Umberto Eco, author of works including The Name of the Rose, Foucault’s Pendulum and The Island of the Day Before, is one of the world’s best-selling novelists.
He is also a politically provocative journalist and an eminent academic writer, a professor of semiotics at the University of Bologna who has described his field as unifying two ends of the intellectual spectrum: “from Joyce to Disney and anything in between. No science, except perhaps philosophy, can actually explain the whole world. Semiotics is not a science. It should be seen as one element in an interdisciplinary school which explains what it means to think, a way of looking at the world under the profile of communication.”
His fiction displays a dazzling erudition, which ranges across the sciences, history, mythology, religion and modern technology. He is fascinated by medieval aesthetics. This profile of Eco lights on his many passions and concerns, as well as looking at his novels, in particular The Island of the Day Before, a suspenseful, seafaring adventure which is full of the elements that have delighted his millions of readers – philosophy, natural history, courtly love, theology, political intrigue, cosmology, delightful puns, puzzles and high-spirited humor. A dramatized sequence from the book is included.
Shot on location with Umberto Eco in Italy and Paris, the film is visually stunning and is complemented by a diverse selection of musical excerpts. It forms a fascinating introduction this remarkable writer and the many worlds he inhabits.