Paolo Zelati


Italian Gothic: Paper Nightmares

Location: SciencePlusFiction. Trieste

Date: November 2014

The homage promoted by SciencePlusFiction to the great Mario Bava gave me, finally, the chance to organize an exhibition focusing on the Italian Horror Gothic, one of my favorite genres ever. The posters on display, other than underlining the key role of Mario in the Genre, Pay homage to the entire magical season of the Italian Gothic Horror and its Muse: Barbara Steele.



Location: KISS ME DEADLY Noir Festival: Campobasso

Date: August 2019

From 26 to 31 August 2019 the happening dedicated to the Noir World Kiss Me Deadly hosted my exhibition of photobustas with the aim of telling the history and paying homage to the great American Noir cinema.



Location: LIGNANO NOIR 2018

Date: SEPTEMBER 2018

..The exhibition offers a unique journey to discover the noir genre through famous and very rare photo envelopes made in Italy, part of the heritage of the collector Paolo Zelati. An exhibition not to be missed, which offers the story of an era and a film production and which includes pieces now unavailable such as photobustas for The Blue Dahlia (1946), Cat People (1943), Casablanca (1942), Sunset Blvd (1951), then Classics as Gilda (1946), Postman Always Rings Twice (1946) and finally some very hard to find titles as The Glass Key (1947) and Double Indemnity (1947)...

Extract from the Festival program


Paper Mutations: The Cinema of David Cronenberg

Location: Lucca Film Festival

Date: March 2015



Location: Barga, Tuscany

Date: April 2016

Among the various currents of Exploitation Cinema worldwide, Mondo Movie is certainly one of the most bizarre and interesting. The term Mondo derives from Mondo Cane, a 1962 film directed by Gualtiero Jacopetti, Franco Prosperi and Paolo Cavara which, obtaining a resounding success worldwide, has generated a real new line of documentaries aimed at exploring the rawest, wildest, most violent and itchy aspects of the various parts of the world. Although it is possible to associate the birth of the Mondo Movie with European Nights (1958, by Alessandro Blasetti) and with the subsequent World By Night (1959, by Luigi Vanzi) and America by Night (1961 by Giuseppe Scotese), it is only with Mondo Cane that the Genre assumes those fundamental characteristics that we will find in dozens of shockumentaries produced from 1962 to the end of the Eighties. During the Sixties, where the showable on the big screen was still severely limited by censorship and society, the Mondo Movie - albeit masked behind bombastic pedagogical intentions of various kinds - became the first genre to satisfy the voyeuristic expectations of that slice of the public (quite large considering the Box Office) hunting for the thrills of the Forbidden. Chills which, of course, can be traced back to the two magic words of all Exploitation Cinema: Sex and Violence. And to achieve this goal, the Genre essentially focuses on two macro-strands: the Ethnic / Exotic"one (with particular preference for Africa and its tribal traditions) and the Sexy / Nocturnal one (practically a very long virtual tour for night clubs, dance halls and beauty contests around the world). Among the winning features of Mondo Movie (at least as far as Italy is concerned) is that of being able to count on some of the most original, fascinating and colorful movie posters of the sixties / seventies. Much of the credit for this result goes to two amazing painters, authors of the most interesting posters of the whole Mondo Movie genre: Manfredo Acerbo (1913-1989) and Sandro Simeoni (1928-2007). The exhibition aims to be a tribute to Gualtiero Jacopetti and Franco Prosperi (the inventors of the genre) and, at the same time, intends to provide an all-encompassing look at the development of Mondo Movie through the iconography of its posters, photobustas and playbills. At the same time it celebrates and remembers the talent of Manfredo (of which you can see the 4sh of Mondo Cane and that of World By Night 2) and Simeoni ( 2 sheets of Universe by night) and of all the other poster designers who helped bringing the audience to theaters.



Location: Lucca

Date: April 2016

Considered as one of the most important phases in the history of contemporary Fantastic cinema, the beginning of American New Horror can be dated to the mid-sixties with the birth of the pyrotechnic gore by Herschell Gordon Lewis, to end, then, towards the end of the eighties in almost the same way, namely with the splatter and the body horror mutations. During these twenty years, American Horror has changed its face undergoing a real revolution both on the narrative and on the visual level: the living dead by George Romero (the real groundbreaker on a conceptual level), the cannibals armed with chainsaws by Tobe Hooper , Larry Cohen's mutants and John Carpenter's dark besiegers no longer acted from the reassuring remoteness of dark European castles but, on the contrary, struck directly into the heart of the American family. The threat, in other words, is no longer out there but within the American Dream. The public's perception of horror cinema begins to change and expectations also conform to the degree of violence already present, daily, in the society of the period. And while the cinematic experience becomes cathartic, the advertising of the films in question also adapts to the new trends. The posters of horror films (always among the most evocative and colorful) became, in the 70s and 80s, even more shocking and explicit: there is no limit to the horror that can be represented and the posters are designed to communicate this message to an audience increasingly hungry for thrills. The exhibition I organized wants to pay homage to this unrepeatable trend through two sections. The first is dedicated to George A. Romero and sees the exhibition of some of the most successful and representative Italian posters of his cinema such as Night of the living dead, Dawn of the Dead, Creepshow"and The Crazies. The second section, on the other hand, tends to trace a brief history of American New Horror through the American posters of the most significant films from the beginnings of the genre (Spider Baby, Blood Feast, Night of the Living Dead) to the last fires of the mid-80s ( Re-Animator, Nightmare on Elm Street).


© Paolo Zelati - All rights reserved

Credits   |   Privacy Policy