A film by Ruth Paxton
Based on a letter by Vittorio Gassman


Dear Giorgio,

I think that this letter could close our correspondence. Maybe later we will start another one, but on painting and poetry, on the elusive and indefinable beauty of art it seems that I don’t have anything relevant to add.

I confessed my weaknesses, my pale eye, the leaps of my soul; and you fulfilled some void of my knowledge, furthermore you generated curiosity that I thought I did not possess.

I envy you, Giorgio: your habits, your artistic loves, the way you live, they give me the impression of a balance, like the mix of your commitment and your humour is perfectly regulated.

Maybe I’m wrong, but this is what you let us see, and if it’s only a sort of behaviour, I have to say that you wear it well, at least like your very elegant cashmere clothes, and I have to admit that you are a better actor than me.

I’m thinking how to end up. Having in my letters spent some (vague) words in honour of the poetic word, the more coherent way to finish would be to submit to you some other flourishing thoughts in verses: lightweight of course, and you understand the meaning of this last seventy-three years old childish action.

I don’t know if I will ever play again at the theatre. Apart from the physical commitment, I feel that the softer movie language (a dialect, I agree, but still a language) is more adapted to the sincerity one is seeking being old, to the last little truths we would like to communicate.

To succeed finally in a long silence, in front of a patient and no more demanding camera, without moving a muscle, pure ontological presence!

Now, I really would like to finish; but ending, for an actor, is not easy.

I have been preparing for some time some speeches to highest authorities, or entities, that will welcome us up there, it’s strange that no painting (at least as far as I know) had illustrated one of this “border enquiries”, but probably I’m wrong and this subject has been broached, you see, I have a growing feeling that all  in all the parts has been touched upon, exploited, written, played, acted, painted, danced, and this would cause everyone to stay still and quiet because it’s no use, in fact, it isn’t like this because mankind is a stubborn animal but in the end, the only reliable thing, the only thing that really counts is to go on talking, drawing, sculpting, singing, until touch, hearing, and sight and all senses will support us, included smell.

Yours sincerely,