Pier Paolo Pasolini fotografía de ©Paolo Di Paolo
The celebrated American photographer and filmmaker Bruce Weber has once again chosen the Galician festival for the Spanish premiere, in a special session, of his most recent film The Treasure of His Youth: The Photographs of Paolo Di Paolo (2021). The director of the legendary Let’s Get Lost about jazz musician Chet Baker, was also in Tui in 2019 to present the Spanish premiere of Nice Girls Don’t Stay for Breakfast, a portrait of the legendary Hollywood star Robert Mitchum.
On this occasion Weber pays tribute to the self-taught photojournalist Paolo Di Paolo, whose brief but intense professional career in Rome spanned a period of fourteen years during which he worked for cultural publications such as Il Mondo and Tempo illustrato, becoming the most trusted photographer and a confidant of the cultural elite at the dawning of la dolce vita.
During those years Di Paolo photographed Sophia Loren, Marcello Mastroianni, Monica Vitti, Luchino Visconti and Anna Magnani, Elizabeth Taylor, Grace Kelly and Tennessee Williams, as well as Pier Paolo Pasolini — whose birth centenary is celebrated this year and with whom he collaborated closely in the reportage ‘La lunga estrada di sabbia’ (The Long Road of Sand) published in the magazine Successo, in 1959.
Paolo Di Paolo’s career was interrupted by the closure of Il Mondo and the rise of paparazzi journalism, and his decision to abandon the photographic life was final: he retired to the countryside and never spoke to anyone again about that period of his youth. His extraordinary photographic work remained hidden in a box in the attic of his house for more than 50 years, until his daughter Silvia discovered it accidentally 20 years ago.
When Bruce Weber stumbled upon a photograph of Pasolini in a small gallery in Rome, again by chance, he was so struck by its beauty that he set out in search of the mysterious photographer who had taken it, setting in motion the fascinating story that gives rise to this film.
The Treasure of HisYouth is nearly two hours of pure visual ecstasy, in which Di Paolo’s images invite us to travel to a nostalgic past, full of beauty and cinephilia. Today, at the age of 96, Paolo Di Paolo’s photographic legacy, for Italy and for the world is as important as that of Cartier-Bresson in France or Cecil Beaton in Britain.
Silvia Di Paolo, archivist and curator of her father’s photographic work, will come to Tui to present the film to the public at the festival, which will celebrate its 18th edition from the 4th to 8th of May in the Pontevedra town.
Albert y David Maysles, Mick Jagger y Charlie Watts en 1969. ©Ethan Russell
The retrospectives of Helke Misselwitz, Danny Lyon and the Maysles Brothers will be available through the FILMIN platform for the whole of Spain.
For the third consecutive year, Play-Doc and FILMIN Spain have resumed their collaboration so that the programme of the festival can be enjoyed at home, once the event is over, and throughout Spain.
Play-Doc will present two of the main retrospectives of this edition: the first Spanish retrospective dedicated to the German filmmaker Helke Misselwitz and the first international retrospective dedicated to the American photographer and filmmaker Danny Lyon.
The festival also brings back a retrospective dedicated to David and Albert Maysles, which will include, among others, two emblematic films that have never before been seen on the online platform: Gimme Shelter (1970) and What’s Happening! The Beatles in the USA (1964).
Considered one of the greatest rock’n’roll films about one of the greatest rock bands in history, Gimme Shelter follows The Rolling Stones on their famous 1969 North American tour, which culminated in the tragic and disastrous concert at the Altamont Speedway Free Festival, where one of the attendees was stabbed to death by a member of the Hells Angels. With this exceptional documentary, the pioneers of Direct Cinema, Albert and David Maysles, together with Charlotte Zwerin, recorded a moment of historical significance that marked the end of an era: the generation of hippies, peace and love, suddenly became the generation of disillusionment and disenchantment.
Also on view will be What’s Happening! The Beatles in USA, a film in which the Maysles brothers follow The Fab Four on their first tour of the United States, from their wild reception at JFK airport, through their intimate moments at the Plaza Hotel, the build-up to their legendary appearance on the Ed Sullivan show, to their return home to the smell of crowds. This film, which inspired Richard Lester’s A Hard Day’s Night (1964), portrays the legendary British band in an unconventional way, with delightful candidness and a vibrant sense of humour.