"One Sunday in my life with Michelangelo Antonioni
It was the end of a hot summer, the days were decked out in magnificent sulphurous yellows and lavander mauves, followed by cool and fresh blue nights. We had gathered in the church of St Jean-de-Malte in Aix-en-Provence, a city of fountains and students. Win Wenders patiently suggested ideas that elicited a simple reply, one of those famous : "No" followed by a "Dio Mio". The master's voice echoed around the chuch's walls. In a corner, the set dresser was hanging a giant crucifix. The clergy helped, proud of having a genius of cinema under their roof. Michelangelo, now asleep, set the tone. The chuch was a serene place where the urgency of a film set seemed out of place and even a little vulgar. Mastroianni claims that on "La Notte", he would always take short naps on set, so as to find solutions for shooting the scene in his dreams. He needed to sleep his 10 minutes on the set. Tension was increasing when suddenly the master lifted his head, groped around for an arm or a shoulder for support. I heard a "Vieni". The crew gathered round as silent witnesses. Between the inner pillars on the right side of the spiritual building, my old angel stopped, pointed to the belly of the church, stared into my eyes and stood there, silent and confident (We spoke so many times in the silence of words). He knew and I knew. His eyes were overwhelmingly grave, he ended his gesture with a "Bello" insisting on the importance of the moment : "Bello". Antonioni moved on to the next stop and this time his finger was aimed at the enormous, recently installed crucifix : "Bello"... almost sorrowfully. A few more steps and it was the voices of the choir that he conducted with his hand, accompanied by an admiring... "Bello". Our footsteps were now ringing out and filling the church. He asked me to sit down, to close my eyes as if to sleep, which I did. Behind my eyes, a tear, followed by amother. My eyes opened and, for the first time, I saw Michelangelo standing without any help, a smile hovering over his lips an tear in his eyes... The final gesture was for the crew : "The dolly shot there, like that, no, more to the right, that's too far..." He changed it several times by a few centimetres to ultimately film a meditation on God. One day in Venice, I told Michelangelo that he knew cinema. He knows it and will always know it."