San Donato Milanese (Milan) - 10 September 2013. Eni announces that it is now the main partner of the Cinémathèque Française (the major French institute for film documentation) film tribute to Bernardo Bertolucci, which will be shown from tomorrow until 13 October. Films to be screened include: Novecento, The Grim Reaper, The Last Emperor, Little Buddha, Last Tango in Paris and La via del Petrolio, to name but a few. There will be a preview on 16 September of the feature film Me and You, which will be accompanied by a screening of the short film Il Canale, made by Bertolucci for Eni when Enrico Mattei was at the helm of the Company.
When Mattei decided to communicate Eni’s ethos through film, he entrusted the task to a young Bernardo Bertolucci, who was twenty-three at the time. The theme was an unusual one: The story of the journey of oil from the Zagros Mountains in Iran to Europe. The result of this gamble was La via del petrolio (1967), the only documentary ever made by the director and a project he personally considers the first step towards the second "epic" phase of his filmography.
There will also be a photo exhibition for the duration of the film tribute, including shots by Federico Patellani dating back to the late 1950’s from Eni’s archive. These images were taken during exploration and drilling operations in the locations featured in La via del petrolio.
Il Canale stems from previously unseen footage filmed at the Suez Canal in 1966 during La via del petrolio, which in addition to the narrative material, also provided the beautiful photography and the musical score by Egisto Macchi. The depiction of the passage of tankers through the Suez Canal is used to show how ancient local traditions coexisted with modern progress.
Support for culture has always been a distinctive trait of Eni’s; in 2006 the Company chose the motto of Culture of Energy, Energy of Culture, to embody its commitment to the promotion of artistic and cultural events in the countries where it operates. In particular, this initiative creates significant ties with the city of Paris, which together with the whole of France, is an area of importance for Eni’s retail gas business.