Friday, January 12, 2007
I shall say nothing about the new iPhone, which almost everyone I know is yabbering on about, for what reason I cannot fathom, nor the news that traces of cocaine were found on 100% of 45 Irish banknotes (did anyone think of testing them for traces of beer or urine?) Instead I will salute the great Carlo Ponti, the Italian film producer, one of the best ever, and who was better known to most as the husband of Sofia Loren. While emabarking on my quest to watch every film ever made in my early twenties I noticed the name of Ponti pop up in the titles of a lot of disparate films by excellent directors and I have since retained a great deal of respect for him. Like the great Franco-Polish producer Anatole Dauman, who died almost ten years ago, he had an eye for talent and also for making money out of unusually challenging films. His roster included di Sica, Antonioni, Fellini, Godard, Melville, Lean and more; a full list is available on the IMDb. One wonders about the longevity of Italian film producers, Ponti lived till 94, while Dino de Laurentiis and Alberto Grimaldi are still going, and still working. Something in the water, or is it the lifestyle?