Saturday, February 6, 2010


Duccio Tessari: The desire to transpose the mythological stories into an ironic key after a dozen or so had already been filmed was not something I came up with in a lucky moment. It's just that I've always been on-set giving support to the filming, since my first assistant director's job with the Germans. Each time that they suggested a subject to me, of whatever type, I immediately looked for the ironic side, because to be honest, the idea of a Hercules with those collapsing columns or a Maciste who breaks chains didn't seem to me to be subjects and characters that could be taken all that seriously.
The idea to make an ironic Ercole was mine and Cottafavi's, for HERCULES CONQUERS ATLANTIS. In truth it's very difficult, when two of you work together, to establish which of the two came up with the idea - because perhaps it was just a minor thought, a prompt I gave him or a suggestion, or perhaps it was his given to me... The ideas, when you work together, always come from the whole partnership, because they are stimulated by that circumstance. In that epoch in which we worked together, Cottafavi was a delight, a true gentleman who was not called Vittorio, like he tells you, but as I have discovered, Benedetto Vittorio Emanuele Secondo, and therefore he must be of a family tree decidedly monarchic. He loved me greatly, above all because I smoked cigars and when I went to supper at his home, his wife felt obliged to withdraw so that I could smoke and accordingly he was able to smoke, too, without being forced to go outside onto the terrace.
Cottafavi was a very cultured man, very prepared, very intelligent which did not go well towards making a film of great commercial success. He always had the ambition to make a more committed film. He had made films of this sort, but they hadn't been understood. They'd done very badly.

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