“Only the Italian Republic is worse than cinema today”
Umberto Lenzi, who directed some of the masterpieces of Italian cinema, and who is greatly admired by Quentin Tarantino, presented his latest thriller during Varese’s Story Festival.
Umberto Lenzi has conquered Varese once more. On Thursday evening, the Italian film director, who is also admired by Quentin Tarantino, was a guest at the Twiggy Café, for the literary gatherings of the Story Festival, where he presented his new book “Scalera di Sangue”, a thriller set in the world of cinema in the 1940s, the third in a series that has Inspector Astolfi as the main character. “It’s a time that I know very well, and this novel is set in the ‘Maremma’ in Tuscany, where I come from,” the director said.
Lenzi, who was interviewed by Mauro Gervasini and Diego Pisati, did not speak only about his book, but also about the film that was shown in the evening “Jungle Adventure”, which he directed, and which was based on a book by Emilio Salgari (who also invented the character of Sandokan), of whom Lenzi directed two films which brought him international acclaim. It should be mentioned that Lenzi is also admired by Quentin Tarantino, as the director of films that influenced cinema in the 1970s, including the wonderful “Almost human”. Lenzi is amused by his relationship with the American director.
His opinion, however, of Italian cinema today is tragic. “There isn’t anyone with the courage that we had back then,” he explained. “Cinema is a slave to television, and to advertising, and is unable to escape. Only the Italian Republic today, the country and the politics, is worse than this cinema.”
Here is the complete video interview with Umberto Lenzi, from his book to his relationship with Tarantino, including his harsh words on filmmaking today.