Michelangelo Antonioni – La notte (1961)

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One of the masterworks of 1960s cinema, La notte [The Night] marked yet another development in the continuous stylistic evolution of its director, Michelangelo Antonioni — even as it solidified his reputation as one of the greatest artists of the 20th century. La notte is Antonioni’s “Twilight of the Gods”, but composed in cinematic terms. Examined from a crane-shot, it’s a sprawling study of Italy’s upper middle-class; seen in close-up, it’s an x-ray of modern man’s psychic desolation. Two of the giants of film-acting come together as a married couple living in crisis: Marcello Mastroianni (La dolce vita, 8 1/2) and Jeanne Moreau (Jules et Jim, Bay of Angels). He is a renowned author and “public intellectual”; she is “the wife”. Over the course of one day and the night into which it inevitably bleeds, the pair will come to re-examine their emotional bonds, and grapple with the question of whether love and communication are even possible in a world built out of profligate idylls and sexual hysteria. Continue reading

Giovanni Pastrone – Cabiria (1914)

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Standing out from all the stumbling efforts toward a new expression of cinema, Giovanni Pastrone’s story of the Second Punic War, Cabiria , demands special attention. Compared to the other colossal Italian spectacles of its time, it had an integrity and sense of purpose. From the beginning it was regarded as something special, and its premiere at the Teatro Vittorio Emmanuele, Turin, on 18 April 1914 was a great occasion. The film’s accompanying score by Ildebrando Pizzetti, performed by an orchestra of 80 and a choir of 70, added to the excitement. Viewed today, the film has lost little of its epic poetry to the zeitgeist, though the acting performances may seem dated. Continue reading

Massimo Dallamano – Cosa avete fatto a Solange? AKA What Have They Done to Solange? (1972)

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SYNOPSIS
Enrico “Henry” Rossini (Fabio Testi), is a teacher in an all-girl Catholic school in London and he is having an affair with one of his students Elizabeth (Cristina Galbó). The two lovers are on a rowing boat floating down the river. When Elizabeth thinks she sees a young girl being chased by a mysterious figure wielding a knife in hand. Enrico later finds out that ones of his students has been murder and when more students fall victim in the same way Enrico becomes the police’s #1 suspect. Will Enrico solve these horrific crimes and clear his name and will he discover who is Solange and what have they done to her? Continue reading

Ingmar Bergman – Sommaren med Monika AKA Summer with Monika (1953)

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“Harry Lund, 19 years old, works at a stock-room for glass and porcelain. In the vicinity works 17 year old Monika at a stock-room for vegetables. Monika is a cheerful and happy young woman and when she sees Harry at a cafe she starts to talk with him. They fall in love with each other. Because of their age, they are both harassed at their respective places of work. Monika has an argument with her father and leaves her home, Harry has an argument with his boss and quits. Since they have nothing that ties them to the city, they take Harry’s small boat to the archipelago to be alone for a few weeks.” Continue reading

Mauro Bolognini – La viaccia (1961)

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At the end of the nineteenth century, the young peasant Amerigo falls in love with Bianca, whom he met in a brothel in Florence, and in order to keep meeting her, steals from his uncle. Wounded with a knife, tries in vain to see her again.
From “L’eredità” (1889) by Mario Pratesi – thanks to a well-balanced screenplay (Pratolini, Festa Campanile and Franciosa) – a Bolognini in great shape has drawn a beautiful film, almost like “Casque d’or”, were it not for a surplus of crepuscular preciosity.
Superb photography by L. Barboni and a dazzling Cardinale.
2 Silver Ribbon 1962: Flavio Mogherini (scenes) and Piero Tosi (costumes).
Morandini Continue reading

Joe D’Amato – Emanuelle In America (1977)

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Description: An American journalist travels throughout the world in search of a good story by joining a modern-day harem and traveling to Venice to see what really goes on at diplomatic parties. While trying to expose a corrupt government official, Emanuelle stumbles upon a group that uses kidnapped girls to make and sell snuff films. A brush with death leaves Emanuelle wondering if it is perhaps time to hang up her camera for good Continue reading