Il tormento e l’estasi (film di Carol Reed del 1965)

IL TORMENTO E L’ESTASI è un film del 1965 per la regia di Carol Reed, tratto dal libro di Irving Stone e sceneggiato da Philip Dunne.

Nel contesto storico Rinascimentale, il geniale scultore Michelangelo Buonarroti è incaricato da Papa Giulio ll di dipingere un affresco al soffitto della cappella sistina: riluttante, l’artista ha un approccio svogliato nell’assolvere il prestigioso compito, così dopo poco tempo sceglie l’auto esilio ma, ricercato dalle guardie papali, è tratto in arresto e condotto al cospetto del pontefice, al quale stavolta manifesta il suo entusiasmo nel svolgere il lavoro. Il tempo scorre inesorabile e Buonarroti deve guardarsi anche dalla polemica curia papale, che reputa oltraggiosa la pittura di Michelangelo, oltre alle pressioni puntuali di Giulio ll sulla scadenza dell’operato, fattori che non impediranno la realizzazione di una delle più belle e importanti opere d’arte.

Nonostante il deficitario riscontro commerciale, IL TORMENTO E L’ESTASI si pone per la sua forza evocativa come un capolavoro della storia del cinema, bucando lo schermo con una presenza aulica dell’arte senza tempo, spiegando le controversie che non furono capaci di ostacolare la grandezza né soffocare la creatività nonostante la puntualmente storica presenza dei benpensanti conservatori. Meraviglioso l’ammirevole eppure controverso rapporto tra Michelangelo e Papa Giulio ll, che offre dialoghi di rara bellezza. Inoltre Reed forma un gruppo di comprimari di eccellenza: Adolfo Celi, Diane Cilento, Tomas Milian, Harry Andrew’s, Maxine Audley e Alberto Lupo. Storicamente fondamentali i profili dei protagonisti: il Papa che viene fuori più come un condottiero bellico che ministro di Dio e Michelangelo che pur essendo un genio vive pure la pressione di grandi rivali quali Raffaello Sanzio e Leonardo Da Vinci e consegna alla storia l’uso della tecnica del buon fresco. Girato fedelmente ai luoghi narrati in Italia, non fu possibile riprendere la vera Cappella Sistina per l’opposizione del Vaticano che considerava un oltraggio girare in un luogo sacro.

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