domenica 30 gennaio 2011

Other Visions: a musical performance with voice and celtc harp. Performers, N. Marroccolo and C. Lauri

On 3rd February, in Rome, Creative Drama In-Out Theatre presents an intense performance by voice and Celtic harp, as part of a Cinema-Drama Therapy workshop, which is open to both professionals and the general public.

A performance by N. Marroccolo e C. Lauri  at the Gallery of Modern Art (Ardea),
dedicated to Giacomo Manzu', 8th October 2010

Nina Marroccolo and the musician Cristiana Lauri, modern and delicate bards, following the intuition and the need for Other Visions, act and play in music and song on the stage of cinema and drama therapy, creating magic in a singular artistic performance. They will awaken the emotions of the audience, offering them an ideal mirror in which to find themselves.
Entrance is free (booking advised)

lunedì 24 gennaio 2011

Workshop on Cinema-Drama Therapy: A Camcorder Wading through the Pond

Rome, 3rd February 2011

The point of view of a camcorder wading through the pond and filming both above and below its surface. Half Frog and half Prince, the actor-character is led inside the very film to revisit his own actions and clothes, while the process of dramatherapy unfolds: cinema-drama therapy.

The workshop will be preceded by the presentation of the book:
Shaping the Sight, by Plinio Perilli (2009) Milan: Mancosu
Opening performance: Nina Maroccolo


CINEMA-DRAMATERAPIA SEMINARIO: Una Camera a Guado nello Stagno

Roma, 3 febbraio 2011

L’ottica di una camera che riprende sopra e sotto la superficie del guado. Per metà ranocchio e metà Principe, l’interprete-personaggio è condotto dentro la pellicola a rivisitare i propri gesti ed abiti, mentre continua a lavorare il processo dramma-terapico: cinema-dramaterapia.
Il Seminario sarà preceduto dalla Presentazione del Volume

"Costruire lo Sguardo"

di Plinio Perilli

Ed. Mancosu, Mi.2009

Performance Introduttiva

Nina Maroccolo

lunedì 25 ottobre 2010

Cinema Alchemy: Using the Power of Movies for Healing and Transformation by Birgit Wolz.

An Amazing Cinematherapy Workshop will held on February 20-25, 2011 at Esalen Institute, Big Sur, California. Brigit Wolf inform us that this is an esperential workshop…

Inquiries into our emotional responses to movies open a window to our soul. How we relate to a film's archetypal motifs reveals our inner life. Together we build a bridge between our realizations in "reel" life and our experiences in real life. Watching films with conscious awareness makes us recognize aspects of our shadow self, and help us find our authentic self and essence.

You can find complete workshop description here.
Registration: 831-667-3005 or
Good Luck With Your Workshop, dear Birgit! We continue to follow the the guide lines of your work. Cinema-dramtherapy Team Cinema-dramaterapia Team (listed in Professional Directory)

mercoledì 16 giugno 2010

Cinema Therapy: Italian Comedy

@ E. Gioacchini

Italian Comedy, could its contents provide an interpretation for the spirit and custom of other places, we wonder, given the strong typicality of the characters and of the actors, the directors, the contexts which made it? This is, of course, a rhetorical question, since the history of culture and cinema in the last 40 years has clearly demonstrated that our good old ‘comedy’, that kind of theatre in the cinema - that’s how I like to think of it - has attracted audiences from all over the world.
I am referring to films such as Totò Cerca Casa (1949), by Steno-Monicelli; Il Vedovo Allegro (1949), Totò Sceicco (1950), by Mario Mattoli; La Banda degli Onesti (1956), by Camillo Mastrocinque; Nata a Marzo (1957), by Antonio Pietrangeli; I Soliti Ignoti (1958), La Grande Guerra (1959), Risate di Gioia (1960), I Compagni (1963) and L'Armata Brancaleone (1966), by Mario Monicelli; Il Buono, il Brutto e il Cattivo (1966), by Sergio Leone... just to mention but a few.
Mario Monicelli, in an interview with Francesca Arceri entitled ‘The Bitter Smile of the Italian Comedy’, states: "[...] Yes, because in fact [audiences] laugh. Not just in Italy. The French laugh, the Americans, the Chinese. The Chinese love Italian Comedy, they even dub it. You should hear Toto’ speaking Chinese! It is universal, because the feelings are the same, they do not change neither through centuries nor through countries.”
That special quality of making people smile, or even laugh intensely, on dramatic themes referring to the struggle of life in the city jungle of a civilisation that has the courage of showing its fragile and vulnerable side and doesn’t have cultural borders. This leaves the conscience suspended and has turned these films into rural and city poems, unhinging for a while the rigid boundaries between good and evil, ugly and beautiful. This is the quality of a humanity and creativity able to use irony in the attempt of debunking the anatomy of man, so as to return him to the affection of the community, whether it be the family, the social group, the gang, the street. A lesson of high-quality art, which can be certainly used in cinema therapy for these very reasons and which offers a wide range of situations and themes.

