Cineforum (2020) is the 2/4 “artblitz“: a clandestine screening at the MAXXI Museum of the cult scene from the movie Dove vai in vacanza? (1978), in which Augusta (Anna Longhi) and Remo (Alberto Sordi), two true Roman commoners, visit the Venice Biennale, following the suggestion of their children, nearing graduation, to “educate themselves”.
In the scene – inside the episode Le Vacanze Intelligenti (The Smart Holdays) – the two try to find their way through the works of the pavilions with a mixture of perplexity and deference, while a guide comments on the works on display referring to the great existential themes evoked by the works. At a certain point, Augusta, tired from the visit, sits in a chair for a rest under a palm tree in one of the exhibition spaces, while Remo walks away to look for water and food. Shortly afterwards, the woman is mistaken for an artistic installation, photographed, commented on, and even listed by a customer, a good 18 million lire (about 60K euros today).
I liked the idea of projecting one of the funniest mocking scene of contemporary art (of its tics, of its hermeticism, of its pretentiousness), right on the surface of what, at least in ambitions, had to become one of the most important European art centres, 40 years after the film was released.
A “sweet vandalization” (of the museum’s wall), an ironic homage and at the same time an exhortation to a beloved Museum, but alas below its potential and under-financed. The metaphor of a country, Italy, full of inventiveness, ideas, and sensitivity, which persists in remaining small and marginal.
As in the first “artblitz”, the action is inspired by the need to achieve something outside the art-gallery formula (and its usual visitors), in a totally free way, addressing directly the public that happened to be right there at the right time. A little magic in the heart of the Flaminio district, where I live, like that of a Cineforum that suddenly appears on the street for a few minutes, and then disappears.