Russian director Alexander "Awesomov" Sokurov was in Milan today for a lecture at Milanesiana Festival (a very cool program, guests from Umberto Eco to Philip Glass, from Wole Soyinka to Elie Wiesel and Orhan Pamuk).
He attacked the "anti-Russia" Cannes Film Festival ("Alexandra", his controversial film on Chechnya with Galina Vishnevskaya [Rostropovich's widow] premiered there but the director chose to stay home), and he also explained how Italy had shaped his views on art ("I cannot imagine life without neorealismo films, without Fellini, without the operas of Verdi and Donizetti").
But Italy broke his heart, he explained, a few years ago when la Scala decided not to stage Mussorgsky's Khovanshchina, directed by Sokurov and conducted by Rostropovich:
"Rostropovich received a letter saying that the project had been dropped. I was appalled, it was unheard of, saying no to Rostropovich. A terrible mistake by la Scala".
Yeah, bad show, wtf?