Marco Bellocchio – Salto nel vuoto AKA A Leap in the Dark (1980)

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imdb summary
Mauro, a judge, is worried about his older sister Marta, who took care of him since he was a boy, and is now affected by psychic problems and suicide fantasies. She seems to recover from her depression when Mauro acquaints her with Giovanni, a brilliant actor at the edge of legality. Mauro become unconsciously jealous of this relationship, and try to get Giovanni arrested. Continue reading

Vittorio De Sica – Il boom (1963)

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Written by John Parrot On 20th April 2012,

By the release of Il Boom in 1963, the Italian economy had seen spectacular growth since 1951 in a growth spurt christened ‘il boom’. The country had left behind both neo-realism and penury. Life may have been sweeter for many people but, as we in the 2010s know, il boom is usually followed by il bust. Even if the Italian economy had been able to defy gravity and travel on a one-way trajectory to the stars, Vittorio De Sica would have been there to bring everyone back down to earth. Il Boom, starring one of Italy’s biggest comic movie stars, Alberto Sordi, looks beneath the glossy surface of the economic miracle to the festering truth of the matter. Continue reading

Elio Petri – L’assassino AKA The Ladykiller of Rome (1961)

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Quote:
The film is a frequently clever examination of a cynical social climber who finds himself in trouble. Arrested at his home and complete with a phoney alibi to cover his infidelity, our antique-dealer hero soon learns that he’s under suspicion for having murdered his ex-lover. Unfortunately for him, he’s not noted for his loving-kindness (he takes financial advantage of the desperate as he relieves them of their valuables) and is, romantically speaking, a cad, having exploited the soon-to-be-deceased lover for career purposes while romancing a younger bubblehead under her nose. All of this inhumanity seems to point to his being the killer, plunging him into a Kafka-lite nightmare that forces him to face up to his own brutishness. Continue reading

Federico Fellini – La città delle donne AKA City of Women (1980)

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Marcello is in the compartment of an Italian train, facing forward when the mineral water of the woman seated across from him starts to fall toward him. He catches the bottle and makes eye contact and follows her when she leaves the compartment. For a few moments she finds him attractive too. Then suddenly she gets off the train and starts walking through a field. Marcello follows her, loses her, finds himself in a large hotel surrounded by women. A feminist conference is taking place and he tries to escape. Continue reading

Mauro Bolognini – Madamigella di Maupin AKA Mademoiselle de Maupin (1966)

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Maddalena (the radiant Catherine Spaak) is obliged to dress as a young cleric to escape an invading army, which gets her into hot water as she is forcibly drafted to fight on the other side under the fiery Alcibiade (Robert Hossein). This leads to a series of comic misunderstandings as Alcibiade begins to suspect himself of unnatural feelings for a brother officer. A delightfully frivolous, sexy entertainment, enhanced by the director’s light touch with period detail. Continue reading

Mauro Bolognini, Mario Monicelli, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Steno, Pino Zac, Franco Rossi – Capriccio all’italiana AKA Caprice Italian Style (1968)

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Synopsis:
The film consists of six short stories created by different directors, but all the stories share one thing: a warm irony to current events.

Review:
Italian PORTMANTEAU film, a bit uneven.

Segment four by Pier Paolo Pasolini is by far the best; a completely MINDBLOWING and DERANGED rendering of OTHELLO played in a puppet theatre with human marionettes!
TOTÒ has the main role in this, and also in segment 2, where he hates Italian beatniks and stalks them as THE SUNDAY MONSTER! Both segments are very funny in completely different ways, but segment 2 would probably not have worked without Totò.
Segment 5 is completely unlike everything else; four minutes short, based on a animated cartoon by Pino Zac, and with Silvana Mangano as the Queen of England, and with guest appearances by James Bond (model Sean Connery)! The other three segments are fully watchable, although not so FAR OUT as number 2, 4 and 5. Continue reading