May 31 - June 1, 2001

American Cinematheque Presents...

I Am Self-Sufficient: The Film of Nanni Moretti

Co-Presented with Cinecitta Holding, in association with the Istituto Italiano di Cultura – Los Angeles, the Italian Heritage Culture Foundation and the Italian Trade Commission

It is our great pleasure to welcome Nanni Moretti to the American Cinematheque in-person for this Los Angeles retrospective of his work. Please keep your eye on this page to confirm exact show times where Mr. Moretti will appear.

Guests are subject to their availability.

All screening are at the newly renovated Lloyd E. Rigler Theatre at the historic 1922 Grauman’s Hollywood Egyptian (6712 Hollywood Boulevard between Highland and Las Palmas) in Hollywood.


Series Compiled by Gwen Deglise. Program Notes by Chris D.


Special Thanks: Camilla Cormanni/CINECITTA HOLDING; Guido Fink/ITALIAN CULTURAL INSTITUTE – Los Angeles; Italian Consul General of Los Angeles; Italian Trade Commission; Roy Ventress and Giovanna Zamboni-Paulis/ITALIAN HERITAGE CULTURE FOUNDATION; Melinda Hovee/FINE LINE; Suzanne Fedak/WINSTAR CINEMA.


* Some information listed here is courtesy of the BAMcinematek.

Double features are one ticket price for both films. There is a five minute break between films.


Tickets available 30 days in advance.



SCHEDULE (by series)

SCHEDULE (by date)








Moretti's OUR SON'S ROOM just made headlines with its BIG win at the Cannes International Film Festival! The film took the coveted Palme d'Or and the international critics organization's award, the FIPRESCI Prize!

This first Los Angeles retrospective of the work of contemporary Italian filmmaker Nanni Moretti features the US Premiere of Moretti’s latest film, LA STANZA DEL FIGLIO (OUR SON’S ROOM, 2001), which recently won Italy’s prestigious David di Donatello award for Best Picture and will be featured in this year’sMorettiAB.gif (22866 bytes) Cannes Film Festival. A cult figure in Italy, Nanni Moretti approaches filmmaking in an exceedingly personal manner, writing, directing and starring in his films. The hero of many of Moretti’s films, "Michele Apicella," is the director’s alter ego and is based on his own obsessions and neuroses. Moretti masterfully uses his wry, self-deprecating humor to create anxiety-inducing scenarios and to rebel against mainstream culture and politics. As Moretti has said, "I don’t know the public’s taste, nor do I want to." His films integrate everything from family values to radical Leftist politics – biting social satire, warm-hearted romance and cry-from-the-abyss tragedy into magnificently satisfying, all-encompassing narratives. (Photo: Nanni Moretti & producer Angelo Barbagallo at THE SON'S ROOM Premiere at the Egyptian on May 31).

Nanni Moretti was born on August 19, 1953 in northern Italy. A self-taught filmmaker, Moretti began shooting on Super 8, following his graduation from finished high school. He wrote and directed his first movie, The Defeat (La sconfitta) in 1973. Two other Super 8 films followed: Pt de bourgeois (1973) and What Say You, Brother? (Come parli frate?) (1974), a spoof on the novel, The Betrothed, by Allesandro Mansoni. In 1976 Morettipress.gif (30803 bytes)Moretti self-financed, wrote, directed, and starred in his first full-length feature film, I Am Self-Sufficient (Io sono un autarchico), also on Super 8. The film, based on his life, met with such great success in Rome that it was expanded to 16 mm and distributed to art houses throughout Italy. Two years later, Moretti’s first professional feature film, Ecce bombo was nominated for the Golden Palm award at the Cannes Film Festival. By the mid-1980s, the director had become a regular on the international film circuit -- popular for his humorous self-mockery and intellectual deliberations over social and political issues. Moretti received the Gold Lion Special Jury’s Award at the 1981 Venice Film Festival for Sweet Dreams (Sogni d’oro), and in 1986, he won the Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival for The Mass Is Ended (La Messa finita). (Photo: Morretti at a photo op in the Egyptian Theatre Courtyard).

In 1986 Moretti founded the Sacher production company with Angelo Barbagallo (the name of the company refers to Moretti’s favorite chocolate cake). Together they produced Carlos Mazzacurati’s Notte itlaianA (1987), which competed at the Venice Film Festival in the Critic’s Week section, and Daniele Luchetti’s Domani accadr (1988). Sacherfilm also produced several of Moretti’s own films including RED LOB (Palombella rossa) (1989), THE THING (La cosa) (1990), and DEAR DIARY (Caro diario) (1993). Regarding his decision to produce films, Moretti once said, "I wanted to produce personal films, films with roots, that made no pretense of knowing and satisfying the tastes of an audience." Moretti and Barbagallo partnered again in 1991 to renovate a movie theater in Rome where they present independent films. Moretti directed APRILE in 1998, and then, following a 12-month hiatus, returned to directing with OURMorettiBZMM.gif (26886 bytes) SON’S ROOM (La stanza del figlio, 2001). Nanni Moretti lives in Rome.

