Lorenzo Mattotti with the poetic film based on a masterpiece by Dino Buzzati: The Bears famous invasion of Sicily.

Frame of the animated film “The Bears famous invasion of Sicily” by Lorenzo Mattotti

“Orsetta” by Beatrice Brandini

Last Sunday I saw a magnificent film that I recommend to everyone “The Bears famous invasion of Sicily”, taken from the masterpiece of Dino Buzzati, with the drawings of the master Lorenzo Mattotti and the voices of Toni Servillo, Antonio Albanese, Corrado Guzzanti and Andrea Camilleri .

This “little” film, which I was desperately looking for weeks, came out in a few movie theaters,  without too much fanfare and suffocated by mega international productions, it excited me, irritated (there are always the bad guys!), made me smile and left a yearning that lasted some days.

Frames of the animated film “The Bears famous invasion of Sicily” by Lorenzo Mattotti

Lorenzo Mattotti stated that it took more than 5 years to make it “First of all, the pleasure of telling in comics has arrived, with images that almost spoke more than written words”. “Making a film faithful to the original work was my constant thought. I made a commitment with Almerina Buzzati (a name that also recurs in the film) not to betray the book, but to respect and protect it: in the soul and in aesthetics, in the narrative structure and in the irony, in the spectacularity and in the message ” .

Drawing by Dino Buzzati taken from his book “The Bears famous invasion of Sicily”

Lorenzo Mattotti, one of the greatest living illustrators, an artist that I love and to whom I had already dedicated a post many years ago (“Lorenzo Mattotti: PASTELLI INCANTATI”, February 2014 https://www.beatricebrandini.it/lorenzo-mattotti-enchanted-pastels/?lang=en, ), with this film he helped to rediscover an important novel, to bring it closer to the little ones, to spread the original message. Mattotti, in his film adaptation has in fact managed to keep intact the value of the text of Buzzati’s masterpiece, telling a story that once again speaks of all of us, current and modern.

Banner of the exhibition: “Lorenzo Mattotti. Images between art, literature and music “.

Original drawings by Lorenzo Mattotti from the book “The Raven (Il Corvo)”

Lou Reed, in 2001, drew on one of his spiritual fathers, Edgar Allan Poe, to make “POEtry”, a musical directed by Bob Wilson in which the verses of the master of the Gothic are revisited in a modern key and mixed with those of the rocker, ( from there the double cult cd “The Raven”) . In Mattotti’s book, terror and beauty of that reinterpreted text, join the enigmatic and threatening figures of the artist In his magnificent paintings, the imaginary of Edgar Allan Poe explodes for ask ourselves, once again, about our fatal attraction to the abyss.


Original drawings by Lorenzo Mattotti from the book “The Raven (Il Corvo)”

Mattotti transposes Buzzati’s novel with magnificent drawings, landscapes, atmospheres, giving rise to a moving fairy tale. The comparison between nature and men, between animals and civilization, is crucial in the novel and in the film. A story that investigates the nature of man, his vices and his few virtues. Buzzati was an ante litteram animalist, he loved animals and was always interested in their world (to reread the splendid “Bestiario”, a box set by Lorenzo Viganò, in which all his stories about animals were collected, mostly from the Corriere della Sera throughout his career).


Drawings by Lorenzo Mattotti

With this film I too am a child again … And I would say that this is the greatest compliment I could give you Mr. Mattotti, because I am convinced that those who are able to make people feel such special emotions, bringing adults back in time, are poets in the heart.

He would certainly have been happy, Dino Buzzati, to know that seventy years later his novel came to life and his bears became a very high-level animated film.

Drawing by Lorenzo Mattotti inside Palazzo Blu in Pisa, venue of the exhibition.



Boards taken from “Jekyll & Hide”. A magnificent work, in which the metaphor of the decline of modern society materializes in Mattotti’s drawings. Influences of Otto Dix, Francis Bacon and even in the preparatory drawings of Pablo Picasso for Guernica (in the agony of Hyde’s first metamorphosis one can find the echoes of the screaming woman’s faces designed by Picasso).

I also included some incredible images taken from a beautiful exhibition at Palazzo Blu in Pisa that I saw some time ago: “Lorenzo Mattotti. Images between art, literature and music “. Visiting this exhibition you were transported to a fantasy world, very many drawings and original tables related to the four masterpieces by Mattotti. The powerful black and white plates by Hänsel & Gretel, or the violent drawings by Jekyll & Hyde. The complete series of The Reven (Il Corvo), born from the collaboration with Lou Reed in which music becomes the protagonist. Finally, the Divine Comedy, in which Mattotti develops a personal interpretation, while remaining rooted in tradition. A beautiful exhibition that has had an enormous success, an exhibition that valued the immense creativity, imagination and skill of one of the greatest artists, cartoonists and living illustrators.




“Little friends of the animals” by Beatrice Brandini

Good life everyone!



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