For the Italian director, Paolo Sorrentino, it could not have been easy doing a 10-part television serial on the Pope. The Young Pope, whose two parts premiered at the ongoing Venice Film Festival, was the helmer’s first foray into the small screen. Now, the director -- whose The Great Beauty won an Oscar -- is all set to do a movie on the former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.
Sorrentino -- who has often been compared to the Italian legend, Federico Fellini, and who has masterfully created stories about lonely, ageing playboys with enormous wealth and power -- seems to be on track with his Berlusconi work. The politician has been known for his colourful life -- frequently attacked by the Italian press.
Berlusconi will be 80 next month, and it is said that he will retire from politics.
It is reported in the media here that Sorrentino would begin work on his new movie in early 2017, and it will be in Italian -- unlike his last outing, Youth, which was in English. The Young Pope, also in English, received an overwhelmingly ecstatic reception at Venice, and some observers felt that the current disenchantment with the papacy had a lot to do for the Jude Law film garnering such applause.
Sorrentino is no novice when it comes to presenting satirical stories about men in power. If his The Young Pope -- at least the first two episodes -- was a wittily critical look at the Vatican with all its reported blemishes, the auteur’s 2008 Il Divo focussed on Giulio Andreotti -- probably the most well-known politician in post-war Italy. He was the country’s prime minister for no less than seven times.
Watch the trailer of The Young Pope here:
(Gautaman Bhaskaran is covering the Venice Film Festival.)