Silvano Agosti, films as the work of a total artist

Table of Contents

Born in Brescia in 1938, Silvano Agosti graduated in directing at the Experimental Center of Cinematography in Rome in 1962. He had previously studied film editing at the Moscow film school, where he had met Lev Kuleshov.

The thought of Silvano Agosti

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Silvano Agosti considers each person as the highest masterpiece of nature. In 2009 he made an official application to the United Nations and Unesco for human beings to be recognized as a world heritage site. The practice has been accepted and if accepted the divine aspect of every human being will be officially certified it will also exist from a bureaucratic point of view.

It is a provocative action in favor of human rights, against wars, poverty, hunger in the world, violence and discrimination of all kinds. These injustices will be even more recognizable and perhaps in the future we will remember human history only as a series of bad episodes from the past. In his precious novel Letters from Kyrgyzstan Silvano Agosti describes an enlightened society founded on the well-being of all human beings and not on profit.

The first short films and screenplays

In 1965 After some short films and the first film editing experiences with Lino Del Fra and Cecilia Mangini and screenwriter and with the pseudonym of Aurelio Mangiarotti of the film Fists in the pocket by Marco Bellocchio, his companion in the cinema course at experimental center of cinematography. He also collaborates on the music for the film together with Ennio Morricone.

The debut as a director

Two years later the producer of the film Enzo Doria makes him debut as the director of The Garden of Delights, an original exploration of how much you are truly amputated from the censorship of a marital relationship where the psychoanalytic interpretations interact with symbolism and iconography of the triptych of the same name by Geronimo Bosch. 

Silvano Agosti’s films in the 70s

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In 1971 he directed NP The Secret, with Irene Papas and Francisco Rabal, a science fiction apologue on consumer society revolutionized by the invention of a machine to make waste edible. At the same time he worked on the editing of several films: with Salvatore Samperi for Thanks aunt, with Marco Bellocchio for In the Name of the Father, The Seagull and other directors, often signing himself with pseudonyms. In 1974 he made a documentary short film in Brescia on the massacre of piazza della Loggia, Brescia 1974 – Massacre of innocents.

He documents the salient episodes of the protest in Athens with Others will follow, films on the Greece of the Colonels and The Brescia massacre. On 11 March 1975 with Bellocchio, Sandro Petraglia, Stefano Rulli began shootingat the psychiatric hospital of Colorno, near Parma, Crazy to bind on the condition of mental hospitals in the light of the new anti-authoritarian psychiatry. 

In 1977 the same group made for television The Cinema Machine, an intense and moving existential investigation into the lives burned by cinema. In the highest of the heavens is instead an ambitious film in surrealist style about seminarians stuck in the elevator that is taking them to the Pope. 

Documentaries 

From 1976 to 1978 he taught editing at the experimental center of cinematography, continuing an intense activity as a documentary maker. He makes a film about the singer-songwriter Francesco Guccini, about the Indian holy man Osho and Indira Gandhi

Then he shoots You live on love, a journey through the various forms of tenderness and sexuality, shot in the city of Parma. His documentary work culminates in District which takes up the theme of the drift of feelings in modernity by staging 4 love stories set in the Prati district of Rome. He still dedicatessame themes Bell’amore in 1990. 


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Silvano Agosti, total artist

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Director, screenwriter, operator and editor Silvano Agosti returns with his work to the purity of cinema of the origins. Agosti makes no distinction between documentary and fiction, he becomes both an author and a craftsman against the mechanism of industrial production. Agosti is a total artist of cinema who covers practically all possible roles, except that of actor, also becoming the producer of a masterpiece of the independent cinema, The blue planet of Franco Piavoli

The production of The blue planet

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It is he himself who spurs the director Franco Piavoli, after having seen some of his short films and being deeply impressed by them, to make the film. Piavoli made documentary and poetic films in his country in the Po Valley as a hobby and personal satisfaction and he had no intention of making a real film, he did not even have the means. 

Silvano Agosti, aware of having discovered a great artist, insists on stimulating his creativity. He leaves Rome and goes to visit him in northern Italy to bring him a camera and slow motion to make the film professionally. He leaves Piavoli all the time and freedom he desires to make his film, The Blue Planet, which will be a true masterpiece of poetic cinema. 

Silvano Agosti cinema exhibitor

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Finally Silvano Agosti opens his own cinema hall in Rome, the Azzurro Scipioni, and completes the cinema production chain by becoming a distributor and exhibitor. Film critic Tullio Kezich ironically hopes for a law that obliges all Italians to see Il Pianeta Azzurro. Agosti tries to distribute Piavoli’s film in some Roman cinemas, but faced with the lack of interest of the exhibitors he decides to rent a place where he will program it for years.

The cinema, in the Prati district, called Azzurro Scipioni inspired by the title of Piavoli’s film, will become a point of reference for arthouse and civilian films, a meeting place for filmmakers and cinema enthusiasts. The Azzurro Melies café also opens near the cinema. With the same total independence he carries out the activity of writer and editor of the novels that he publishes since 1984 with the bullet man, finalist for the Strega Prize, followed by the judge, the pure reason, the victim up to the simple oblivion, again candidate for the Strega Prize in 2003. 

Carnation eggs

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Some of his novels anticipate a cinematographic transposition in some cases, as in the case of Carnation eggs, one of the most successful works. It is a journey that Silvano Agosti himself makes with his son in their hometown, in the Brescia countryside. Here Silvano recalls his childhood years and the period of the Second World War. It is a journey through the memory of a farmer who relives the shock of the explosion of a grenade that made him mute during the war. Agosti tells about the Germans, the Partisans, the postwar period with its fears, games and childhood fantasies. 

Other Films 

Bullet Man is a declared tribute to Melies where the director tells the circus love of the protagonist for a beautiful girl. In Second Shade he returns to the topic of mental illness in asylums. Remo Girone in the role of a director of a psychiatric hospital. With Pure Reason he tries to introduce a dream way out to a bourgeois couple in crisis. The film stars Franco Nero and Eleonora Brigliadori. 

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