Italy

Paolo Taviani & Vittorio Taviani – La Masseria Delle Allodole AKA The Lark Farm (2007)

As adapted from the roman by Antonia Arslan and co-directed by legendary Italian brothers Paolo and Vittorio Taviani, The Lark Farm marks one of the few international features to tackle the Armenian genocide head-on. The story (with its thematic parallels, in the early scenes, to De Sica’s 1970 Garden of the Finzi-Continis) concerns the Avakian clan. An Armenian family living an affluent lifestyle and periodically shuttling back and forth between their two comfortable homes, the Avakians feel convinced that the rising tide of Turkish hostility on the horizon means little to them and will scarcely affect their day to day. Read More »

Romolo Guerrieri – Liberi armati pericolosi AKA Young, Violent, Dangerous (1976)

Synopsis:
Paul, Joe and Louie go on a bloodthirsty and pointless crime spree, much to the dismay of Paul’s girlfriend (Eleonora Giorgi) and the local police commissioner (Tomas Milian) . The group starts by robbing a gas station where Paul guns down three people. They later rob a bank and a grocery store where Paul kills off an entire other gang that was helping him rob the place. It isn’t long before the entire police force is out to nab the 3 criminals, who pick up the girl and proceed to hightail it to the Swiss border. Read More »

Cecilia Mangini – La Canta delle marane AKA Le Chant des fosses (1961)

A short film between fiction and documentary by long-time director Cecilia Mangini (still alive today) and written by Pier Paolo Pasolini. An unknown masterpiece.

Par une chaude journée d’été, une bande de garçons de la banlieue de Rome jouent et rient dans une des nombreuses rivières qui entourent la ville. La caméra les scrute, les approche, révèle les gestes et les regards, et les enveloppe d’une sorte de danse visuelle, tandis que les mots du commentaire – confié à la sensibilité poétique de Pier Paolo Pasolini – racontent les histoires, les désirs, les rêves, l’avenir Read More »

Marco Bellocchio – I pugni in tasca AKA Fists in the Pocket (1965)

Quote:
Tormented by twisted desires, a young man takes drastic measures to rid his grotesquely dysfunctional family of its various afflictions in this astonishing 1965 debut from Marco Bellocchio. Charged by a coolly assured style, shocking perversity, and savage gallows humor, Fists in the Pocket (I pugni in tasca) was a gleaming ice pick in the eye of bourgeois family values and Catholic morality, a truly unique work that continues to rank as one of the great achievements of Italian cinema. Read More »

Tonino Valerii – I giorni dell’ira AKA Day of Anger (1967)

Synopsis:
Amiable, unassertive Scott Mary picks up the trash, cleans the toilets, sweeps the floors in the town of Clifton. Then a gunfighter comes to town. He offers advice and guidance to Scott who quickly begins to toughen and mature, thus upsetting the balance of power in the town. Read More »

Dino Risi – Sesso e volentieri (1982)

Director Dino Risi helmed this episodic Italian erotic comedy. The main point of interest in this one is the incredible cast of Eurosploitation starlets in various stages of undress: Laura Antonelli, Gloria Guida and Margaret Lee, with Johnny Dorelli in all ten of the episodes.
Most definitely, not Risi’s best film, but still Risi. Read More »

Mario Caiano – …a tutte le auto della polizia aka Calling All Police Cars (1975)

Synopsis:
At the core of Without Trace is a story about a young girl who is the daughter a prominent doctor. When the girl goes missing her father gets the police to jump into action because of his class status / wealth. Early on this provides one in the story this provides one of the many intricate back stories. There is a loose cannon detective who takes offense to the fact that the police bend over backwards when someone of wealth is involved and drag their feet when it is someone from a poverty background. Things quickly change when the young girls body is discovered and this detective become more sympathetic towards her. Read More »