Cinema Therapy, Italian Comedy: "Courage, if you don’t have it, you can’t make it up"

@ M.P. Egidi

Italian Comedy, through the performances of the great Italian actors of the time, has gifted us with a range of characters portrayed mercylessly in their meanness and in their narrow views in life, in their interests, in their behaviour. These characters were not at all exemplar nor praiseworthy, but they were described and played with such mastery that, through the involvement of the heart, they have entered collective awareness, in spite of the fact that they might be petty thieves, cheats, deceivers, illiterate people, sexists, cheap libertines, and so on. The meanness, the chronic hunger are those of Pantalone, Pulcinella, Harlequin, but the glorious heritage of the masks of the Commedia dell’Arte is not enough to redeem them, because their deficiencies are deep, even if justified by the historical circumstances (the war, the rebuilding of the country) or the cultural ones (the suburb, the small-town mentality) in which the plot takes place.

And yet, I reckon that if we wanted to find in cinema the prototype of the great hero, we would need to look amongst the characters of the Italian Comedy (obviously, the high-quality one). No, let’s not expect that we may find among the minor characters a brave young man, with blond hair waving in the wind, who will be the counter-party to the risible protagonist. They are the real heroes: the characters played by Fabrizi, Gassman, Sordi (and your hands shake while you write their names), the Roman, boating and fearful, the quiet middle-aged man, the beaten boxer and the new mask, Toto’, just to mention a few.

No Rambos, no Indiana Jones, no steel muscles, no steady nerves, no contempt for danger. Here we are talking about something different: “Courage, if you don’t have it, you can’t make it up” is what Don Abbondio used to say. But is it really so? I don’t mean to contradict Manzoni who, by the way, with this statement doesn’t express his own opinion, but a reflection consistent with the personality of his character (who was aptly performed by Alberto Sordi in the latest TV version of The Betrothed).
Personal experience teaches many of us that courage and heroism can be daily bread, how else can we define that quiet and unflagging strength that helps us bear discomforts, uneasiness, and problems? Are we less of a hero than, say, an army leader, when we face or cause change? The world is full of silent, unknowing heroes. Well then, the tradition of Italian Comedy shows this tension towards greatness, the great deed, which abides even in the most unworthy conscience. I reckon, without having to refer to books on the subject, that courage, whether it be the great action or the small doses of daily heroism, is the evolutionary heritage of the human species. It took courage to abandon the comfortable life on top of the trees and the hunter-gatherer habits, in order to learn to stand and conquer a new territory.
Often, in many films, the heroic act comes at the end and it is unexpected, dramatic, it is able to subvert the plot. Shall we mention the ending of The Great War, which is not exactly a light comedy, in which the Roman Oreste Jacovacci and the Milanese Giovanni Busacca, after having survived through small tricks to the dangers of the front, choose to be shot rather than being humiliated by the contempt of the Austro-Hungarian official. Or shall we mention Alberto Sordi who finds love and dignity when he pushes in the swimming pool, with a sound blow, the latest politician of whom he had agreed to be the assistant, because he’s had enough of A Difficult Life.
And then the best, the most magnificent scene. The only bad word Totò ever pronounced in one of his films, an expression which, in the circumstances, and said by a true prince, resounds more than the most noble blare of trumpet. We see the heroism overflowing, breaking in, HAVING to reveal itself. Little by little, it breaks open the moral misery in which the colonel of the Italian army, played by Toto’, had wrapped himself. Let’s observe the eyes of the Italian soldiers lined up and waiting for their colonel’s decision: don’t you think you see the certainty, the trust, that the moment of the moral redemption, their own and their colonel’s, is inexorably approaching?
And don’t you feel like becoming part of the catharsis from those mean characters who brought us through a war of occupation made of miseries, petty plots, and mean abuse of power, without values and without ideals? Even if it were a catharsis summarised by the very Italian, Neapolitan, gesture performed by Nino Taranto in the background, a gesture that is absolutely natural and common in our culture, of sending with your hands a kiss of approval. It’s all here, in this scene from The Two Colonels.
“The rest is silence” from Hamlet, by W. Shakespeare

(English Translation, courtesy of E. Bianchi, Scotland)

domenica 2 maggio 2010


@ Maria Pina Egidi

A new post was recently added on our dramatherapy twin blog, called Dramatherapy: love and destruction in a phrase, inspired by the film Downfall. The post was meant to introduce and comment on part of the creative and emotional journey experienced by the group involved in the representation of Ionesco’s Rhinocéros. The work is dramatic and complex and has many levels of reading: historical-documentary, psychological, ideological, or simply narrative. Here we would like to analyse some, more specific aspects, which are linked to the representation of the character of Adolf Hitler.
The film is partially based on the short stories written by Traudl Junge, who was the dictator’s secretary in the last days of April 1945, in the Reich Chancery bunker. It shows the events taking place in the Führerbunker, and the dynamics between the inhabitants of this last bulwark of Nazism. While Germany is on its last legs and Berlin is about to fall, the Führer is planning the impossible and absurd redemption of the great Reich, keeping an indifferent and unfeeling attitude to the fall now imminent. With Hitler, in the final madness, are involved Eva Baun, Joseph Goebbels and his whole family, the dictator’s faithful followers and his domestic helpers. The epilogue of the film is consistent with the known historical truth: the last-minute wedding, the suicide, few survivors, amongst them the young secretary, Traudl Junge, who will be declared innocent by the War Tribunal, because of her young age.

