October 2016_by Marcella Vanzo
Playing with Nobel Prize Iosif Bordsky theatrical piece Marbles, Sokurov has adapted it for the scene and conceived this first encounter with theatre as an installation piece, a fresco in two tempos, exploring the contradictions of human life. Max Malatesta is Tullius, Michelangelo Dalisi is Publius and Elia Schilton plays Iosif Brodskij.
Inspired by Iosif Brodskij Marbles, Sokurov’s first time in a theatre plunges us straight into sorrow and longing for a marvelous foggy past, a place lost in memory. A piazza in Italy at the end of WWII, the altar of a pagan goddess who dispenses grana cheese, the outdoor tables of a trattoria, American soldiers still around and people gathering to watch a movie.
The floating dreamy backdrop, knowingly created by Margherita Palli, represents the immense, beautiful façade of the Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza covered in flowers. The movie people came to watch is Roma, by Federico Fellini. The crowd seems to enjoy it a lot.
Meanwhile, two men - or two mice? – two predators with a double identity, Tullius and Publius, a Roman and a Barbarian, with macabre hilarity explore the psychological, historical and purely physical confines of life. Theirs is a constant struggle between the spiritual and the instinctual dimensions of our existence. They're busy arguing, they disturb the movie watchers and they're hungry too: trying to get the grana cheese, they will get too close to the altar and get crushed.
Once the movie is over and everybody's gone, two silhouettes appear: Anna Magnani and Federico Fellini, the muse and the maestro, who does not succeed in wooing her, so they quickly disappear. Last but not least, poet Iosif Brodsky crosses the piazza, declaiming his verses, looking for beauty, youth and meaning probably, leaving a clueless young waiter behind him.