Cinzia Th. Torrini – Caramelle AKA Sweeties (1995)

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Synopsis
Anna is not so very young any more, but still a voluptuous woman and full of desire. Unlike her husband, who prefers to watch television instead of making love to his wife. Diets and aerobics fail to revive his sexual interest, and Anna turns to a fortune-teller for help. Unfortunately, the love potions also have dissatisfying side-effects and surprising results. Finally, a proper solution is found in some magic sweets: each sweet will make Anna seven years younger. Which might be rather tricky for a compulsive eater … Continue reading

Danièle Huillet & Jean-Marie Straub – Fortini / Cani (1976)

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Synopsis :
The film is a sort of presentation of Franco Fortini’s book ‘I Cani del Sinai’. Fortini, an Italian Jew, reads excerpts from the book about his alienation from Judaism and from the social relations around him, the rise of Fascism in Italy, the anti-Arab attitude of European culture. The images, mostly a series of Italian landscape shots, provide a backdrop that highlights the meaning of the text. Continue reading

Elio Petri – Todo modo (1976)

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Description

Set at an indeterminate time in the near future, this routine, well-acted drama by Elio Petri tackles favorite Italian topics: religion and politics. A bit of macabre fantasy is added to the mix, but the end product remains somewhat muddled. Don Gaetano (Marcello Mastroianni) is a priest who is supervising a group of Christian Democrats on a religious retreat. The objective is to help these politicians purify their past wrongdoings, no matter how large or small, and live closer to God. The retreat takes place in a concrete bunker with plenty of small rooms for contemplation and icons set here and there to offer inspiration. Once the retreat begins, the politicos alarmingly begin to die off one by one. Don Gaetano wants them to get closer to God but did he mean that close? Continue reading

Roman Polanski – Che? AKA What? [+ Extras] (1972)

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Synopsis:
One of Roman Polanski’s lesser-known films, Che? (also known as What?) stars Sydne Rome as an attractive young hitchhiker who, as the film opens, accepts a ride from three men in a car, who later attempt to rape her. She escapes their clutches and makes her way to a mansion owned by millionaire Joseph Noblart (Hugh Griffith), who is overseeing a decadent party. Among the guests at his home are a pair of table-tennis players, a man with a harpoon (played by Polanski himself). Continue reading

Tinto Brass – Fermo posta Tinto Brass AKA P.O. Box Tinto Brass (1995)

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This film is a series of letters, photos and video cassettes which women often send in to certain newspapers. By visualizing their story-telling (the name given by the psychologists to their fantasies) the film portrays the confessions, the secret longings, the adventures, recollections, dreams, desires and fantasies of these women. It is an open secret that most women dream of forbidden affairs, secret lovers and hasty encounters but when it comes down to it they lack the courage to pursue their dreams. Continue reading

Marco Bellocchio, Bernardo Bertolucci, Jean-Luc Godard, Carlo Lizzani, Pier Paolo Pasolini – Amore e rabbia aka Love and Anger (1969)

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Synopsis:
Love and Anger is a collection of five stories that are the handiwork of directors that have made names for themselves in decidedly different ways among the annals of foreign cinema. The heavy hitters of the time are all on board, including Bernardo Bertolucci (The Last Emperor, Partner), Marco Bellocchio (Devil in the Flesh), Carlo Lizzani (Requiescant), Pier Paolo Pasolini (Salo), and, a huge treat, the legendary Jean-Luc Godard (Band of Outsiders, Breathless). Most of these films are extremely surreal, but they all have political undertones. This actually works out quite well, as even if you aren’t familiar with the political climate in Italy and France during the 1960s, you can revel in these masters’ liberal use of inventive imagery, much of which never comes completely together in a standard narrative structure. The actors come from a pair of renowned theater groups: the Living Theater and Andy Warhol Factory, and include Julian Beck, who made his mark in Hollywood as the creepy preacher in Poltergeist II. Continue reading