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?