Il Posto — dir. Ermanno Olmi

Il Posto // dir. Ermanno Olmi

"When, as a child, I went out to the cinema, I always felt good, and I felt especially good when I started seeing the differences between Hollywood cinema—global Hollywood cinema, if you will, not just the American variety—and the cinema of Italian neorealism, particularly the first films of Roberto Rossellini.  I was between fifteen and seventeen years old at the time, and in those years I passed from the loving arms of my grandmother, who told me wonderfully suggestive fairy tales, to the bitter embrace of my father, who began to introduce me to life’s complexities and disappointments.  The films of Rossellini mark this turning point for me.  I remember leaving a screening of Paisan—there were only seven or eight of us in the audience, although the cinemas were always packed when they showed popular American movies like I’ll Be Yours or The Man I Love.  I went to see Paisan probably because I had already seen all the other movies around.  And strangely enough, this picture made me realize that it was time to tear myself way from my grandmother’s bosom.  Leaving the movie theater after Paisan, I continued to experience the strong emotions I had felt while watching this film, because it was life that I had seen up on the screen—not movie formulas.  And the cinema began to fascinate me, the idea of making films from a unique perspective but always in collaboration with others.  Film, for me, is a way of being together with other people, both when I make films and when my films are in the company of their audience, the viewers.”

Ermanno Olmi (born July 24, 1931)

Ermanno OlmiFilm
Bibi Andersson and Liv Ullmann present Ermanno Olmi with the Palme d’Or for The Tree of Wooden Clogs at the 1978 Cannes Film Festival.

Bibi Andersson and Liv Ullmann present Ermanno Olmi with the Palme d’Or for The Tree of Wooden Clogs at the 1978 Cannes Film Festival.

Piero Faggioni, Gillo Pontecorvo, Carlo Lizzani, Roberto Rossellini, Francesco Maselli, Ermanno Olmi, Jean Aurel, Luigi Di Gianni, and François Truffaut. Venice, 1959.

Piero Faggioni, Gillo Pontecorvo, Carlo Lizzani, Roberto Rossellini, Francesco Maselli, Ermanno Olmi, Jean Aurel, Luigi Di Gianni, and François Truffaut. Venice, 1959.