“The bullhorn doesn’t work! Meninuccio, Meninuccio!” That’s what Federico Fellini shouts in Interview, a film about cinema and, in particular, on the world of Cinecittà, the ideal home of the great director. This fragment is part of the Archival Pills realized by Istituto Luce-Cinecittà (and curated by Nathalie Giacobino and Patrizia Penzo) that since 2013 are screened at the Venice Film Festival right before some of the films in the official selection.  

This year it’ll also be a chance to celebrate Cinecittà’s 80 years of activity. The Archival Pills will bring the audience to the many film sets that the dream factory organised during his long history. It’ll be an anthology of 18 short excerpts taken from the Luce Archive, that will call back the production history of the place.  

From its inauguration in 1937 to the national historical kolossals shot during the Fascist era such as Carmine Gallone’s Scipio Africanus and Augusto Genina’s Alcazar; from Cinecittà as a camp for homeless and refugees during the war, to the great season of Italian cinema with filmmakers like Luchino Visconti on the set of Bellissima with Anna Magnani; from ancient Rome- set peplum like Ben Hur to divas like Anita Ekberg, Kim Novak, and Chelo Alonso, to great comic actors like Totò; from the TV film set of The Adventures of Pinocchio with Nino Manfredi in the famous scene of the whale, to The Last Emperor by Bernardo Bertolucci, who gives instructions to the actors on how to dance “cheek to cheek”.  

During the Venice Film Festival, the Italian Pavilion will host meetings and initiatives dedicated to Italian cinema, including the 3D version of 10 Archival Pills realized in collaboration with Sky. These are evoking images that suddenly remind us the key role that Cinecittà played in the history of Italian and world cinema. This past memory is more than ever intertwined with its present as Istituto Luce-Cinecittà has recently acquired the Cinecittà studios, bringing the theatre complex and its activities back to public ownership.