It seems that when a master filmmaker dies, suddenly his archives become of less importance. Last week it was reported that Ingmar Bergman's archives, which are even listed in the United Nations' Memory of the World register, might be doomed because of the expense to maintain them. Now Variety tells us that Michelangelo Antonioni's archives are also in trouble. These archives, which include short films, photographs, drawings, posters and books, are featured in a museum located in the filmmaker's hometown of Ferrara, Italy. The museum closed last year for refurbishing, but it may not reopen at all thanks to a shortage of funds. The city instead wants to open a film museum focused on all the directors who shot in Ferrara. The problem with that, though, is that when Antonioni's archives were donated to the city in 1995, there was a strict stipulation that they only be used for a museum solely about Antonioni.

I'm not too worried about the state of Antonioni's archives, as the film world would never let anything bad come to them. Just as Bergman's archives quickly received a $10,000 donation from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association following news of their jeopardy, Antonioni's archives will certainly be saved as well. Sure, he's not as celebrated a filmmaker as Bergman, but he is still very much loved by the film community. Aside from reports from Variety and other cinema-related media, the news of this travesty made headlines in mainstream Italian papers, such as La Republica, which ran the title "Ferrara 'evicts' Antonioni." I wouldn't be surprised if some fortunate person or organization hasn't already stepped forward. Michelangelo Antonioni, who gave the world L'Avventuraand Blow Up, left us on July 30.
categories Cinematical