Read an interview about OUR SON'S ROOM.


(Photo: Cinematheque Director Barbara Smith, Nanni Moretti & Board Member Mike Medavoy)

Thursday, May 31, 7:30 PM


U.S. Premiere!

LA STANZA DEL FIGLIO (OUR SON'S ROOM), 2001 Moretti's latest is a noted departure from his usual wry observations on the human condition, instead, he depicts, with simple poetry, the Morettifelice.gif (25519 bytes)ripples of suffering caused by sudden death in a tightly-knit family. Moretti plays Giovanni, a psychoanalyst struggling alongside his wife and daughter to find meaning and reconstruct reality when his beloved son perishes in a scuba diving accident. The director purposely spins his tale in a quiet, sleep-eyed country town to emphasize that life has a way of intruding in even the most idyllic of existences. With Laura Morante. Discussion following with director Nanni Moretti (schedule permitting). (Photo: Palme d'Or Winner Nanni Moretti and Felice Laudavio of Italy's Cinecitta Holding.)


Friday, June 1, 7:30 PM

SWEET BODY OF BIANCA (BIANCA), 1984, 96 min. In this darkly humorous tale, lonely math teacher Michele (Moretti) is a square peg in a round hole alongside the ultra-hip faculty at his ridiculously liberal high school. He's also a control freak obsessed with keeping his domesticated friends on a narrow path of "normalcy." When they deviate, they end up murdered! Michele's world finally begins to unravel when he falls in love with the new French teacher, played by the lovely Laura Morante. Discussion following with director Nanni Moretti.

 Friday, June 1, 9:45 PM

I AM SELF-SUFFICIENT (IO SONO UN AUTARCHICO), 1976, 95 min. One of Moretti's first critically-recognized works, this is a daring, auto-biographical, very amusing look at a young performer struggling to survive in Rome's underground theater movement by producing a play with his friends -- only to have it flop and destroy his marriage. Made on a shoestring budget with a non-professional cast of Moretti comrades, the film emerges as a guerrilla valentine to cinema from the artistic trenches. Plus, Moretti’s acclaimed documentary on the communist party, LA COSA (THE THINGS, 60 min).

Saturday, June 2 - 5:00 PM

THE MASS IS ENDED (LA MESSA E FINITA), 1984, 96 min. Don Giulio (Moretti), a former sixties radical, tries to find solace and peace as a Catholic priest, but his attempts are thwarted at every turn by what seems to be the illusory quality of his prized, old-fashioned values. His former pastor now lives next door with wife and kids, his pre-marital classes want to hear about nothing but sex, and his own once cherished family is disintegrating before his very eyes. Moretti's sharp humor sprouts from the ironic contrast between his characters' dreams and brutal reality, and what they do to reconcile the frightening schism. With Margarita Losanno.


Saturday, June 2 - 7:00 PM

DEAR DIARY (CARO DIARIO), 1993, 100 min. Moretti's most famous and celebrated film is a by-turns, lighthearted and sober odyssey, illustrating in semi-autobiographical fashion the director's travels. He accidentally runs into actress Jennifer Beals, takes in a screening of HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER without knowing what he's getting into, explores Sicily with a reclusive intellectual pal who just happens to be addicted to soap operas, and through chemotherapy barely recovers from a bout with cancer. As always, Moretti manages to find the common fascinating thread of humanity running through the most absurdly funny and tragic situations.


Saturday, June 2 - 9:30 PM

RED WOOD PIGEON (PALOMBELLA ROSSA), 1989, 87 min. Moretti’s wonderfully anarchic saga uses a water polo match as an allegory of the stagnation of the Italian Communist Party. Dedicated member Moretti loses his memory in a car accident, then tries to reconstruct his life, his dreams and his political motives -- skewering militants, organized religion, parental relations and even DR. ZHIVAGO along the laugh-strewn way. With Mariella Valentini.


Sunday, June 3 - 5:00 PM

ECCE BOMBO, 1978, 103 min. Moretti’s second feature plays out as a sardonic series of "fumetti" following a group of young Italians as they struggle to come to terms with growing up in an unfeeling world. Michele (Moretti) goes from one girlfriend to the next and spars with his family, but following a series of political and amorous misadventures, he and his friends decide to take life more seriously, but Michele is the only one who keeps the resolution. One of Moretti’s most radical films, ECCE BOMBO established him as both a gifted comedian and a vocal critic of modern Italian culture and politics.


Sunday, June 3 - 7:00 PM

Double Feature!

APRILE, 1997, 78 min. Moretti stars as Nanni, an expectant father and politically idealistic filmmaker covering a national campaign, who tries to integrate his family life into the bigger picture with often ironic, screwball results. Co-starring Silvia Nono, Silvio Orlando.

SWEET DREAMS (SOGNI D'ORO), 1981, 105 min. One of Moretti's earliest and wildest pictures relentlessly parodies the Italian film business as well as everything from TV game shows to Sigmund Freud. With more than a nod to Fellini’s 8-1/2, Moretti stars as a self-obsessed director who constantly daydreams scenes from his imaginary opus. With Laura Morante.