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The Years of the Lost Images

Pages of a Venetian diary

  • Gli anni delle immagini perdute
  • Director
    Adolfo Conti
    Venice, Rome, Parma, Rimini, Riccione
    90' / 60'

    The Years of the Lost Images outlines the human and artistic portrait of Valerio Zurlini, one of the most important directors on the “golden age “ of the Italian cinema. From The Girls of San Frediano (1954) to the Desert of the Tartars (1976), his films have always received the support of the public and the critics. The peak of his career Zurlini soon joins him: in 1962 he won the Golden Lion for “Family Diary”...


    Valerio Zurlini died October 26, 1982, a few weeks after having participated as a jury member at the 50th Venice Film Festival. Zurlini knew he was sick and had spent the last months of his life to writing his own spiritual testament, to be released posthumously under the title The Years of the Lost Images. The ruthless stocktaking of his own life, the story of a world that changes in an irreversible way, a poignant appeal in defense of auteur cinema.

    As in the book so in this film Zurlini tells his story in the first person. According to a planned chronological "disorder" Zurlini looks back at the most important events of his life, explains the creative reasons of his film, remembers the artists who have formed him: Luchino Visconti, Giorgio Morandi, Renato Guttuso.
    Zurlini mainly denounces the "Lost Images" : many films that he wrote and prepared without being able to bring them to an end. Between 1962 ( the year of the Leone d’oro for “Family Diary”) and 1982 Zurlini directs only four films, while dozens are the projects that remain on paper.
    The Years of the Lost Images leads us to the places where Zurlini loved to retire to live and to work, interviews friends and collaborators, rediscovers the original repertoire of conversations of the director, in an attempt to understand the causes of this forced and fatal productive."silent"
    Many important actors worked with him, as Marcello Mastroianni, Vittorio Gassman, Thomas Milian...
    Claudia Cardinale played her first starring role in the unforgettable “Girl with a Suitcase” (1961).
    But are the great French actors who have worked often with Zurlini: Jacqueline Sassard ( “ Violent summer”, 1959 ), Anna Karina ( “ Le soldatesse”, 1965), Jean Louis Trintignant ( “Violent summer”, 1959 and “The Desert of the Tartars”, 1976 ), Alain Delon (“Indian summer”, 1972), Philippe Noiret ( “The Desert of the Tartars” ) and specially Jacques Perrin who was outstanding interpreter of “Girl with a Suitcase”, “Family Diary” and “The Desert the Tartars”.


    written and directed by Adolfo Conti

    produced by Amalia Carandini

    executive producer Ilaria Sbarigia

    photography and editing Eugenio Persico

    music Pasquale Catalano

    narrator Giovanni Crippa



    Marco Weiss

    Jacques Perrin

    Giulio Questi

    Carlo Lizzani

    Nicola Badalucco

    Enrico Medioli

    Giuliano Montaldo

    Claudia Cardinale

    Giorgio Albertazzi

    Vittorio Caronia

    Furio Bordon


    format: HD


    a Doc Art production in collaboration with Rai Cinema, Rai Teche, Titanus, Cinecittà Istituto Luce;

    in association with Francesco and Maria Zurlini, Regione Emilia Romagna