Close Up

15 December 2015: Anna


Massimo Sarchielli & Alberto Grifi
1972-75 | 225 min | B/W | Digital

Close-Up and Sharna Pax present a screening as part of their ongoing research for How To Work Together’s Think Tank organised in collaboration with Chisenhale Gallery, Showroom and Studio Voltaire.  

"New languages aren’t invented in the editing phase, it is life undergoing a transformation that demands new languages…" – Alberto Grifi  

Recently restored by the Cineteca di Bologna, this 1975 documentary centres on the titular pregnant, homeless 16-year-old whom Sarchielli encountered in Rome’s Piazza Navona. Mainly shot on then-newfangled video, it documents the interactions between Anna and the directors, whose interest in her is at once compassionate and self-serving. Far from straightforward vérité, this complex, self-implicating chronicle includes re-enactments of the first meeting, explicit attempts to direct its subject, and frequent intrusions from behind the camera (not least the emergence of the film’s electrician as a love interest). Anna cuts between domestic scenes and café discussions back in the square, where the unruly cross talk among hippies, bums, bourgeoisie, and angry young men touches on the movie’s key themes of obligation and intervention: between filmmakers and their subjects, the state and its citizens, fellow members of society.

Massimo Sarchielli (1931–2010, Florence, Italy) was an Italian actor, filmmaker, and mime. As an actor, he worked with Federico Fellini, Bernardo Bertolucci, Dario Argento, Terence Stamp, and Spike Lee.  


Alberto Grifi (1938–2007, Rome, Italy) was an Italian painter, filmmaker, and inventor. His experimental works range from incisive montage films to a 12-hour event composed of magnetic tape distributed among and reassembled by the audience.   

Sharna Pax is an artists' collective working between the fields of visual arts, anthropology and documentary. They work independently as artists and filmmakers and collaboratively organise screenings, discussions and workshops as part of their ongoing dialogue.

This screening is kindly supported by Cineteca Nazionale and Cineteca di Bologna with Associazione Alberto Grifi.