MoMA Presents

Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel’s Vera

Aug 9–15, 2023


Vera. 2022. Austria. Directed by Tizza Covi, Rainer Frimmel. Courtesy of Be For Films
  • MoMA, Floor T2/T1 The Debra and Leon Black Family Film Center

One of the most fascinating and nearly uncategorizable features to come out of the 2022 Venice Film Festival, Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel’s Vera won the Best Actress and Best Directors awards in the formally adventurous Orizzonti section. Vera is ostensibly a sympathetic yet elusive portrait of Vera Gemma, the daughter of the popular Spaghetti Western actor Giuliano Gemma, who well into middle age continues to live in, and through, her father’s memory and dissipating fame, and whose bombastic personality and beauty make her the toast of Roman shopkeepers, bartenders, and hairdressers, while only thinly masking her loneliness and fragility. Generous to a fault, Vera is an easy mark for Gennaro, the desperately poor car mechanic and single father who exploits her after a traffic accident involving his eight-year-old son, and for her shifty boyfriend Fidanzato (“Can you ask Monica Bellucci if she’ll be in my film?”). Covi and Frimmel mix reality and fiction, and celebrity and self-delusion, in dazzlingly kaleidoscopic ways—Vera “plays” and improvises herself, even knowingly standing alongside Asia Argento, the daughter of a famous director, at the grave of Goethe’s unnamed son. But what is truth, really, in the glitzy worlds of show business, influencer culture, and moviemaking? And is it really so impossible to believe Vera quoting Schopenhauer?

Organized by Joshua Siegel, Curator, Department of Film.

  • This film series is part of MoMA Presents.
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