Francesco Rosi – I magliari AkKA The Swindlers (1959)

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Synopsis:
In Rosi’s film I magliari (The Weavers, sometimes known as The Swindlers, 1959) the Southern Problem is articulated through the theme of emigration. The film is, in fact, both set and shot entirely in Germany where a motley group of Italian immigrants try to make their fortune by engaging in a series of organised scams that appear to revolve around the sale of poor quality textiles to Germans at inflated prices. Although the latter part of the film develops into something of a love story between the rather good-hearted young Tuscan emigrant, Mario (Renato Salvatore), and Paola (Belinda Lee), the wife of the German boss, much of the film focuses on male groups exercising, challenging and negotiating power in a desperate effort to secure spoils and territory. Continue reading

Francesco Rosi – Tre fratelli AKA Three Brothers (1981)

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Quote:
Three Brothers opens to an oddly sterile medium shot of a building wall (made even colder and more impersonal by the black and white photography) as the amplified sound of a heartbeat discordantly accompanies an elegiac melody, before a jarring chromatic shift focuses the camera in extreme close-up at the center of a littered, derelict vacant lot amid a pack of rats scavenging for food. The strangely primal image serves to wake the pensive and introverted Rocco (Vittorio Mezzogiorno) from his discomforting sleep, who then subsequently opens his door to reveal the bustling sight of rambunctious, troubled adolescents in their sleeping quarters at a juvenile reformatory facility in Naples. An early morning visit from the local police seemingly reinforces his own sense of crisis over the efficacy of his selfless efforts to rescue the children entrusted to his care as their investigation into a series of petty thefts has been traced back to several unidentified young delinquents who have devised a means to scale the walls of the institute at night to sneak into town, then return to the facility unobserved by morning, and have asked Rocco for his assistance in identifying the perpetrators. The theme of protective and isolating walls carries through to the image of Rocco’s elderly father Donato (Charles Vanel) as he leaves the gates of his remote mountainside villa in southern Italy and, while walking through an open field, has a surreal encounter with his wife Catalina as she attempts to recapture an errant rabbit that had escaped from the kitchen. Continue reading

Francesco Rosi – Tre fratelli AKA Three Brothers [+Extra] (1981)

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PLOT & Review:
From a village of the Murge (Apulia) three telegrams are sent: “Mom died. Your father. ”
The three Giuranna brothers return to the family home after many years of absence.
F. Rosi tells another story of the South, but from within, poised between private and public. But the first dimension is expressed, the second only declared.
A parable about today’s Italy, sincere, honest, always interesting, sometimes involving.
Written by Rosi and Tonino Guerra on a cue from the story “The Third Son” by Andrei P. Platonov. Continue reading

Vittorio Gassman & Francesco Rosi – Kean aka Kean, Genio e Sregolatezza aka Kean, Genius and Recklessness (1956)

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Synopsis

Edmund Kean is a popular and flamboyant British actor of the nineteenth century, addicted however to vices and in debt. He argues with the Prince of Wales, his companion in intemperance, the wife of the Danish ambassador, but eventually falls in love with Anna, a young but promising beginning actress. Continue reading

Francesco Rosi – I Magliari (1959)

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Description:
Mario is in Hannover to work as a miner but after loosing his job he decides to go back to Italy. When Totonno steals his passport to avoid the police and later on he offers him a new job as “magliaro” (cloth seller), Mario changes his mind and decides to follow Totonno to Hamburg. In Hamburg, Totonno and his friends have to sell Mayer’s cloth but they meet with the hostility of a Polish gang and Mario falls in love with Paula Mayer. Continue reading