As a France-lover, I was finally in Italy this year.
Rome: where you stumble across history, churches, and Michelangelo's.
We shot a short video there for "Letters for my Home. From the Janiculum (thnx Kevin for the tip!). That calls for an explanation.
1980 - The Laundry
In summer, we always put our laundry to dry on the flat roof of the house.
Tea towels, tablecloths and lots of linen napkins from my mother's restaurant. On weekends, mountains of baskets full. Up there on the roof was nothing like warm wind and the murmur of the street. You felt wonderfully alone and unspoiled there. There were white pebbles on the roof. I loved being there.
Una Giornata Particolare
In 1977, Ettore Scola directed an absolute highlight of Italian film history, "Una Giornata Particolare," starring Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni. The story is set in Rome, May 1938. The bleak days just before World War II. Hitler pays a historic visit to Mussolini that year. There is a parade in the city, everyone is there and this is where the story begins.
Left behind in an empty apartment building are Antonietta, a mother of six, and the handsome radio host Gabriele. Something beautiful develops, not a romance or something, I don't know - see for yourself. For both, this is a memorable day for different reasons. Gabriele knows that this will be his last day in freedom. He will be deported. And Antonietta is literally and figuratively surrendering herself to life. It's a wonderful slow film, it don't need anything else. But the feeling of being unprotected and free is also present everywhere here.
2022 - Letters home
The world or time in which we find ourselves and the memories of the world to which we once belonged are often subjects in "Letters for my Home. This is not meant to be melancholy. I see it as a greeting or 'hi' to my home. We just have to relate as growing up between past and present. At best, a kind of balance emerges. That everything falls into place. But this is sometimes quite a search. And in that search I once wrote a poem.
We shared the back seat gym shoes kindergarten teachers
bathwater playmobil porridge soup our mother's blood
I wish I could say how much I miss you
Even now that you're beside me
We learned to ride bikes swim with knife and fork
Two words Julien Clerc great sorrow
but never that I miss you
even now you're beside me
We are what is left of the house
With the pink linen on the roof
Our cement is stubbornly standing
Love deaf and dumb
and I see you
I stamped that little poem on 4 linen cloths last week. I hung them on a wire with clothespins and filmed how they blew high over the city. As a salute to the laundry on the roof from my memories. Only this time I was in Rome and we climbed a big hill to let the laundry blow over this city.
The video will eventually become part of an installation, with accompanying sound. The purpose of the video is to make you want to keep watching the slow image of the laundry in the wind. Like you can't stop watching, like say, a fireplace. That you experience the same sense of freedom and stillness as I did on top of my roof.
All this is also a fat nod to the wash-on-the-roof scene from Una Giornata Particolare. One of the linen and stamped servets I sent to my parents' house, as part of "Letters to my home. And it has not yet been returned :)