This article originally appeared in
October 12, 2007
RomaCinemaFest owes debt to
Auditorium

By ERIC J. LYMAN

ROME --Renzo Piano's Auditorium Parco della Musica is such an important
part of the two-year-old RomaCinemaFest that the event incorporated the
building's hulking, bulbous shape into its inaugural logo.

With three massive, lead-
plated structures, the
complex is a refreshingly
modern set of structures
in an ancient city known
for its classical and
Renaissance buildings.

It is also the facility that
made the RomaCinema-
Fest possible.

"These facilities are our
big advantage," says Mario
Sesti, one of the festival's
co-directors. "Without the Auditorium Parco della Musica, the festival would
be decentralized, spread out around the city."

Indeed, the 570,000-square-foot complex on the northern rim of the Italian
capital is the festival's heart -- the festival's equivalent to Cannes' Palais, the
Berlinale Palast in Berlin or Venice's Palazzo del Cinema.

During the construction of the Auditorium Parco della Musica, the
foundations of a Roman villa and olive oil press dating to before the time of
Christ were uncovered on the site, which was originally cleared to make way
for facilities used in the 1960 Olympics. The discovery delayed the opening a
year, as plans were adjusted to incorporate the archeological remains, and
a small museum was opened on site to display some of the artifacts that
were unearthed.

With the delay, it took seven years of work before the Auditorium Parco della
Musica opened its doors in 2002, and today it includes three large
auditoriums that seat between 700 and 2,800 spectators each. The
auditoriums are connected by a wide lobby gathered around a central plaza
that also serves as a Greco-Roman-style outdoor theater, the only significant
classical architectural element in the contemporary design that Piano
himself has called "both sacred and profane."

The name Piano adds a certain cachet to the complex. The 70-year-old
Italian-born architect behind Paris' Georges Pompidou Center, the Shard
London Bridge skyscraper, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Atlanta's
High Museum of Art and the Zentrum Paul Klee in Bern, Switzerland, is the
architecture world's equivalent to the A-list film talent set to stroll across
Rome's red carpet once the festival gets under way.

"Piano's command of technology is that of a true virtuoso, yet he never
allows it to command him," John Carter Brown -- the late director of
Washington D.C.'s National Gallery of Art and the head of the jury for the
prestigious Pritzker Prize for architecture, which was awarded to Piano in
1988 -- once said. "Imbued with a sense of materials and a craftsman's
intuitive feel for what they can do, his architecture embodies what can only
be called a rare humanism."
(c) 2007 The Hollywood Reporter
All rights reserved.
Volume 77; Number 9
Volume 77; Number 9
Parco Della Musica
October 28, 2007
RomaCinemaFest ends
strong; Popular 'Juno' wins
Best Film

October 27, 2007
'Juno' takes home top prize
at RomaCinemaFest

'Canvas,' 'Pride' earn Rome
fest's Alice nods

October 26, 2007
Top prize still up for grabs at
Rome fest

October 25, 2007
'Haifa' earns New Cinema's
Italian nod

October 24, 2007
'Lambs' stars in like lions at
Rome fest

FilmItalia, UniFrance team
for young talent

October 23, 2007
Veneto buyer buzz builds on
Biz Street

Star wattage waning at
Rome fest

October 22, 2007
Coppola lights up Rome fest

October 20, 2007
Depardieu imposter fools
hotel staff in Rome

'Elizabeth,' Loren big draws
at Rome festival

'Elijah' first production at
new I am Third

October 19, 2007
RomaCinemaFest gets
Second Wind

Fellini script 'Viaggio' on
new voyage

October 18, 2007
Rome Fest dressed up in
second outing

Rome Fest dressed up in
second outing

October 12, 2007
RomaCinemaFest sets
sophomore bar higher

Fest success good news for
the last paparazzo

Film spotlight: "Youth
Without Youth"

Italy offers versatile
location, strong incentives

'Business Street' initiative a
high-end venue

RomaCinemaFest owes debt
to Auditorium

September 28, 2007
Rome Fest's love affair with
Hollywood continues