Pasta Garofalo (no relation to Janeane), an Italian pasta company, has a nifty little program in which they give money to film makers to make short films set in Naples, their home town. The second film in their effort is being made Terry Gilliam. The film, called The Wholly Family is set to be screened on television and theaters in Italy, starting in May, but presumably it will migrate elsewhere sometime over the summer.
Said Gilliam: “I have always loved Italian cinema and it’s fantastic that a firm like Garofalo chooses film production as its communication strategy rather than classic advertising. For me it was great to get to discover Naples and to be free to express my vision through this project.”
Back in doth elder days, patronage was the way art got done, unless one was content with being a starving artist. The holy grail for an artist was to acquire a wealthy patron since distressingly few artists were born with wealth and even fewer were able to turn any sort of profit at it directly. Do you bemoan the commercialization of art? It probably beats the politicization of art, since although the film and television industries want something that makes money, they don’t generally* care what point the work makes so long as seats get filled. And in this particular case, it’s hard to argue that Pasta Garofalo would pressure Gilliam away from the film he really wants to make demolishing the moral foundation of the gourmet pasta industry.
Good thing, bad thing? Your call, but I always lean towards giving the benefit of the doubt to people who give Terry Gilliam money.
*please reflect on this adverb prior to penning the rants I know are lurking