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Locarno International Film Festival: The Garden of the Finzi-Continis and Arthur Cohn

by Susan Kouguell
August 16, 2013 3:00 PM
1 Comment
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The Garden of the Finzi-Continis (Il giardino dei Finzi-Contini) was presented in the Piazza Grande under the stars at the Locarno International Film Festival’s ‘pre-Festival’ show.

Directed by Vittorio De Sica in 1970, the film won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film. The film was introduced by three-time Oscar winner and producer of the movie, Arthur Cohn, who spoke about his work with Vittorio De Sica.  “He taught me three points: 1) Anytime you make a movie don’t necessarily go with known actors; 2) Always insist to shoot the scene in the original, intended location; and 3) Always do what you feel; listen to your instinct and not what others tell you.”

Cohn detailed the impact The Garden of the Finzi-Continis has had around the world, and its influence on filmmakers, including Steven Spielberg and his film Schindler’s List.  Cohn also emphasized one major theme of the film: “The characters were guilty of lack of courage to fight the orders.” He cited the example: “When they took the Jews, they always said, “Prego” (Please). This is illustrated when the Finzi-Contini family is taken from their home.

Arthur Cohn
Lino Capolicchio, 'Giorgio'

Lino Capolicchio, who played the main character, Giorgio, said a few words about his experience working with De Sica, and then the lights dimmed, and the credits rolled.

To read an interview with Capolicchio: Click Here

The Locarno International Film Festival runs from August 7-17, 2013.  For more information visit:

Award-winning screenwriter and filmmaker, Susan Kouguell teaches screenwriting and film at Tufts University and presents international seminars.  Author of SAVVY CHARACTERS SELL SCREENPLAYS! and THE SAVVY SCREENWRITER, she is chairperson of Su-City Pictures East, LLC, a consulting company founded in 1990 where she works with over 1,000 writers, filmmakers, and executives worldwide.

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1 Comment

  • No | August 16, 2013 3:35 PMReply

    Always one of my favorite films of my early film education.

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