Carmelo Bene – Don Giovanni (1970)

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Quote:
More sombre, controlled and abstract than Bene’s earlier work, this is a baroque, ironic and claustrophobic avant-garde ‘restatement’ of the opera’s incest episode. Accompanied by Mozart’s score, this compulsive, cubist fragmentation of conventional plot in favour of a more profound exploration also utilizes complex, subtle montage, varying from minimal cinema to a sustained staccato rhythm. Bene is reconfirmed as one of the true iconoclastic talents of contemporary cinema. Continue reading

Lina Wertmüller – Notte d’Estate Con Profilo Greco, Occhi a Mandorla, e Odore di Basilico aka Summer Night (1986)

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DVD Verdict Review :

After a weak effort at an English-language film (A Night Full of Rain, with a miscast Candice Bergen), Wertmüller needed to reclaim her reputation. Hence, Summer Night, a recapitulation of Swept Away with fancier dress.

Signora Bolk (Mariangela Melato), a rich woman who fancies herself an ecological activist, hires a former intelligence operative (Roberto Herlitzka, camping it up with an eyepatch and plastic hand, as if he had walked out of a ’60s spy farce) to help her kidnap an eco-terrorist (Michele Placido, because, well, maybe Giannini was busy that week). She chains her prize up in a room, then seduces him. It is all supposed to be funny, I suppose. Continue reading

Roberto Benigni – Il Piccolo diavolo AKA The Little Devil (1988)

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PLOT SYNOPSIS:
Father Maurizio, a priest living in a residential college for priests in Rome, and who is having a tormented love story with a young woman (ever beautiful Stefania Sandrelli), is called out one day to “exorcise” the devil from someone.
The devil turns out to be in the form of a fun-loving man, who calls himself Giuditta, the name of the fat woman he “possessed”.
What Father Maurizio doesn’t know is that this type of devil will turn his life upside down.
The devil, quite young and inexperienced, will try to learn his way into this world by imitation, generating havoc to no end. Continue reading

Tonino Valerii – Mio Caro Assassino AKA My Dear Killer (1972)

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Plot / Synopsis

Following a mysterious decapitation (via mechanical digger) of an insurance investigator, Police Inspector Peretti is put onto the case. Slowly more people are found dead… a man supposedly commits suicide, a women is strangled, another attacked in her flat… but all the clues lead to an unsolved case of kidnapping and murder. Can Peretti find the murderer, if his major clue is a little girls drawing??? Continue reading

Damiano Damiani – L’inchiesta (1986)

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Tito Valerio Tauro is sent by the emperor Tiberius in Galilee to investigate the disappearance of the body of Jesus. Tito thinks quickly attend to his duties and return to Rome, but meets Claudia Procula, Pilate’s wife, fascinated by the personality of Jesus, who reveals that Mary Magdalene was a witness to the resurrection of Jesus. Tito became convinced that Jesus is still alive and that is in place and a conspiracy to hide it, pretending to be Christian, begins to search for Mary Magdalene. Continue reading

Roberto Rossellini – La macchina ammazzacattivi (1952) (DVD)

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Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader wrote:
This rarely shown early film by Roberto Rossellini (1948), one of his few comedies, anticipates with remarkable prescience the conceits of Godard and others about photography in the 60s. A professional small-town photographer finds that he has the power to kill his subjects by taking their picture, turning them into statues of themselves. Rossellini left this project before it was finished, and it was edited and released a few years later without his approval–but it still comes across as a remarkably suggestive fable. Continue reading