Italy

Ermanno Olmi – Il posto [+Extras] (1961)

“Criterion” wrote:
When young Domenico (Sandro Panseri) ventures from the small village of Meda to Milan in search of employment, he finds himself on the bottom rung of the bureaucratic ladder in a huge, faceless company. The prospects are daunting, but Domenico finds reason for hope in the fetching Antonietta (Loredana Detto). A tender coming-of-age story and a sharp observation of dehumanizing corporate enterprise, Ermanno Olmi’s Il posto is a touching and hilarious tale of one young man’s stumbling entrance into the perils of modern adulthood. Read More »

Mauro Bolognini – Guardia, guardia scelta, brigadiere e maresciallo (1956)

Personally, Bolognini did not feel that he was really at home with comedy, yet he was often offered comedies, and in the early stage of his career he accepted some of these assignments. These films were very successful, and the director ascribed the credit for this to the stars he worked with; in this case unquestionably a handful of Italy’s funniest men of the day: Alberto Sordi, Aldo Fabrizzi, Peppino De Filippo, and Gino Cervi. Read More »

Jem Cohen – Buried in Light (1994)

“A meditation on history, memory, and change in Central and Eastern Europe, Buried in Light is a non-narrative journey, a cinematic collage. Cohen’s “search for images” began at a time of extraordinary flux, as the Berlin Wall was dismantled—opening borders yet ushering in a nascent wave of consumer capitalism. What he saw struck him as a profound paradox: the moment Eastern Europe was revealed was simultaneously the moment it was hidden by the blinding light of commercialism. Cohen’s images are neither the tourist’s roster of picturesque vistas and monuments, nor the mass media’s definitive catalog of dramatic moments. Instead, he focuses on details, ordinary objects, and forgotten places—filming daily life as seen on the street.”
—Linda Dubler, Art at the Edge (Atlanta: High Museum of Art) Read More »

Yervant Gianikian & Angela Ricci Lucchi – Oh! Uomo (2004)

Quote:
Both the Trento History Museum and the Italian History Museum of War of Rovereto came into being immediately after the First World War and have since then combined their exhibition programme with active research into twentieth century history. It is not surprising, then, to find both these museums working together, with the
support of several local authorities, to produce a documentary.
The war cycle by Yervant Gianikian and Angela Ricci Lucchi finds very vivid echo in the local reality where the Great War still stirs very vibrant memories in the local population and where the physical signs of the conflict are still to be seen in the local territory. Read More »

Dino Risi – Belle ma povere AKA Pretty But Poor (1957)

Scharph:
Made right after the great success of Risi’s own Poveri ma belli, and released later the same year, here are the further adventures of Romolo, Salvatore and Giovanna. Read More »

Andrea Pallaoro – Hannah (2017)

Intimate portrait of a woman drifting between reality and denial when she is left alone to grapple with the consequences of her husband’s imprisonment.

Hannah is the intimate portrait of a woman’s loss of identity as she teeters between denial and reality. Left alone grappling with the consequences of her husband’s imprisonment, Hannah begins to unravel. Through the exploration of her fractured sense of identity and loss of self-control, the film investigates modern day alienation, the struggle to connect, and the dividing lines between individual identity, personal relationships, and societal pressures. Read More »

Ettore Scola – Passione d amore aka Passion Of Love (1981)

Ettore Scola’s dark, romantic tale of a woman so stubborn and passionate that nothing can dissuade her from pursuing the object of her affections.

When Captain Bachetti arrives at his new post in Northern Italy, he already resents the reassignment, which has separated him from his mistress, the exquisite Clara. And the situation becomes even more disturbing when this man with a taste for beautiful women finds himself subjected to the persistent attentions of the spectacularly ugly Fosca; everything about this brash, loud, impolite and unattractive creature fills him with horror.
But the Captain has never before encountered the transformative power of love. Read More »