The city through a lens


curated by Marco Berti and Francesca Pappalardo | Azienda Speciale Palaexpo

promoted by the

Azienda Speciale Palaexpo and Fondazione Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia - Cineteca Nazionale


Cities in the photography of Gabriele Basilico convey the impression of an empty stage, captured and suspended in time in the moment preceding the actors' entry onto the stage – a valuable moment both for the actors and for the audience who experience it, a moment in which anything can happen, a moment full of intense emotion for possibilities and hopes as yet unexpressed. In the eyes of the masters who built the wonder of Italian cinema in the aftermath of the war, men such as Rossellini, Visconti, Antonioni, Fellini, Pasolini and Olmi, the city is also this: no longer just a backdrop against which to set dramas and characters but itself one of the key elements in the narrative, expressing a private and collective condition and experience just like the human characters, an experience to be understood as it unfolds.

The city seen through the eyes of such great actresses as Anna Magnani, Monica Vitti and Jeanne Moreau or such great actors as Marcello Mastroianni, Giancarlo Giannini and Alain Delon – who incarnated these masters' alter ego on screen – is the city of an overdose of concrete, of irresponsible faith in the economic boom, of the collapse of personal relations, of the solitude of urban migrants, of the alienating dimension of the suburbs and of struggle in the factories.

These cities that the Sala Cinema screen reflects in our eyes are still the cities we live in today, even if they have been marked by the passage of time: not a neutral backdrop but a crucial condition for our experiences and feelings that the cinema helps us to gauge and to comprehend.


Our gratitude goes to: Fondazione Cineteca di Bologna, Fondazione Cineteca Italiana, Milano, Park Circus, Tamasa Distribution.



Palazzo delle Esposizioni - Sala Cinema
Admission via the steps in Via Milano 9 A, Rome
Places will be assigned from one hour before the start of each screening. Reservations may be made by membership card holders only.  There will no further admission once the film has started.