the first retrospective, something that has turned into a practice and starting from the Scandinavian countries, to the countries in the Far East, he has crossed meridians like the wind blows rain clouds. Numerous cinema institutions have “seized” Manchevski’s films. They pose an even greater provocation as his multimediality offers a great visual provocation. The photo exhibitions “Five Drops of Dream” and “Street” have been set in important galleries and have matched the success of his films. His artistic instincts flow into each other with great ease and effortlessly. As a director, Manchevski is unrepeatable in cinema, which is inextricably linked to photography and the narrative expression. A number of critics and essayists gave their opinion on “Street”. Regardless of how different their thoughts on Manchevski’s photographs were, basically they all agree that he is a master when it comes to sophisticated emotions and sublime in the perception of urban details and their contrast with the narrative motives. Each of the photos from these two exhibitions, as well as each pentaptych, is a story in itself, a potential movie or frozen frame, which stirs the spectators’ endless imagination for a possible new film narrative.

The awards came one after the other, and the list is long. He was presented with the “Charlot d’or” at the Mons Film Festival, Belgium for “Before the Rain”; Macedonia gave him the “11 October”. Then in 1995 followed “David di Donatello”, the special award for a non-Italian film, an award from the Swedish Film Institute, the Silver Condor in Argentina, Film of the Year in Turkey, awards at the festivals in Sao Paolo, Brazil and Sankt Petersburg, Russia, the UNICEF Prize, the Independent Spirit in USA, the Golden Bug in Sweden, awards in Belarus, Nova Gorizia, Trieste, Syracuse New York, Puerto Rico, etc.

When we take into consideration the studiousness that Manchevski works on his films with, it becomes completely clear why there are sometimes even as many as six-year long gaps between them.

He has collaborated with important, Oscar caliber film professionals, such as Simon Perry, Barry Ackroyd, David Mans, Darious Khondji, Mario Mikisanti, Joseph Fiennes, or Adrian Lester. In 2001, we impatiently waited for “DUST”, and then six years later “SHADOWS” (2007). “MOTHERS” (2010) on the other hand, intensely roused the cinema public. The latest, “BIKINI MOON”, spills over onto other thematic horizons, but the anticipated success is equal to the other films. Striking cinematography which is closely followed by a fantastic music score in all of the pieces. Manchevski plays with both – genres and film standards, but the sequential emotion that springs from the details wisely and subtly woven by the director’s eye leaves a strong impression, like an aesthetic lightning, which is unrepeatable and indelible. A master of the film message, which shatters the standards and leaves an enigma. Some kind of a secret, which may be the key to the critics’ and audiences’ curiosity. Manchevski found his latest major success, when his work was presented in faraway Shanghai, to be an unbelievable experience: “walking through the bustling streets, up the stairs, into an apartment and a small room in the back, where there was a huge poster of an old French movie, an entire library of books and framed pictures on the wall: Bergman, Orson Welles, Tarkovsky, Jean-Luc Godard, Truffaut,… Cinema-café “Chabrol” in an apartment that can only fit 15 people. Every night they play movies and discuss them. And one of the framed pictures on the wall there, in the middle of Shanghai, next to Truffaut and Tarkovsky, was the Turkish poster of “Before the Rain”.

That’s how far “BEFORE THE RAIN” has touched, followed by a flood of success. When today, at its 38th edition, the “Manaki Brothers” Film Festival pays tribute to the international cinema giants, Italian Rotunno and Frenchman Lhomme, Milcho Manchevski is presented with the Special Award Golden Camera 300 for Outstanding Contribution to World Cinema Art. We wish this Macedonian and global cinema lion of ours to wisely and serenely accumulate inspiration and creative sensation, before the next major leap after a success that will once again strongly resound in world cinema history.

Ana Vasilevska
journalist and cinema explorer