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'Making of' Documentary


Bill Bristow


Running Time: 45'

With the participation of :
Rutger and Ermanno Olmi

It shows the "behind the scenes" aspect of the making of “The Legend of the Holy Drinker” - how things were going on on the set, how Olmi directed some people who were real "clochards".
It's a tribute Rutger paid to the director, Ermanno Olmi.

No other Italian filmmaker of world stature has been as neglected as Ermanno Olmi (born in Bergamo, Italy in 1931), maybe because his quiet mastery is unfashionable, but also because a serious illness has limited him in recent years. His masterpieces, further to “The Legend of the Holy Drinker” include “The Job”, “One Fine Day”, “The Circumstance” and the worldwide known “The Tree of Wooden Clogs”. Olmi has always stated of being a fervent Catholic, but also a Marxist. His films always inhabit a strong humanist space.

Once he stated, “Work is not a damnation for a man. It is a chance to express himself. But work as it is organized by society often becomes a condemnation. It annuls man. We are conditioned, but we are also guilty of letting this happen”. His precise and tactful films never over-dramatize. They seem to exist naturally, setting his characters against an equally authentic background so that you forget the skill with which they are made. It is encouraging to see that many of the best Italian filmmakers regard his work as a model.

Rutger's Notes:
In five minutes I knew that I had no choice - I had to do that film. It was a very good opportunity - at long last a wonderful character, and in addition with a director who had soon hit me with his strength.

You can understand what's going on inside Andreas in the way he moves, in the way he lifts up his glass. He is a desperate man and you can see it in the way he walks - I knew I could play this role in the right way, and I didn't let this chance go by.

Andreas is an angel who little by little gets rid of his skin.

Everything on the set was so strange. Some people were so peculiar, real clochards who were living in the same hotel we were shooting in. They were real people, who were playing what they were actually living. And they were giving their best. Olmi was great with them - they forgot they were acting and became the most beautiful part of themselves. They were moving like trees in dreams.

Ermanno obtained an incredible thing. There are many things going on, you can almost touch them. But the film talks only about one thing. Just like when people are talking - there are so many feelings, but we choose to talk only about a single thing.


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