Stefano Sollima – Suburra (2015)

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About
A gangster known as “Samurai” wants to turn the waterfront of Rome into a new Las Vegas. All the local mob bosses have agreed to work for this common goal. But peace is not to last long.
In 2011, Ostia is the subject of a giant real estate project intended to make the harbor of Ancient Rome the Las Vegas of today. But the place soon becomes a battlefield where criminals and politicians either join forces cynically or fight each other ruthlessly. The infernal showdown will last seven days, claiming many lives. Continue reading

Dino Risi – In nome del popolo italiano AKA In the Name of the Italian People (1971)

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Synopsis:
Set in Rome and its surroundings, the film tells in a frighteningly realistic, ruthless and grotesque the evil of two powerful men of Italy in the seventies: a Director of illegal buildings (Vittorio Gassman), extremist fascist, and an upright judge, cynical looking in part to the Italian law (Ugo Tognazzi). Both can not stand each other, given the contrasts between the two men in any social, political and philosophical. Everyone hates each other and would like to delete it, but just because of the bad example that the two men give power to the people, many Italians are adversely affected because of cheating and rudeness of the fascist manufacturer and the communist magistrate. The director Dino Risi underlines the misdeeds and the weakness of the Italian people to react accordingly, by focusing on the story of these two men who are each other’s opposite of the net. Continue reading

Roberto Minervini – Louisiana AKA The Other Side (2015)

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Synopsis
In an invisible territory at the margins of society, at the border between anarchy and illegality, lives a wounded community that is trying to respond to a threat: of being forgotten by society’s institutions and having their rights as citizens trampled. Disarmed veterans, taciturn adolescents, drug addicts trying to escape addiction through love, ex-special forces soldiers still at war with the world, floundering young women and future mothers, and old men and women who have not lost their desire to live. In this hidden pocket of humanity opens the abyss of today’s America. Continue reading

Vittorio De Sica – Il tetto aka The Roof (1956)

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THE ROOF, largely considered the last masterpiece of Italian Neorealist cinema, dramatizes a single night in the lives of Luisa (Gabriella Palloti) and Natale (Georgio Listuzzi), a strikingly good-looking but destitute pair of newlyweds. The couple shares a small two-room apartment with several relatives. Following a bitter family dispute, Luisa and Natale pack out of this untenable living situation. Luisa turns to a friend for housing, while Natale finds shelter in a toolshed. Realizing that separation is no solution, the couple struggles to build a small shack for themselves in a race against time by a Roman municipal edict, which declares that if the roof is not completed by dawn, it will be torn down by the police. True to writer Cesare Zavattini and director/producer Vittorio De Sica’s previous works (THE BICYCLE THIEF, UMBERTO D.), what risks being lost isn’t just material property, it is the personal dignity of the couple and by extenuation, the dignity of all of mankind. The acting, writing, and directing throughout THE ROOF is superb, creating an honest and touching story centered upon the mutual love and devotion of the young newlyweds. Continue reading

Franco Piavoli – Poesie in 8mm AKA Poems in 8mm [+Extras] (1954-1964)

Description
Poems in 8mm are the early works of Franco Piavoli, digitally restored. Independent short films, captured with a simple Paillard camera, involving no crew and no production. In this collection, one can find Le Stagioni (The Seasons), precursor to Il Pianeta Azzurro (The Blue Planet), Emigranti (Emigrants), a short on immigration in Milan during the Sixties, Domenica Sera (Sunday Evening), and the experimental Evasi (Convicts). These titles, up to this point unavailable to the public in an edition that respects the original state of the film. This also goes for the Piavoli’s first work, Ambulatorio (Surgery), described by the director as mere playing around with the camera. Without music and words, it is nonetheless revealing of an artistic sensibility that would soon show itself in full splendour. Continue reading

Emidio Greco – L’invenzione di Morel AKA Morel’s Invention (1974)

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A dejected, worn-out, ill-kempt man spends an inordinate amount of time observing what appear to be well-dressed 1920s high-society types moving in and around a library set in the middle of an otherwise deserted island. Eventually, an irritating explanation for this situation is paired with an improbable one. Continue reading

Franco Piavoli – Nostos: Il Ritorno AKA Nostos: The Return [+Extras] (1990)

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Synopsis
At the end of the war, Odysseus, the wandering hero, with his companions begins his sail back home to the Mediterranean. The conclusion of his adventure is delayed by many natural obstacles and he takes an internal journey of fleeting memories of his childhood, his parents, love for a beautiful girl, nostalgia for the past, regret for what he did, and the deep silence that envelops everything. He confronts the most terrible loneliness following a shipwreck in which all the comrades perish. Continue reading