Franco Zeffirelli, conformista ribelle
Giancarlo Antognoni, Adriana Asti, Urbano Barberini, Roberto Bolle, Fabio Canessa, Valerio Cappelli, Marina Cicogna, Sinéad Cusack, Caterina D’Amico, Tommaso D’Amico, Placido Domingo, Titti Foti, Raimonda Gaetani, Marco Gandini, Massimo Ghini, Giancarlo Giannini, Vittorio Grigolo, Jeremy Irons, Maurizio Millenotti, Andrea Minuz, Dario Nardella, Daniel Oren, Francesco Papa, Gianni Quaranta, Riccardo Tozzi, Luca Verdone, Alessio Vlad, Pippo Zeffirelli
La casa rossa, RS Productions, supported by Ministero della Cultura, with the patronage of the Franco Zeffirelli Foundation
festivals & awards:
The documentary relates the decisive moments, the turning points and the rollercoaster ride of a brilliant, eventful international career and the extraordinary life of a great Italian artist. From his origins as an illegitimate child with no name to the attainment of great international fame as a film director, art director, painter and stager of theatrical and operatic productions. Through original and archive interviews with some of the most acclaimed stars who have known, admired and loved him and with his closest relatives, friends and collaborators, this gripping account paints a picture of the person and the artist—and not just “the master”—Franco Zeffirelli in all his many and even conflicting facets. This many-sided character found expression in his vast artistic production, as well as in his political choices, his spirituality and his love of mystery, in his friendships and in his legendary disputes with antagonistic critics. This is a well-rounded portrait, with continual ups and downs, of an artist who for many decades promoted and brought honor to Italian culture, both highbrow and popular, in the great capitals of the world.
A film, prose and opera director of international fame. It is the first time that a documentary film has looked at the many, varied and even conflicting facets of Franco Zeffirelli’s professional career, culture and personality. I was interested in the little-known difference between the immense, singular fascination aroused by his name in the great cultural capitals of the world and the way people looked down their nose at him in Italy. With the sole exception of his operatic productions, for which he received in his country a minimal part of the honors, the respect, the glory and the veneration that surrounded him abroad. But I was even more interested in the inner life of a fervent Catholic homosexual, discreet but never hiding the fact, in a far less liberal age than the present one.