A couple of days ago the film Happy Winter by Giovanni Todaro was presented at the Venice Film Festival. It is set on the beach of Mondello (which, btw, is just in front of our hotel 😉 ). Thus a small piece of our city has been present in one of the most important film events in the world, but it is certainly not the first time that Palermo has been a movie set.
One of the latest films shot in the city was La mafia uccide solo d’estate (The mafia kills only in summer, 2013), directed and interpreted by Pierfrancesco Diliberto (best known for the Italian public as Pif), which paradoxically and ironically re-constructs the twenty years between the seventies and nineties when Cosa Nostra blew up the city with its criminal wars.
Back in time, in 1963, Luchino Visconti chose Palermo for some scenes of his Il Gattopardo (The Leopard), based on the novel with the same name by Tomasi di Lampedusa. One of the most beautiful scenes is the dance scene, with Prince Salina and Angelica flying between the mirrors and golden decorations of the noble Palazzo Gangi. In 1990, Francesco Rosi brought James Belushi, star of his film Dimenticare Palermo (The Palermo Connection), just in the same salon. What’s most striking about this movie, which tells the story of an Italian-American politician who decides to spend the honeymoon in Palermo, the city from which his father had left many years before, is the change that the city has undergone in about 30 years. An improvement, to be precise, with restored monuments, pedestrian areas and a new focus on the environment.
What is interesting about Palermo shooting, the last movie we want to point out here, is the dreamy character of the images. The city is presented as a magical place, intensely Mediterranean and full of charme. The film, directed by Wim Wenders in 2008, was not really well-received, but the location (and the soundtrack) have a solid appeal.