Pupi Avati, the Guest Director of the 36th Torino Film Festival

05 November 2018
Pupi Avati will be the Guest Director of the 36th Torino Film Festival.
The director, screenwriter, and author from Bologna will present a section entitled “Unforgettables,” five movies which straddle music and film, his two great passions.

Pupi Avati will be present in Turin during the festival and will introduce the movies he has chosen at their screenings:
  • The Glenn Miller Story by Anthony Mann (USA, 1954)
  • The Benny Goodman Story by Valentine Davies (USA, 1956)
  •  Bird by Clint Eastwood (USA, 1988)
  • Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould by François Girard (Canada/Holland/Portugal/Finland, 1993)
  • Bix by Pupi Avati (Italy, 1991). This last movie was chosen by Emanuela Martini, the artistic director of the Torino Film Festival.

“When Emanuela Martini, who is familiar with my passions, invited me to be the Guest Director at the Torino Film Festival and asked me for the titles of a few movies which I consider a synthesis of that extraordinary combination of cinema and music, I was both very happy and hesitant,” said Pupi Avati. “Not many movies find their inspiration in music (which, in my case, is exclusively either jazz or classical music) and only a few of them have a soul. I was forced to reject a series of films, from the magnificent Let’s Get Lost by Bruce Weber and Born To Be Blue by Robert Budreau (both of which are about Chet Baker) to Round Midnight by Tavernier (about Lester Young), Coppola’s lavish Cotton Club about Ellington, and Jazz on a Summer’s Day by Bert Stern with Louis Armstrong, Thelonious Monk, and Gerry Mulligan, because most likely they have all been seen too many times already. So I decided to choose Bird, the heart-­‐wrenching biography of Charlie Parker directed by Clint Eastwood, and two movies which helped spark that passion in me, way back in my adolescent days. The life of Benny Goodman and the life of Glenn Miller. That didn’t leave much room to describe my infinite gratitude to classical music, which I can no longer distinguish from jazz. I needed a musician who belonged neither to an era nor to a trend, a musician who was the synthesis of every era and every trend. Glenn Gould, who sings along as he plays his variations, just like Oscar Peterson (another extraordinary Canadian jazz pianist), was probably the person I was searching for. In Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould, Francois Girard has circumnavigated this absolute genius, whose music can still move us today.”

"Unforgettables, the section proposed by Pupi Avati, the Guest Director of the 36th Torino Film Festival, is an ideal continuation of the ongoing exhibit about film and music at the National Cinema Museum: ‘Soundframes’ (inaugurated on January 26, 2018 and which will continue until January 7, 2019), which investigates many aspects of the connections and combinations between the two art forms,” notes Emanuela Martini. “But it seemed to me that something important was missing in the Guest Director’s mini-­‐section. Thus, of the many films and miniseries which Pupi Avati has made in his ideal union of cinema and music, I chose his touching reconstruction of the legendary yet little-­‐known cornetist Leon Bix Beiderbecke, Bix, the story of a ‘lost’ American life, which our filmmaker captured with full emotional participation in that music and that ‘legend.’”