I moved to Rome at the age of fifty, with an empty wallet, and
no particular grounds for thinking I could support myself there, but
intent on fulfilling a
long-time desire, and impelled, quite consciously, at that age to act
before something I had wanted slipped from grasp before it was “too
late.” As it
happened, with no particular effort on my part, I met a producer who
said he wanted to make a film with me, and in three months I was wrapped
preparing a film seemingly completely under my terms - no script, to
be improvised. The film was Uno a te, uno a me, et uno a Raffaele.
to be a kind of disaster, but of that on another page.
With the arrival of Digital Video, I began shooting
at will, with no aims in mind. Living in Rome, naturally I shot there,
off the cuff, randomly. Rome
is a place of extraordinary visual richness and depth, of such intensity
that the tourist is readily overwhelmed, as is the resident. As in other
such intense environments - say New York, or London, or Mumbai - there
exists an auto defense mechanism which tends to close down our vision
interests of our own sanity. I tried to resist this, and spent much
time simply walking, looking, slowly able to see beyond the immediately
and to sense the endless layers. I would walk down the same street and
suddenly see something I had passed 20 or 30 times before, but had not
Frankly Rome is too rich to even dream of sensing fully in a single
life-time - one may only attempt to skim its surface, to address this
that aspect, but not grasp the whole. Such a place can only induce humility.
Roma - un ritratto is but a hint at a larger work, for which
have much other material, but which would require far more shooting.
Should life conspire I hope to return to this work and find a means
to amplify on
the suggestions indicated in this work.