• 22 Aug 2017 - 15:07
  • Welcome, Guest
Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

Visit the Tee Shirt Store - NEW designs!! HERE

Pages: [1] 2   Go Down

Author Topic: Bazzoni's "Roma Imago Urbis" project  (Read 4759 times)

rabbitroom

  • Almost Human
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 34
  • Seriously, you guys
Bazzoni's "Roma Imago Urbis" project
« on: 20 Apr 2015 - 14:14 »

Hey folks, I know this is a long shot but I'm hoping some other people will be interested in this. It's sort of like the Telecines fundraiser here that has been done to save some lost Italian films. There is a chance to get a great director's final project out into the world, but the window might be closing on the opportunity.

Luigi Bazzoni directed five feature films between 1965 and 1975: The Possessed (1965), Pride and Vengeance (1967), The Fifth Cord (1971), Brothers Blue (1973), and Footprints on the Moon (1975). Then he basically disappeared until the 1990s, when his massive 15-part documentary Roma Imago Urbis was completed and screened at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York to accompany an exhibit of Roman art. It has since aired (possibly only once) on Italian television, and has never been released outside of Italy, where it was released on VHS in a big box set of tapes and accompanying books. After this, Bazzoni didn't direct again, and he passed away in 2012.

I've been trying to find information on (and a copy of) this film for years now, but it's just too rare and obscure. However, recently a new, sealed copy of the complete set has appeared on Italian Ebay: http://www.ebay.it/itm/Roma-Imago-Urbis-Editalia-Istituto-Poligrafico-Zecca-Dello-Stato-15-Volumi-VHS-/121432891699

The seller has informed me that they will not ship this item to the States because it would cost over 200 Euro. Even if I got it shipped here, I'm guessing the documentary is in Italian and probably not subtitled, so I could watch it but I would not understand what is being said.

So: I'm wondering if anyone on this forum would be interested in helping raise money to get this thing out into the world. We would need to get the set into the hands of someone in Italy (or possibly otherwise in Europe, we would have to check with the seller) who could transfer from VHS to DVD/digital files, and someone who would be willing to do translation & subtitle work. And the rest of us would need to raise funds to pay for acquiring the set and the hard work that comes after.

Now, just to lay this all out on the table, what little I've been able to find out about this project (from rough Google translations from Italian) suggest that the film is about 15 hours of footage with no actors or on-screen dialogue. It's an in-depth examination of the influence of Roman culture on the world, each 1-hour documentary covering a different subject (architecture, art, etc.). I understand this is a pretty tough sell. However, Bazzoni's feature films were excellent, and it seems like this was a project that meant a lot to him--enough to spend the majority of his filmmaking career on--and it's barely ever been seen.

I figure if there's anywhere online where I can find people interested in doing this, it's here. What do you all think?

DjangoLi

  • Special Cop In Action
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 734
Re: Bazzoni's "Roma Imago Urbis" project
« Reply #1 on: 20 Apr 2015 - 19:41 »

I'd be happy to act as an intermediary to purchase it within Italy (and then send it on to you)

If I had anything in my PayPal account I'd be happy to make the purchase but I really don't.

A group effort does sound like a good idea - and I can try and get something over the next week to chip in (say around 20 - 30 euros)

Or... how about I offer up a subbed copy of 'A Pugni Nudi' (which I'm working on at the moment) for anyone who donates 10 euros or more - and a subbed film of the donators choice (you'd have to decide this amongst yourselves)

I'll send a DVDR over to Jonny or Kevin and they can send a download link to the donators.

It's the best I can offer - I like the idea and while I may not be sprinting to the video shop to watch a 15 hour documentary on the Romans, I do feel it's important that it is preserved and, more importantly, generally accessible if someone down the line wants to see it.

I can also transfer it from VHS>DVD.

