A Ticket to Hollywood: Europeans in Screenland, 1925-56 by Antonello Villani is, “an engaging and visually stimulating introduction to a fascinating place and time period from many of those who both shaped it and were shaped by it.”
It focuses on the contingent of European men and women of arts and letters whose journey to Los Angeles was ostensibly spurred by an interest in the motion picture industry and the opportunities it was believed to generate. It consists of five short chapters covering architecture, music, literature, the movies, and the Europeans in 1930s, 40s and 50s Los Angeles. Though PROLOGUE introduces the diversity of individual experience, the interconnectedness of European immigrant life in L.A. will be stressed by linking each character’s narrative together into one continuous story. Stressing the role of LA in the lives of the immigrants reflects the filmmaker’s belief that the city and its distinguished and sometimes overlooked European residents grew together and contributed, albeit unevenly, to each other’s growth.
Professor Villani has taught at The American University of Rome since 1998. He has also taught at Temple University and John Cabot University, the Cinecitta` Film Studios, LUISS University, and the University of New Haven and Tempe University at their CEA campus in Rome.
He is an award winning filmmaker and has been an independent and freelance writer and producer/director for a number of film and TV production companies in both Los Angeles and Rome. His latest project, Pilgrimage about the encounter of Susan Sontag and Thomas Mann in 1950 LA is currently in post production. He has been an actor in a number of motion pictures including Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York.