Goodbye to Cinecittà

Last March, it was known that the amazing and historic cinema studios Cinecittà, which was located in Rome, will probably be closed down and it will be replaced with a group of buildings (hotels, restaurants, gyms, beauty centers, etc.).

The protests have been taking place cinecittasince some years ago because of the global crisis and also as a result of the firings of employees which started affecting them. Currently, the protests have been supported by famous Italian directors and actors.

The studios were created by dictator Benito Mussolini during the Fascist period, concretely in 1937. The goal was to create a space where the films would be able to compete with the Hollywood creations and at the same time, to be used like a propagandistic weapon for the war.

The perfect example was the creation of 19 films during the first year. But this spell of good luck changed with the outbreak of the Second World War. Cinecittà studios were bombed, were sacked and were used like a concentration camp by Germany. Before this, great directors like Roberto Rossellini, Federico Fellini, Vittorio De Sica or Luchino Visconti, had been working in their first movies.

But it would be since the 50’s when the American filmmakers, attracted by the low prices and by the quality of the studios, started to work there. The first big production was “Quo Vadis” (1951) directed by Mervin Le Roy, which was about the nascence of the Cinecittà Golden Age.

Recording in Cinecittà during "Cleopatra".

Recording in Cinecittà during “Cleopatra”.

The Roman style in these movies was the origin of a new tendency. In 1959 “Ben-Hur” was filmed with the most expensive budget that a film had never had. The result was an amazing scenery and a perfect atmosphere. “Cleopatra” (1963) also filmed in Cinecittà, won 4 Oscars. At the same time, Italian filmmakers were using these spaces. The most loyal director was Fellini, who worked there for more than 20 years.

“Every city in style, is unforgettable. But if you ask me what is my favorite, I would say that Rome”. These words were said by Audrey Hepburn, who not only recorded three movies in Rome (“Roman Holiday”, “Peace and War” and “The Nun’s Story”), but also she decided to live there during 20 years after being married with an Italian man.

Nowadays, the future of these great studios is uncertain but Cinecittà has been and will always be an unforgettable part of Rome’s history during the 20th Century and of the cinema’s history in general.

Source |  Cinecittà Studios  El Mundo

More information | Hyperallergic

Images | Cleopatra  Cinecittà

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Bachelor Degree in History of Art by University of Valencia (2009- 2013)

Team member of “Culture & Society” in the digital portal “We Learn Today” and also I write for “Cultura y Sociedad” in “Que Aprendemos Hoy” (spanish version).

Internship in BWA Awangarda Gallery of Wroclaw (Poland).

Personal Blog: http://artspresence.blogspot.com.es/ Read Full

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