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A Letter from Lina Wertmüller

Behind the White Glasses
8 Mar 2019
1 min read

Ahead of our retrospective, 'Love and Anarchy: The Films of Lina Wertmüller', we received a letter from the arthouse sensation herself, sharing her memories of London and happiness to see her films on the big screen again. 

'I am truly honored and happy for being granted by the Barbican Centre with the retrospective of some of my classic films. Even though I can't take part to [sic] the screenings in London, I am close to you and your audience with my heart. 

London is a European capital I have loved since the very beginning of my career. I have been lucky enough to visit the city for the first time with Federico Fellini, when he asked me to join him for the UK premiere of La Dolce Vita. I have always admired this city for its elegance, its writers, its directors, its amazing actors and for the tradition of so many artists and characters I have seen walking in the streets. 

I used to come often from Rome to admire the Old Vic's performances and I will never forget when I snuck into the dressing rooms to meet Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier (he was very charming), who had just played Antony and Cleopatra. 

My husband Enrico Job, who was an ingenious production and costume designer, had worked at the Old Vic several times. I was so thrilled every time I could enter inside the temple of the English theatre to see some of the rehearsals of the shows. 

London has always had a special place in my life. I will never forget the day I met Sean Connery and when I directed Peter O'Toole and Rutger Hauer in a scene of my film, Up to Date

The films selected for the retrospective have been shot a long time ago and I am happy they can be shown once again, after so many years, to the new generations. I hope your audience will enjoy the movies, like the spectators of the Seventies did.'

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