Flim director Zeffirelli offers pope makeover
ROME ” Franco Zeffirelli would like to make over what he called Pope Benedict XVI’s “cold” image and his “showy” clothes, an Italian newspaper reported Saturday, saying the film, stage and opera director offered his services in an interview.
Coming after the media-savvy Pope John Paul II, “Benedict XVI still has a cold way of communicating, little suited to what is happening around him,” Zeffirelli was quoted as telling the Turin daily La Stampa.
“Even his wardrobe needs to be revised,” the 84-year-old Zeffirelli was quoted as saying. “These are not times of high-tailored church wear.” Instead, his vestments should reflect “sobriety,” the director said. “The papal vestments have been done over to be too sumptuous and showy.”
John Paul II, often spontaneous and sometimes outdoorsy, had little use for fancy papal attire. But Benedict has taken to wearing some eye-stopping outfits in his public appearances, including a red velvet cape trimmed with ermine, a fur-trimmed stocking cap that some first mistook for a Santa Claus hat, and bright red Prada loafers.
Zeffirelli, who has directed ceremonies at the Vatican, sounded eager in the interview to be an image consultant for Benedict.
“If they give me an official supervisory role, I would dedicate myself to it full time,” Zeffirelli was quoted by La Stampa as saying. “There is a great need for it.”
“I know (Joseph) Ratzinger personally,” the director said, using the German-born pope’s name before he became pontiff. “He’s very attentive to the importance of how the sacred is represented.”