Logged
"88Films tend to do what psychotics do,they confuse reality with illusion" David Cronenberg

DjangoLi

  • Special Cop In Action
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 734
Re: Bazzoni's "Roma Imago Urbis" project
« Reply #2 on: 20 Apr 2015 - 22:03 »

All done - but if anyone wants to help Rabbitroom recoup some of his costs - my offer still stands.
Logged
"88Films tend to do what psychotics do,they confuse reality with illusion" David Cronenberg

Peter

  • Special Cop In Action
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 298
    • Giallo Locandine
Re: Bazzoni's "Roma Imago Urbis" project
« Reply #3 on: 21 Apr 2015 - 05:14 »

Interesting project rabbitroom. I'd never heard of this before. Bazzoni is a firm favourite of mine and while I like DjangoLi can't see myself finding the time to watch a 15 hour documentary at the moment, I'd like to be able to if that ever changes. It also feels like a good gesture towards a fantastic director if we could help make sure that a project that obviously meant a lot to him is preserved and accessible. I won't be able to spend a huge amount on this, but I'll be happy to contribute €10-15.

rabbitroom

  • Almost Human
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 34
  • Seriously, you guys
Re: Bazzoni's "Roma Imago Urbis" project
« Reply #4 on: 21 Apr 2015 - 13:57 »

So glad to find some like-minded cinephiles willing to help out with this! The set has been ordered and is en route to DjangoLi, so the ball is officially rolling. The #1 priority is just getting this beast into a format that people can watch relatively easily, and we can work out the logistics of getting translations & subs after that.

I'm definitely on the same page as you guys as far as sitting down to watch a 15-hour documentary, but luckily it's broken down into 15 parts of about an hour each. That should make it a bit more digestible!

Jonny

  • Moderator
  • Cane Arrabbiato
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 10244
  • I've some extremely distressing news
    • lovelockandload
Re: Bazzoni's "Roma Imago Urbis" project
« Reply #5 on: 21 Apr 2015 - 15:24 »

I'll chip in to help out, no problem at all
Logged
Letterboxd - "Henry Silva has a small zoo at home and his weapon of choice is a bazooka"

Peter

  • Special Cop In Action
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 298
    • Giallo Locandine
Re: Bazzoni's "Roma Imago Urbis" project
« Reply #6 on: 22 Apr 2015 - 17:48 »

Rabbitroom, just spoke to a friend of mine who's a big Bazzoni fan (but not registered here). He'll be happy to contribute €10-15 as well.

DjangoLi

  • Special Cop In Action
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 734
Re: Bazzoni's "Roma Imago Urbis" project
« Reply #7 on: 22 Apr 2015 - 19:58 »

The entire set arrived this afternoon   ::)

Looking at the photo on eBay you'd think it wasn't 'that' big... but I can tell you it arrived in two massive boxes (1 of which weighed a ton). All the VHS tapes are sealed - as in, never opened, and only one of the book sets has been opened. There's some minor damage to one of the slipcases, otherwise it really is in 'new' condition.

Judging by the sheer size of this beast I seriously doubt there are many copies of the complete set in circulation, it must have cost a fortune even back in 1992 (when it seems to have been issued) So this really is quite a find...

Worth mentioning photography and music provided by Vittorio Storaro and Ennio Morricone respectively, with Carlo Lizzani credited as a consultant on the project.

It's late here - but over the next few days I'll start the transfer process and see what the documentaries are like.

Glad to be a part of this.

Logged
"88Films tend to do what psychotics do,they confuse reality with illusion" David Cronenberg

Peter

  • Special Cop In Action
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 298
    • Giallo Locandine
Re: Bazzoni's "Roma Imago Urbis" project
« Reply #8 on: 22 Apr 2015 - 20:09 »

Thanks for the update! Photography by Storaro and music by Morricone? Wow, the likelihood of me spending some time with this set just increased quite a bit. Really glad to be a part of this ad well!

rabbitroom

  • Almost Human
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 34
  • Seriously, you guys
Re: Bazzoni's "Roma Imago Urbis" project
« Reply #9 on: 22 Apr 2015 - 20:15 »

I dug up a mention of this set on a Morricone fan site where it was mentioned the set cost something like $800 when it was released in 1992 or 1993. Not sure how many copies of it were ever even made, but yeah, seems unlikely there are too many complete sets floating around out there!

DjangoLi

  • Special Cop In Action
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 734
Re: Bazzoni's "Roma Imago Urbis" project
« Reply #10 on: 22 Apr 2015 - 20:26 »

To give you an idea of the size - the books alone are about 3x the size of Tim Lucas' Bava Book all lined up - then there's the tapes to go with them.

