La Biennale di Venezia

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Cinema

Il portiere di notte (The Night Porter)

Venice Classics

Director:
Liliana Cavani
Production:
Lotar Film
Running Time:
120’
Language:
English
Country:
Italy
Year:
1974
Main Cast:
Dirk Bogarde, Charlotte Rampling, Philippe Leroy, Gabriele Ferzetti, Nora Ricci, Isa Miranda, Giuseppe Addobbati, Amedeo Amodio, Marino Masé
Screenplay:
Liliana Cavani, Italo Moscati
Cinematographer:
Alfio Contini
Editor:
Franco Arcalli
Production Designer:
Jean-Marie Simon, Nedo Azzini
Costume Designer:
Piero Tosi
Music:
Daniele Paris
Sound:
Eugenio Rondani, Decio Trani
Restoration:
CSC – Cineteca Nazionale, Istituto Luce - Cinecittà
Notes:
14+

Synopsis

Vienna, 1957. In a “fin-de-siècle” hotel Max, the night porter, recognizes one of the guests, the wife of a conductor, Lucia, as the teenage girl whom he had met fifteen years earlier in a Nazi concentration camp. Max had been an officer in the SS and had formed a sadomasochistic relationship with the girl, a mixture of tenderness and profound cruelty, characterized by a murky but deeply-felt complicity. Lucia too has recognized Max, and fatally, partly as a result of exceptional circumstances, the relationship between the two of them, between victim and tormenter, is formed again. Among other things Max wants to avoid Lucia being called on to testify at a mock trial that his former SS comrades are planning. These “trials” are staged by the ex-Nazis to “remove” any guilt complex from the accused. And the judges make dangerous witnesses disappear. Max and Lucia, now inseparably bound, will experience together all the shades of hatred and love, of tenderness and violence, and together will go to meet their tragic, preordained and perhaps desired end.

Director’s Statement

The point from which I started out was a story I had been told by a concentration camp survivor that had made a great impression on me: she said that she would never be able to forgive the Nazis for having survived. [...] That woman, in order to stay alive, had had to do terrible things, of which she was ashamed: she could not forgive herself and could not forgive her tormentors. I didn’t have the courage to ask her what she had done.

Emilia Costantini, “Liliana Cavani: Da piccola mi lasciavano sola al cinema. Diventare madre? Non l’ho mai desiderato”, Corriere della Sera, April 19, 2018

Producers/Distributors

PRODUCTION 1: Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia - Cineteca Nazionale
Via Tuscolana 1520
00173, Roma - Italy
Tel. +39 (0)6 72294316459
diffusioneculturale@fondazionecsc.it
Conservatore@fondazionecsc.it
http://www.fondazionecsc.it

PRODUCTION 2: Istituto Luce - Cinecittà
Via Tuscolana 1055
00173, Roma - Italy
Tel. +39 (0)6 72286244
p.ruggiero@cinecittaluce.it
http://www.cinecitta.com/IT/it-it/cms/1/home.aspx

PRODUCTION WHEN THE FILM WAS MADE: Lotar Film

PRESS OFFICE: Alberto Crespi - Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia
Via Tuscolana 1520
00173, Roma - Italy
alberto.crespi@fondazionecsc.it


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