Il Treno di Sottsass
Italy, 2017, 55'
We always think we know everything there is to know about him, but we find out something new every time and new strands become incorporated into the complex creative universe that was Ettore Sottsass. His carefree childhood in the mountains, his travels to America, where he discovered industrial culture and the Beat Generation poets, the value of colour, the Olivetti years, his innumerable creative outlets, which included ceramic, glass, design and architecture. The information is supplied by Sottsass himself in three interviews, recorded at different times. This year marks the centenary of his birth, and the film consists of readings of his works by young actors from the Piccolo Teatro in Milan, along with interviews with people who knew him: Barbara Radice, who shared his life for 30 years, Arata Isozaki, the Japanese architect he met during his radical period, his partner in experimentation and the Memphis movement Michele De Lucchi, Nathalie du Pasquier and George Sowden. Last but not least, Johanna Grawunder, first his disciple then his assistant and collaborator at the Sottsass Associati studio, and Christoph Radl, graphic artist and art director with whom he crossed paths towards the end of the Eighties.