Andreotti, Sorrentino tell different tales


ROME -- Giulio Andreotti, the seven-time prime minister who is to be the subject of the next film from director Paolo Sorrentino, said Friday that he is unfamiliar with the project and has never met the director.

Sorrentino, meanwhile, said in an interview that the 88-year-old senator's memory might be failing him.

Earlier in the week, the 39-year-old Sorrentino said he would make a film about the iconic Andreotti, saying he had met with him twice and that Andreotti even joked that he couldn't understand why anyone would want to make a film about him.

But on Friday, Andreotti said it wasn't so.

"I don't know anything about this, and I've never met this person," Andreotti said. "If I had, I would have helped him understand his subject better. But I hope he doesn't make this film because that's what they do at the end of someone's life, and I have a ways to go."

Sorrentino said he was stunned to hear Andreotti's words, and replied, "It's hard to believe the senator's words ... maybe his memory is failing him."

Andreotti is one of the most powerful and polarizing figures of Italy's postwar period, with allegedly strong but shadowy ties to both the Vatican and the Mafia.

The character Don Licio Lucchesi in Francis Ford Coppola's "The Godfather Part III" -- a pro-Church political kingpin with Mafia ties -- is widely reported to have been modeled on Andreotti, the only member of the current Italian parliament elected when it was first created in 1946.

Sorrentino was nominated for the Palme d'Or in 2004 for "Consequenze dell'Amore" (Consequences of Love) and last year for "Amico di Famiglia" (Friend of the Family).

"Consequenze dell'Amore" also won him three David di Donatello awards in 2005 -- for best director, film and screenplay.