A new feature-length art documentary is about to premiere in Italian theatres: directed by Giovanni Troilo, (Frida. Viva la vida, Le Ninfee di Monet. Un incantesimo di acqua e luce, Power of Rome) Borromini e Bernini. Sfida alla Perfezione will be in movie theatres only on May 15-16-17, 2023. The art documentary created by Luca Lancise, produced by Sky and Quoiat Films, and distributed by Nexo Digital is part of La Grande Arte al Cinema season.
Borromini e Bernini. Sfida alla Perfezione is the tale of Francesco Borromini, the revolutionary and solitary genius who changed the appearance of Rome forever through a personal challenge to convention and prejudice, with the humility to learn from the past in order to build the future. Borromini's style is recognizable, eccentric, different from that of his contemporaries, and it exudes an austere spiritual authority, with perennial allusions that evoke infinity and the unknown. But this is also the story of the most famous artistic rivalry of all time, that between Borromini (1599-1667) and Bernini (1598-1680), and above all the story of Borromini's rivalry with himself: a genius so attached to his art that he turned it into a demon that devoured him from the inside, until it drove him to choose death, in a dramatic gesture to reach eternity.
The film winds its way through the streets of Rome, including Palazzo Barberini, St. Peter's, San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane, Sant'Andrea al Quirinale, Piazza Navona, Villa Adriana in Tivoli, and many more monuments, and then moves on to Paolo Portoghesi's Villa and garden in Calcata, Viterbo, until it reaches the artist's tomb in San Giovanni Battista dei Fiorentini, where the artist still rests today.
The visual journey is composed of contemporary re-enactments, featuring actors Jacopo Olmo Antinori, Pierangelo Menci and Antonio Lanni, as well as talks by experts involved in the film: art critic and filmmaker Waldemar Januszczak, architect and academic Paolo Portoghesi, professor of Cornell University in Rome Jeffrey Blanchard, Associate Professor at the University of Camerino Giuseppe Bonaccorso, curator and art critic Aindrea Emelife, and Professor of Medieval and Modern Art History at American University in Rome Daria Borghese.
Waldemar Januszczak said: "For three hundred years no one understood him. Everyone forgot about him when, instead, they should have remembered him every day."
Aindrea Emelife added to the topic: "Getting commissioned by the Pope, for an artist, was like exhibiting one's work today at MoMA, or the Tate Modern. It was the ultimate goal, and to achieve it, artists were ready to clash."
Paolo Portoghesi concluded: "What Borromini teaches us is to try to go beyond time to place one's imagination beyond any thinkable limit. Here, in my opinion Borromini's modernity lies precisely in the fact that there are some of his ideas that are still undeveloped, that are still provocations that enter inside us, that disrupt in a certain sense our idea of architecture and create the problem of being able to follow this road of which Borromini points the direction."
For 2023, La Grande Arte al Cinema is exclusively distributed in Italy by Nexo Digital with media partners Radio Capital, Sky Arte, MYmovies.it and in collaboration with Abbonamento Musei.