Many years after the events in the film, in more than one interview, Traudl Junge will painfully state that she still feels guilty and conniving, and that she never considered her young age at the time of the events as an alibi or an attenuating circumstance. The young woman, acquitted by the War Tribunal, is guilty according to the tribunal of her own conscience. A very hard conclusion, which can be shared if we assume that there are different levels of personal responsibility and that lack of awareness, conniving with power, ignorance and passivity hold the black soul of the world. How can a girl, who is just 22 and is coming from a small town – and who, by the way, was not even a member of the Nazi party – have so completely complied with an ideology of death that she feels like a criminal after so many decades?
The answer is in the film. The possibility of representing the events from more than one point of view, so that everybody is the main character, is the great strength of cinema and theatre, especially if they are representing historical facts. The audience is given a chance to understand, globally, the dynamics and the motivations of the events told, which, through other forms of narration, would only be highlighted through processes of analysis and synthesis much more articulated and complex.

 The situation described in the film, quite aside from its historical context, is extreme. Without doubt, the young Traudl in the film is portrayed as being green and, since she is here in a situation outside either an historical or a humane context, she lacks the ethical and cultural landmarks with which she could potentially relate.

Bruno Ganz, who plays the role of the Führer, creates an extremely distressing character: moments of utter frenzy alternate with moments of goodness, understanding, and even kindness. Take as an example the scene in which he is selecting his future secretary, behaving rather like a father-figure, and then chooses Traudl, the girl from Munich, as his close collaborator. Think about the tenderness in his strokes to his dog, about his extreme faithfulness to Eva Braun, or even about the shaking of his hand, which may remind the audience of their elderly people afflicted by Parkinson’s Disease.
When this film was shown in the cinemas, it left part of the critics speechless: too daring the representation of the character’s contradictions; too dangerous to show Hitler’s human side and to turn him into an everyday person; unimaginable that the audience should be invited to feel even a little empathy for the Parkinson trembling or for the strokes to the dog. The risk of outrageous revisionism was felt as being just around the corner. In my opinion, the film is far from running this risk. It shows cruelly a reality both simple and terrible. It would be perfect if instinct of death and destruction, indifference towards other human beings, abuse of power, deception, and all that is related to the concept of “evil” could always be easily recognisable. It would be a great advantage if the biblical mark of Cain were visible and immediately identifiable, as this would allow us to immediately recognise those who have chosen evil as their guide in life. There is no revealing smell of sulphur to signal the presence of evil, nor the ambiguous and disturbing beauty of a fallen angel, maybe fighting with its creator or maybe just longing to experience its individuality. Evil, the Devil, and black souls are subtle and astute: they hide behind an appearance of normality, they violate the locks of the human consciousness with the picklock of triviality, of discretion, and of a low profile. Seeing the film as “The Fall” is maybe one of the less passive approaches for the audience. It involves senses, emotions and moral principles. Just to mention a few effects: amazement at the cruelty in the suicide dynamics (e.g. Magda Goebbels); maybe sense of guilt if, for the fraction of a second, we felt Hitler’s kindness in dealing with Traudl; anger in seeing two women relaxing, while smoking outside the bunker a clandestine cigarette, taken by the pleasure of the situation, and utterly oblivious to the rubble around them. A piece of work like this could leave a sensitive audience feeling an uneasiness which, if not “processed”, would be a missed opportunity. The awakening of one’s conscience
brings new questions on one’s moral principles, on one’s ability to discern, on one’s role in the context in which one lives and works, on the wise use of critical sense and free will. These are not only the cornerstones of an individual’s ethics, but also the elements on which the identity and the perception of the individual are defined, as well as the fullness and steadfastness that may be called “wellbeing”.
All in all an extremely rich starting point for Cinema Therapy.

Movie: Trailer of The Downfall: Hitler and the End of the Third Reich
Directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel

Produced by Bernd Eichinger
Written by Joachim Fest, Bernd Eichinger, Traudl Junge, Melissa Müller
Starring Bruno Ganz, Alexandra Maria Lara, Corinna Harfouch, Ulrich Matthes, Juliane Köhler
Music by Stephan Zacharias
Cinematography Rainer Klausmann
Editing by Hans Funck
Distributed by Constantin Film, Newmarket Films (English subtitles)
Release date(s) September 16, 2004 (Germany), February 18, 2005 (USA)
Running time 156 minutes (original cut), 178 minutes (extended cut)
Country Germany, Italy, Austria 
Language German, Russian
Budget €13,500,000
Gross revenue $92,180,910