The Marxism of director Vittorio De Seta in the presentation of Attanasio’s book at the University of the Third Age of Soverato


By John

Remarkable participation of a qualified public at the Free Popular University of the Third Age and Free Time, “Magno Aurelio Cassiodoro” of Soverato, in the last cultural meeting for the presentation of the book by Eugenio Attanasio, director and president of the Cineteca della Calabria, “Vittorio De Seta. Letters from the South”. The teacher spoke with the author Maria Rosaria Pedullà and the journalist Luigi Stanizzi. The initiative was held in the “Bruno Manti” council room of the Municipality of Soverato as part of the XXIX Academic Year 2023-2024. Professor Sina Pugliese Montebello, president of the University, prestigiously opening the proceedings, recalled that the multi-voiced work “has been presented in important events including the first Tropea Film Fest and the 67th edition of the Taormina Film Festival. The work – he said – collects unpublished letters, diaries, articles, conversations and testimonies, retracing some of the director’s and the man’s most significant moments, making use of authentic and qualified contributions from Mariarosaria Donato, Domenico Levato, Luigi Stanizzi, Davide Cosco and other intellectuals”. The professor Sina Pugliese Montebellowhich with its appreciated activity gives prestige and liveliness to the initiatives of the Free Popular University of the Third Age and Free Time, “Magno Aurelio Cassiodoro”, focused on De Seta’s cinema and the life of the great director.
Immediately afterwards, Professor Maria Rosaria Pedullà gave an in-depth report on the editorial product “which comes to the end of a long work carried out by the Cineteca della Calabria on the director, whose complete works the Cineteca holds, and which began twenty years ago with the first reprint of the 54’59 documentaries, continued in schools with literacy and dissemination projects of anthropological cinema”. Pedullà highlighted the cultural path and intellectual heritage of the Cineteca della Calabria, and she focused at length, in the round, on Vittorio De Seta and Eugenio Attanasio, to whom she asked several questions aimed at exploring specific themes in depth . Attanasio extended the discussion on Italian neorealism, with cultured quotes linked to cinema and literature. The director Eugenio Attanasio, prompted by Stanizzi’s questions, also recounted unpublished episodes of De Seta. The journalist Luigi Stanizzi remarked that Eugenio Attanasio is the greatest and most reliable biographer of Vittorio De Seta, as he was not only his student, but also his lawyer and friend for many years. Attanasio even managed to include De Seta in one of his cinematographic works. “But – said Luigi Stanizzi – to get to know a director, a book or a conference is not enough, the director speaks through his films, which is why in the next cultural events of the University of Soverato, De’s films and documentaries must be screened Silk”. He finally suggested a meeting with Vittorio De Seta’s mother, the seductive princess Maria Elia Pignatelli, who received visits from the great Italians of the time in Sila. The president of the University, Professor Sina Pugliese Montebello, enthusiastically welcomed her proposals, also announcing the involvement of the professor. Ulderico Nisticò.
And professor Ulderico Nisticò, historian, writer, polemicist, winner of the Council of Ministers Presidency Culture Award, was invited to the speakers’ table, who framed De Seta’s life in the historical and political period, tracing the difference between Marxians and Marxists, given that Vittorio De Seta from a rich and noble family defined himself as a Marxist. It has also been said that many years ago, when the President of the Mar Jonio Award Luigi Stanizzi publicly called “The director, the Marquis Vittorio De Seta” onto the stage to give him the Award, before approaching him he blurted out irritably, whispering to Eugenio Attanasio that he was sitting next to him: “I am a Communist, Marxist, and this one calls me Marquis… mmahh!”
An official greeting was addressed during the Soverato evening to the well-known theater and film actor Paolo Turrá, present in the audience, also famous as a painter. He was remembered when the great Totò said to Paolo Turrá: “You are a great gentleman!” Turrá met the greatest actors and actresses in the world.
Finally, the architect Salvatore Tozzo, a profound expert on the Buturo area, focused on the site and structure of the Torre della Marchesa, in Sila, where De Seta also lived with his mother. In his incisive speech he also specified that in the past it was called Torre dei Due Mari, because the Ionian and Tyrrhenian seas could be seen, but today the seas are no longer visible because the pine trees have grown and block the view. The president of the Sina Pugliese Montebello University closed the proceedings, greeted with long, well-deserved applause.