So did you catch the reference to Paolo Sorrentino’s 2011 film, This Must Be the Place, with Sean Penn and Frances McDormand (music by David Byrne)?
Now everyone knows his 2013 film, La Grande Bellezza. (If you don’t, stop reading immediately and go see it – this is REQUIRED VIEWING for this blog! Winner of this year’s Oscar for Best Foreign Film!)
We could just ask: why is beauty so important? And, will Beauty Save the World?
My hunch is that it will.
And if you don’t believe me, just go read Todorov or Dostoevsky, OK?
Actually, it would be enough if Beauty saved Italy.
And why not? With more UNESCO World Heritage Sites than any other country on earth, with more art and nature than a little country the size of New Mexico should have, Italy could live entirely off the fat of the land. And with something as good as Lardo di Colonnata, I do mean the FAT of the land!
Culture is the only ‘industry’ where Italy has no competitors, where the prime materials will never run out.
One of Italy’s former Ministers of the Economy said, rather unfortunately for him as he is remembered mostly for this colossal mis-speak, “With culture, you don’t eat.” How wrong could he have been?
Not only do we eat WITH culture, but we eat our culture! Food and Wine are Italy’s culture, an enormous part of it. So culture you could say is our daily bread. Or our daily focaccia, in my case.