Until May 3, the Ara Pacis museum hosts the exhibition that celebrates the father of the Spaghetti Western

Rome pays tribute to the celebrated Italian film director, producer and screenwriter Sergio Leone (1929-1989) with an exhibition at the Ara Pacis museum. ‘C’era una volta Sergio Leone‘ (Once upon a time Sergio Leone) is organized by Cineteca di Bologna and curated by its director, Gianluca Farinelli.

The official poster of the exhibition 

Born and died in Rome (1929-1989), Leone was an actor, screenwriter, and producer, as well as a director.

He only directed the seven movies (from 1961 to 1984), and with them, he profoundly influenced the history of cinema.

What made his features so remarkable was his ability to combine art, cinema, and culture reinventing a popular genre like the western. “Today’s cinema owes him”, says Farinelli. According to him, most contemporary filmmakers cross their path with Leone’s genius to learn from it – Coppola, Scorsese, Ang Lee, John Woo, Eastwood, and Audiard. Even Tarantino, who, when he wants that specific close-up, tells his cameraman: “Give me a Sergio Leone.” The Italian director is a filmmaker of enormous complexity. His cinema allows many different aspects to coexist on the screen. An example of this is the oxymoronic suspension of time, in which music is the only one to speak.

In the Ara Pacis exhibition, open until May 3rd, there is the music of Ennio Morricone. But there is also the silent cinema. The one of Charlie Chaplin, as well as the one of Roberto Roberti, Leone’s father, and his mother, actress Bice Waleran. In ‘Ladri di Biciclette’ he plays a small part, a seminarian with glasses, in the rain. The sequence runs on a screen in the first of the five sections of the exhibition: ‘Citizen of the cinema‘.

The other sections are: ‘Le fonti dell’immaginario’, with the cinema and the painting that inspired him; ‘Laboratorio Leone’, with all the protagonists of his five westerns; and a section dedicated to the movie he never made about the 900 days of the German siege in Leningrad. Leone was planning to shoot it when he was taken away by a heart attack.

Ilona Catani Scarlett

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