There hasn’t been a cinema in Città di Castello for some time; things change over time and so do people’s habits. It almost seems impossible to think of a place where people can go to meet and share their visions, culture and imagine an alternative future.
In Perugia, a group of ‘reckless’ youngsters has given new life to the ‘Modernissimo’ cinema after years of closure, investing not only in the film programme but also the option of a cultural complex. The Mag interviewed them to find out all about it.
by Lorenza Mangioni
Why or what made you decide to revive the ‘Modernissimo’ after 14 years of closure?
“Actually, the initial idea was a project dedicated to film and the visual arts. The idea came about thanks to James (Caldarelli) and Ivan (Frenguelli) while they were at the Venice Film exhibition two years ago. They wanted to find a suitable place and they involved me and Andrea (Mincigrucci).We met the Donati family while we were looking.”
Where did the idea of fundraising and share-holding come from?
“From social responsibility. At a time when access to credit, especially for young people, is limited, public involvement was an essential move. (The entire crowd funding campaign contributed about 10% of the investment).”
When you think about the cinema ‘community’ you imagine the backing of a large city. Did you think that Perugia would respond positively?
“Without fear of being proven wrong, we can confirm that opening something like this in the centre of Perugia represents more of an obstacle than an opportunity. Luckily the town, perhaps being tired of politics, was able to react. In terms of people actually visiting, we must remember that Perugia extends well beyond its borders and the market includes a much wider area.”
We can already tell from the name that you want to unite the past with the future. How important is the Donati family’s experience to you?
“We were in contact with them every day; they helped us with every step. Our relationship with them went far beyond them just being our landlords. I personally feel that they are part of PostModernissimo.”
Your innovative project has transformed the cinema into a real cultural centre. How did you come up with this format? What inspired you?
“Some European experiences such as Watershed in London or the Kino in Berlin. We offer the same type of cinematography and focus on retrospectives and research and development, like them. Although I think our actual inspiration was the desire to construct something new. ”
The opening was only a few days ago. What has the public’s reaction been like?
“Satisfactory. We are taking things one step at a time. It’s still early days”.
Many historical cinemas are closing. Do you think there’s a way to keep them open?
“Going back to what was said earlier, the small Italian cinemas’ heritage is amazing but unfortunately it is declining. I don’t think, however, that a cinema deserves to remain open just because it’s ‘historical’.”