ROME (Reuters) - Italian film and opera director Franco Zeffirelli is offering his services to Pope Benedict as an image consultant, saying the German pontiff comes across as cold and needs to review his wardrobe.
"It's an issue I have been discussing with people who have key roles in the Vatican," said Zeffirelli, who has directed some Vatican television events.
Zeffirelli, 84, added that papal robes were "too sumptuous and flashy." "What is needed is the simplicity and sobriety seen in the other echelons of the Church," he said.
Benny! Baby! Can we talk?
I heard about that Zeffirelli guy saying he could help you out. Listen, if there's one thing I know, it's style, and I gotta tell you I love the man's movies, but clothes? Come on, he dresses like he's the reincarnation of Sinatra or something. You know, Ginzo-- uh, I mean, Italian. I love Italians. Viva l'Italia. Did I mention I did some work in Sicily once? On a picture for Cop'. Fabulous experience.
Anyway, back to the duds. Franco has a point: they're a little dated, you know? Even Tom Wolfe doesn't do the white suits any more. And don't take it personal, kid, but red just isn't your color.
You want something differe, something new, something that says "I am the NOW pope." Here's my idea: You go down in history as the first gansta holy fatha!
A couple of adjustments, that's all it'll take. We ditch the pectoral cross and get you something in diamonds. A big pendant of St. Pete's or something. And "IL PAPA" spelled out underneath. Do you love it? Do you LOVE this idea? You do, I can feel it. I can feel the love.
I notice you wear that little white skullcap. Tell the truth, is it so far from a 'do rag? One little change, big new image.
Red cape, uh-uh. We go with- ready ?- purple. Has that nice "pentitential" vibe to it- remember you're a German, you're supposed to be sorry, right?
All this is just for starters, babe. We'll talk about the hair later. I have a fabulous stylist-- I think his mother was Italian , you're gonna love him.