Monica Bellucci, a symbol of timeless beauty, one of the brightest stars of world cinema and an official guest of this year’s Festival, attended the packed Olympia, as part of the screening of the hybrid film “Maria Callas: letters and memories” by Tom Wolff and Yiannis Dimolitsa , where he stars.
Monica Bellucci will receive the honorary Golden Alexander of the Festival today, Thursday 9 November, before the special screening of the film Malena (2000) by Giuseppe Tornatore.
“I am very excited. Thank you very much for this invitation. As you know, I have Greece deep in my heart. I don’t want to explain the movie, you will discover it yourself. I hope you enjoy the screening and thank you again,” said Monica Bellucci on the stage of the Olympian before the start of the film.
The famous Italian actress was welcomed by the artistic director of the Thessaloniki Film Festival, Orestis Andreadakis: “Good evening, buona sera signora Bellucci! The film we will see today, Maria Callas: letters and memories, captures a single part of the enormous personality of Maria Callas, having as its protagonist another blinding personality, Monica Bellucci”, Orestis Andreadakis said initially, before inviting on stage Yiannis Dimolitsa, who presented the film to the public.
The director of the film in turn thanked the Festival for the honorary invitation and spoke about the concept and the journey of the film to date. “What we will see today is certainly not a simple documentary about Maria Callas. In fact, today we are going to watch a documentary about Monica Bellucci, or Monica if you prefer, who embodies Maria through the latter’s letters.
It is a theater show that started about two and a half years ago and went around the world. For our part, we decided to film it in the simplest and most beautiful way”, noted Yiannis Dimolitsas.
The director explained to the audience that the film came about after an extensive study of Maria Callas’ letters as well as a wealth of archival material, in which a camera continuously followed the great soprano, at close range, at various stages of her life. From this condition arose the idea of the camera following Monica Bellucci as she prepared to play Maria Callas, as well as the filming of dramatized scenes in Callas’s home.
A key point of reference was the film L’Amore by Roberto Rossellini, and especially its first part, which is based on the play The Human Voice by Jean Cocteau, where Anna Magnani plays a woman who talks on the phone throughout the film , trying to save her love.
This specific motif particularly inspired the creators of Maria Callas: letters and memories, as they had in mind to highlight the letters of Maria Callas addressed to Aristotle Onassis. In closing, Yiannis Dimolitsas also thanked producers Sami Boudiaf and Stanislas Wicker of Sic Pictures, Christos Konstantakopoulos and Andreas Zoupanos Kritikos from Faliro House, as well as George Lykiardopoulos.
The film Maria Callas: letters and memories is a valuable document of the international tour of the theater show of the same name, starring Monica Bellucci in the role of the great diva of the opera. Through the chronicle of the tour, which lasted from November 2019 to January 2023, two different eras unfold – the current one and the one in which Callas was involved -, while at the same time a dialogue opens between the great contemporary Italian actress and the top tweeter that marked the 20th century.