Interview with Lina Wertmuller: Music and images

Acknowledged director Lina Wertmuller answers to questions regarding the relationship between sound and image in movies.

The original video, with italian audio, can be seenĀ here

This is the translation:

LW: “My relationship with the music is very long and deep, because music is the soul of everything. I repeat, it is the soul of everything: people, objects, nature.

Won’t you say that music is the nature of the wind?

Won’t you say that music is the nature of a possible God?

It seems the beginning of Twelfh Night by Shakespeare (that you obviously don’t remember) . It starts with a line of Duca Orsino, who says:

If music be the food of love, play on;
Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die.

What does it mean? It means that Shakespeare starts with the idea that music is the food of love. And since love moves sky and stars, as the other genius says, you understand that..”

INT: Have you ever thought of becoming a musician?

LW: “I composed thousands of tracks!! Yes. I had the fortune to work with so many who were better than me, so I didn’t continue. There was Lilli Greco, for example. Good friend of mine who worked with music all his life. Three of them said that I was talented as a musician: Lilli Greco, Paolo Conte, Enrico Job”

INT: Your first movie had a soundtrack by Ennio Morricone…

LW: “Better than a kick in the teeth…”

INT: I read in an interview that you said that Nino Rota apreciated my capacity to be fast at writing lyrics

LW: ” I had a beautiful relationship with Nino Rota. Have you ever met him?”


LW: “Too bad. He was an angel. He surely had those wings that only someone could see. Fellini used to say this”

INT: Speaking about Fellini, what is the magic that these people were able to create?

LW: “Some directors are strongly connected with the music. Federico were with Nino when he composed and used to whistle in his ears. I used to stay with Nino andĀ  press the black keys. I was lucky because I had the pleasure to work with Nino, Bacalov and Lilli. He was my contact with the authors of RCA. He was a great author himself, but since he was a gentleman he gave his compositions to others.”

INT: Can you tell us about your passion for singing?

LW: “I have none. When I had to explain things to the actors, I used to record some musical works. It was a guide for them. I never thought to become a singer. I have no voice. But being a director, I am also an actress, and every real actor can sing. Like any singer can play”