Giuseppe Lanci

A Testimony

The following is a testimony given by Giuseppe Lanci at a conference held in Italy on January 19, 1987 in remembrance of Andrei Tarkovsky. Reference: Per Andrej Tarkovskij: atti del convegno del 19 gennaio 1987 (For Andrei Tarkovsky: proceedings of the conference of January 19, 1987), Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia, Rome, 1987, page 73. This piece was translated from Italian into English exclusively for by David Stringari of Fairfield, Connecticut, U.S.A.

I would like to thank the Centro Sperimentale di Cinernatografia for giving me the possibility to express my gratitude, my most profound gratitude to Andrei Tarkovsky, my own and that of the entire troupe who collaborated in the realization of Nostalghia. For all of us, both on a professional level and on a human level, it was a most enriching experience.

I encountered, I first began to know of the existence of Tarkovsky in 1962, while I was attending the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia, and he was winning the Golden Lion for Ivan's Childhood in Venice. A few years later I saw Andrei Rublov, and from that moment onward I began to love and admire this director and follow him in all of his films.

I would never have imagined that in 1980 I would be called by a production director to meet him: "It is possible," he said, "that you might make this film." So I went to this meeting with great emotion and it was a very simple matter, a cup of tea together at Piazza Navona. Then Andrei returned to Russia, because the film couldn't be realized in 1980, and he returned to Italy in the Spring of 1982 to begin the lengthy preparations for the film, which then began at the end of September.

I had understood, in those few days spent together with Andrei two years earlier and having seen all of his films, that in order to do my work well and give him what he expected with regards to atmosphere and emotions, my effort had to be, above all, to stay close to him, to understand him, to try to enter as much as possible into his poetic world.

There were absolutely no indications to painters or to other films. Rather, the effort was, as I have already stated, to enter day by day evermore into his poetic world, to attempt to feel as he did, to think as he did. And it was a tremendous experience, unrepeatable, I believe.

I would like to once again thank Andrei, whom I will always remain indebted to, for the many things that he taught me, above all for his coherence. I knew that working with him one could risk any thing, and that he was always nearby to give you courage, to give you strength to achieve the objectives that the film required. So, once again, thank you.  end block

[ illustration I | illustration II | illustration III ] — captions translated by David Stingari.

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