Francesco Rosi: The cinema of emotions
The road of the cinema is the road of emotions. It cannot follow the logical progression of an essay. The first impact, the language of the image, is emotion. All logic can only be expressed, in cinema, through the emotive door. But we cannot stop with the emotion: it should be utilized for the expression of a deeper meaning, as an entry to an involvement on a logical level. And film should help its viewers to develop judgment. That’s also why I don’t believe films should be too long – this hampers the growth of something inside the person, something that he could otherwise go home with, think about, and maybe derive some positive use from. Constant bombardment with emotions dulls his sensibility and capacity for thinking. At the same time I try to keep him amused, but I hope that he will obtain a sense of participation from that part of my films that makes him think. I like it, when people laugh, but I like it equally well when they cry, or when they ask questions. I think people should feel that film is something that calls to them, not something that arrives, all ready, leaving them all their laziness. One cannot watch a work of art, especially a film, in complete laziness. If you go to a museum, and see a Goya, you are shocked, you feel ill, perhaps, or wonderful. But not indifferent. You can’t walk out feeling the same as when you walked in. I don’t think it’s possible, anyway. The same should happen in films – I mean, in those films that try to be more than mere escapism. There should be, behind the images, the feeling of culture, the feeling of the “civism” of the men who made it. If not, it is an insult to the intelligent viewer.
Francesco Rosi (1965) – An interview with Gideon Bachmann