I can see why Bazzoni didn't do anything else for 20 years!
Logged
"88Films tend to do what psychotics do,they confuse reality with illusion" David Cronenberg

DjangoLi

  • Special Cop In Action
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 734
Re: Bazzoni's "Roma Imago Urbis" project
« Reply #11 on: 22 Apr 2015 - 23:12 »

An appeal from Carlo Lizzani in 2009, asking the management at RAI to screen the series (It was never screened - in fact, the only way to see it is either buy this set or head down to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York)

http://archiviostorico.corriere.it/2009/dicembre/17/appello_Lizzani_Rai_mandi_onda_co_9_091217046.shtml

(In short...)

RAI paid over 3 million euros (equivalent amount in 2009) for the television rights, aside from funding the production itself - and never screened it.

Vittorio Storaro turned down two lucrative offers of work in the USA in order to work on it... Lizzani acted as consultant only because he couldn't work on the project full-time.

Filmed over 20 continents - the entire budget was 22 million euros.

------------------------------------

Talk about money to burn! And dare I say it, you can see why Lizzani decided to follow Monicelli by leaping from the top floor of a hospital to his death... This guy must have been seriously upset about the state of Italian film/tv. It may sound a bit harsh but you have to look at this guy's career - Bandits and Milan (and Damiani's Io Ho Paura) are both tangled up in 'rights hell' with Paramount and De Laurentiis who seem quite happy to shelve both films for all eternity.

Now think about poor old Luigi Bazzoni - he spends 20 years shooting a mammoth project like this and... it never gets screened outside of a museum 1000's of miles away from his native Italy. He must have been livid (now there's an understatement)

----------------------

As Rabbitroom pointed out in the first post, this does appear to be entirely 'narration and location shots' - Let's just say it really is for the die-hard Roman history enthusiast.

23 years later, here are some screencaps from ep.1:











RE: Subtitles.

This is one of those projects that hardly anyone will actually bother to watch but (luckily for Luigi Bazzoni) this is nothing particularly new to me. I've subbed interviews that have had a whopping '3' downloaders. So the lunatic inside of me certainly won't rule this out.

Knowing virtually nothing about the Romans is also a big plus - I mean, if I can get through some of this I'll surely come out of it a bit wiser... or stark-raving mad. I would need to collaborate with my parents (who do in fact know a hell of a lot about Roman history) so it's entirely possible - but it will take a long time. So, with some patience, perhaps Luigi Bazzoni might be turning a little less in his grave some time in the future.




Logged
"88Films tend to do what psychotics do,they confuse reality with illusion" David Cronenberg

rabbitroom

  • Almost Human
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 34
  • Seriously, you guys
Re: Bazzoni's "Roma Imago Urbis" project
« Reply #12 on: 22 Apr 2015 - 23:22 »

Oh man, I can't tell you how exciting it is even to just see these screencaps! And I can't thank you enough for doing this. Wow!

quidtum

  • One Just Man
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 213
Re: Bazzoni's "Roma Imago Urbis" project
« Reply #13 on: 23 Apr 2015 - 09:10 »

Nice find!
You can watch some backstage footage of this documentary on Vittorio Storaro's "Writing with Light, Colors, and the Elements", where he studies the different lights to use on shooting the model of the Eternal City (see the first two screens above).
By the way, Vittorio Storaro has just designed a new lighting system for part of the Imperial forums in Rome
http://www.ansa.it/english/news/2015/04/22/imperial-forums-dazzle-at-night-with-storaro-lighting_d73957ea-c193-4325-9ded-90eb9ec6fa1f.html
Logged

Paul

  • Moderator
  • Cane Arrabbiato
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 6455
  • "Vamos A Matar!"
    • The Overlook Movie Store
Re: Bazzoni's "Roma Imago Urbis" project
« Reply #14 on: 23 Apr 2015 - 12:58 »

I'm happy to make a donation too - sounds like a great find.
Logged
"Allow me to explain. Your mother is a whore, your father is a damn thief, and your grandfather is a notorious fag... and as for your sister..." - Yodlaf Peterson
Pages: [1] 2   Go Up
 

Page created in 0.312 seconds with 21 queries.