Cinema Azzurro Scipioni

Via degli Scipioni 82,
Rome 00192

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Cinema Azzurro Scipioni

This small independent Roman art house is located in Zona Prati, a short walk from St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican, about a block from the Ottaviano stop of the Metropolitana. The founder and owner is Silvano Agosti, an avant-garde independent filmmaker who sometimes shows his own films here, as well as those of his contemporaries.

The cinema was actually named Azzurro (Blue) after the film “Il Pianeta Azzurro” of Franco Piavoli, and Scipioni after the street it is on, Via degli Scipioni. Recent and classic Italian and non-Italian films are programmed in good measure. The little cinema has two auditoriums, the larger “Sala Lumiere” downstairs and the smaller “Sala Chaplin” upstairs. Most of the films are shown in 35mm but in the upstairs Chaplin, video projections are often the norm.

The seats in the theatre are actually old airliner seats, so that you feel here that you might be in a large plane. In short, this is a very unique place for the serious film buff visiting or residing in the Eternal City.

Contributed by Gerald A. DeLuca

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Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on April 23, 2004 at 5:32 am

One of the films that has been often shown by Silvano Agosti at his theatre is, understandably, his own 1984 D'AMORE SI VIVE (“One Lives by Love”), started as a film series made for television (and running about nine hours) and later edited into a shorter feature length movie. Shot in the city of Parma, the movie examines in slow precise details the workings of love, especially among society’s rejected, physically and mentally challenged, socially excluded and otherwise loveless. It does this with a spirit of affection and not pity.

One has the sense in watching this film that one is peering surreptitiously into the privateness of others, their near-masturbatory ecstasies and very private joys. But instead of shock, the feeling is one of overall tenderness for love in all its varieties. Who does not deserve love? The almost voyeuristic nature of the movie aroused antipathy in some quarters.

It is worth a trip to the Azzurro Scipioni to see this film if it is ever being re-programmed, as it is from time to time. I saw it in a video projection of its shorter feature-length version at this cinema. I do not believe the movie has ever been shown in the United States.

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