A Palermitan in Paris: director Giuseppe Schillaci returns to Sicily between books, cinema and theatre

Writer and director of films and documentaries. Giuseppe Schillaci, 44 years old, born in Palermo, is a Sicilian who found his dimension in Paris, where he lives and holds writing and cinematography workshops, but never misses the opportunity to return to the island and present his works and projects. He will do it in a few days, landing in Palermo, on the occasion of the theatrical adaptation of his first novel “L’anno delle ceneri” (Nutrimenti, 2010, already nominated for the Strega Prize and finalist for the John Fante Prize), directed by Dario Scarpati which will be staged at the Teatro S. Eugenio in Palermo on 10 and 11 December.

In those same days, on 11 December at 7.30 pm at the Museo del Mare in Palermo, Schillaci will present the new edition of the book that is being published again for Nutrimenti, in a musical reading with Riccardo Serradifalco, the actresses Nunzia Lo Presti and Alice Canzonieri and the essayist Nina Mocera.

And since there’s no two without three, on 12 December at 7 pm, the artist will present his new documentary “Il Modernissimo di Bologna” (already in competition at the Turin Film Festival and at PriMed in Marseille) at the Rouge et Noir cinema, in the company of the writer Alli Traina and the musician Gianluca Cangemi.

A documentary that is the “story of a man who didn’t know how to be a father and who poured all his love and frustration into his relationship with cinema – says Schillaci – And only thanks to cinema, therefore, can he tell his son , in the hope of re-establishing an impossible relationship, made up of silences and misunderstandings.But, at the end of the documentary, the narrator seems to insinuate a doubt: what if, in reality, he himself, the protagonist of this film, had never existed? was his story just a pretext, a “false” life, invented only to tell the vicissitudes of a mythical room like the Modernissimo in Bologna?”.

The Cinema Modernissimo is an underground hall, frozen in time, in the hidden belly of Bologna. A few warm sounds evoke an intimate space, a sentimental refuge against the bustle of the city above. Phrases from films and excerpts from soundtracks echo, superimposed on a distant melody, as the narrator’s voice-over begins the story. It is the voice of an amateur filmmaker, in his seventies, a regular at the Cinema Modernissimo in Bologna, which has been closed for years now. The man turns to his forty-year-old son, who lives in France and with whom he no longer has any relationship, and decides to make this documentary to tell him about his life, his choices, his city. His story gradually overlaps that of this abandoned cinema and becomes a love letter to his son, a way to explain the reasons for his absence, to ask forgiveness and tell him his identity, as in a subjective suspended between memory and dream.

In October, the writer-director had already been in Palermo competing in SorsiCorti, the international short film and wine festival. On that occasion he presented “Zabut”, winner of the Best Film Award at the Courts en Fleche festival. The film shot in Sambuca di Sicilia tells the story of Nunzia, a thirty-year-old with fertility problems. Back in her childhood home in Sicily, in the ancient district of Zabut, with the complicity of her mother and her new assistant cabinetmaker, Nunzia rediscovers her desire, as in an archaic pagan rite.

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Category Palermo