Marcello Mastroianni and his La Dolce Vita

If you’re a fan of “vintage” cinematography but not only, you have probably heard of this dude, Marcello Mastroianni. And if you don’t know his name, you’ll definitely recognize his face in a photo. He is Italy’s Alain Delon. He, along with Dean Stockwell and Jack Lemmon are the only actors to have been twice awarded the Best Actor at the Cannes Film Festival. Mastroianni won it in 1970 for The Pizza Triangle and in 1987 for Dark Eyes.

Often thought of as a womanizer, he was married to Flora Carabella and had relationships with Faye Dunaway, the gorgeous Catherine Deneuve (they have a daughter together, Chiara), but also Anouk Aimee, Ursula Andress, Lauren Hutton and Claudia Cardinale. Around 1976, he became involved with Anna Maria Tatò, an author and filmmaker. They remained together until his death in 1996.


I only exist when I am working on a film.


Woman is the sun, an extraordinary creature, one that makes the imagination gallop. Woman is also the element of conflict. With whom do you argue? With a woman, of course. Not with a friend, because he accepted all your defects the moment he found you. Besides, woman is mother-have we forgotten?


I have nothing against Hollywood. But today’s best films are being made in Italy. So why should I leave Rome?


They come for you in the morning in a limousine; they take you to the studio; they stick a pretty girl in your arms… They call that a profession? Come on!


Nichita Stanescu

This week’s Romanian Icon is Nichita Stanescu (March 31,  1933 – December 13, 1983), who is one of the most acclaimed figures of the Romanian literature in the 20th century, and maybe the greatest poet of his age. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize and won the Herder Prize. A heavy drinker (he was allegedly drinking up to two bottles of vodka every day) he died at 50 due to liver failure but his work remained a source of inspiration for both the literary scholars as well as his bohemian readers.


“Everything is simple, so simple that it becomes incomprehensible.”

“Tell me, if I caught you one day
And kissed the sole of your foot,
Wouldn’t you limp a little then,
Afraid of crushing my kiss?…”


“My sadness can hear the unborn dogs barking at the unborn men.”



Mircea Eliade

The Romanian Icon I would like to present today is Mircea Eliade (13 martie 1907, Bucharest – 22 aprilie 1986, Chicago). He was educated as a philosopher and became a leading interpreter of religious experience, who established paradigms in religious studies that persist to this day. Apart from that he was also a great novelist. Noted for his vast erudition, Eliade had fluent command of five languages (Romanian, French, German, Italian, and English) and a reading knowledge of three others (Hebrew, Persian, and Sanskrit).


“I don’t want to be mediocre, this is the fear of my soul and my body.”


“It would be frightening to think that in all the Cosmos, which is so harmonious, so complete and equal to itself, that only human life is happening randomly, that only one’s destiny lacks meaning.”

“The way towards ‘wisdom’ or towards ‘freedom’ is the way towards your inner being. This is the simplest definition of metaphysics.”

Constantin Brancusi

The second Romanian icon I would like to write about is Constantin Brancusi (February 19, 1876 – March 16, 1957). Born in a small village close to the Carpathians, he spent most of his life in France too. He is considered the patriarch of modern sculpture. His circle of friend would make anyone jealous nowadays: Ezra Pound, Amadeo Modigliani, Pablo Picasso, Man Ray, Marcel Duchamp, Henri Rousseau.


“There hasn’t been any art yet. Art is just beginning.”


“Things are not difficult to make; what is difficult is putting ourselves in the state of mind to make them.”


“Don’t look for obscure formulas or mystery in my work. It is pure joy that I offer you. Look at my sculptures until you see them. Those closest to God have seen them.”

“Simplicity is not an objective in art, but one achieves simplicity despite one’s self by entering into the real sense of things. “


Emil Cioran

Emil Cioran (8 April 1911 – 20 June 1995) was a Romanian philosopher and essayist who spent most of his life in Paris, France.

“The fact that life has no meaning is a reason to live —moreover, the only one. “


“I am absolutely persuaded that I am nothing in this universe; yet I feel that mine is the only real existence.”


“To suffer is to produce knowledge.”