“Spring of Cinema” in Cosenza: the two great directors Matteo Garrone and Riccardo Milani on stage


By John

It’s the day of two great directors, today, at the Primavera del Cinema Italiano: Matteo Garrone and Riccardo Milani. They will receive the Federico II award and will be present in a scheduled talk that promises to be very lively and interesting at 8.30pm on the Citrigno cinema stageto Cosenza, just after the screening of «I captain», scheduled at 6pm in room 1 of the same cinema, and of «In our sky a rumble of thunder» scheduled at 5.30pm in room 2 of the Citrigno. This latest film, directed by Riccardo Milani, is a sort of documentary on the life of Gigi Riva, the great football center forward of the Seventies who played for Cagliari. Maybe something more than a simple documentary. A novel bordering on the epic, a simple but immense story that outlines the sporting life and not only of an authentic champion, of those who are no longer seen today – written with all due respect to rhetoric.
A flag, Riva. Tied to his team, to the land of Sardinia, he who came from a small village in Lombardy, so far from the reality of the island, geographically and in the randomness of those horizons so distant, which are lost visibly from the deck of a ship and which seem hide unsolved mysteries, untranslatable by those who were not generated by that land in the middle of the sea. And instead, Gigi from Leggiuno, a town on the shores of Lake Maggiore, immediately becomes a son of Sardinia and leads Cagliari to win a legendary scudetto. For the red and blue colors and the proud waving of the Quattro Mori flag, he refuses the courtship of many highly renowned teams including the Avvocato’s Juventus, ready to shell out an impossible sum and a “package” of players with proven class just to have him in squad.
It is the great sports journalist Gianni Brera who consecrates its admirable “pedatory art”, in the aftermath of the victory of the scudetto with a peremptory 3-1 against Inter, nicknamed it Thunderclap. And giving him an almost otherworldly measure after he had already compared him to the fearless Gallic leader Brenno for his courage on the battlefields, sorry, of football. A nickname that went well with the strong search for identity of a people and a city that had named the stadium after Amsicora, fearless defender of the Sardinian lands against the Roman conquerors in the 3rd century BC.
In his first experience with the biopic, Riccardo Milani is perfectly at ease in this narrative, in which Riva himself participates. He weaves a miscellany of memories and stories witnessed by many football champions, teammates of Cagliari champions of Italy, but also by many Sardinian fans, in deference to the animus of Riva’s epic, of the indissoluble bond, of empathy with the people of Sardinia and its beautiful history. Milani doesn’t give in to the trap of the chronological order of events, but lets himself be carried away by football emotions. From the emotions of a special man. And he does not disdain following the natural alternation of powders and altars, because that is life.
And tomorrow is another day of events at the Primavera del Cinema with two docufilms dedicated to two great artists of Italian songwriting. At 6pm, at the Citrigno cinema «Pino Daniele – Il tempo restarà» and at 8pm the special event “Venezia 80” with «Enzo Jannacci, Vengo anch’io» by Giorgio Verdelli presented at the 80th Venice Film Festival. At the end of the screening there will be a meeting with Verdelli.