Rome Film Fest continued its series of high-profile conversations with Wes Anderson and writer Donna Tartt discussing their favorite examples of Italian cinema in what was one of the highlights of the festival. While Tartt chose Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Medea, Max Ophuls’ Everybody’s Woman, and the more traditional Paolo Sorrentino’s The Great Beauty, Anderson shared his favorite Vittorio De Sica film The Gold of Naples.
It’s a film he loves so much he’s exploring using the structure of the six vignettes connected by a theme in his own work. He also expressed dismay that The Gold of Naples is almost unknown in America and yet is a film he considers to be one of the great masterpieces of cinema history.
While Rome’s artistic director Antonio Monda led the conversation, he did open it up to a few audience questions. One young fan asked Anderson why he thinks Martin Scorsese famously called him “the next Scorsese.”
“I think he said that a very, very long time ago. I don’t know if he feels the same way anymore,” replied Anderson modestly. “And by the way, he said it in the context of somebody is doing an article about who is the next Scorsese, so he had to pick somebody. It wasn’t like he showed up out of the blue and said I want to share with you the next Scorsese. He had to pick somebody.”
It was 2007 and Scorsese had penned an editorial for Esquire, calling Bottle Rocket a picture “without a trace of cynicism,” and Rushmore “transcendent.”
“I do remember when it came out they told me the guy who is going to write about you is Scorsese and I thought well that’s good, I’m very pleased,” reflected Anderson. “That was a very positive experience for me.”
“This is an Italian-American filmmaker who is perhaps as influential as any,” he continued. “Everybody was hugely influenced by his work, and in all sorts of ways that you can’t pin down. And even though with my own movies probably, he might not be the person you would think of right off the bat, in fact he’s one of the reasons why I thought [cinema] is what I’d like to try to do.”