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 Mauro Bolognini – La viaccia (1961)
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 – Madamigella di Maupin AKA Mademoiselle de Maupin (1966)
The film consists of six short stories created by different directors, but all the stories share one thing: a warm irony to current events.
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 Mauro Bolognini, Mario Monicelli, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Steno, Pino Zac, Franco Rossi – Capriccio all’italiana AKA Caprice Italian Style (1968)
A mental hospital somewhere in Tuscany during the thirties. Far away from fascism, this closed world is ruled over by Dr. Bonaccorsi, a passionate and benevolent psychiatrist whose dream is to isolate the germ of madness. He’s also a very active womanizer and three women benefit from his sexual itch: Francesca, the hospital manager’s wife, Bianca, his devoted nurse and Carla, the nymphomaniac wife of a doctor. His well-ordered universe starts to be challenged with the coming of Anna, a trainee psychiatrist, who disapproves of his theory on the origin of madness. Worse, she resists his advances. Since Bonaccorsi is more insecure than he looks, what will become of him? Continue reading Mauro Bolognini – Per le antiche scale AKA Down the Ancient Stairs (1975)
Based on Italo Svevo’s great novel so admired by James Joyce, this atmospherically photographed film is set in old Trieste and centers on a middle-aged public official and his unrequited love for a flirtatious but unpossessable girl who blithely betrays him. The melancholy hero is played by Anthony Franciosa; Claudia Cardinale is the girl. The man’s sister (Betsy Blair) is a depressive also disappointed in love. Upon her death by her own hand our hero faces a life of continued solitude.
Bolognini’s misty evocation of perennial “tristezza” (sadness of spirit) and its equivalent in damp gloomy ambiance is the kind of thing he does so well. One only has to think of what he achieved in “La viaccia” and “Fatti di gente perbene”. This is one of his very best films and was only given a limited release in the U.S.A. under the title of “Careless”. Director of photography Armando Nannuzzi gave the “old postcard” look to the city.
Gerald A. DeLuca @VIMDb Continue reading Mauro Bolognini – Senilità (1962)
At a stage performance of Alexandre Dumas fils’ celebrated novel Camille, an old man reflects on the events which provided the inspiration for the story. He is Plessis, the father of Alphonsine, a celebrated courtesan who died five years ago from tuberculosis.
A country girl, Alphonsine was sold by her father to a neighbour before escaping to Paris to make a living as a seamstress and prostitute. The wealthy Count Stackelberg adopts her after the death of his own daughter, and then she marries the Count Perregaux. When she separates from her husband, Alphonsine returns to Paris and resumes her career as a prostitute, in spite of her declining health.
This sumptuous period drama from acclaimed Italian director Mauro Bolognini recounts the life of Alphonsine Plessis, the famous Parisian prostitute who was the inspiration for Alexandre Dumas’ novel Camille and Guiseppi Verdi’s opera La Traviata. Isabelle Huppert plays the leading role with delicacy and sensitivity, portraying Alphonsine as a vulnerable waif-like character who is constantly tormented by her ill health and her voracious sexual appetite. (filmsdefrance.com)
Continue reading Mauro Bolognini – La Storia vera della signora dalle camelie AKA The True Story of Camille (1981)
Liv Ullman stars as real-life Russian Jewish dissident and astronomer Ida Nudel, who was denied permission to emigrate and then sent to a labor camp after protesting in Moscow in 1980. Starting off as a romance, turning into a grim political thriller, and then veering into tragedy, director Mauro Bolognini’s melancholy film offers another one of the director’s portraits of strong-willed women who are persecuted by history. The film isn’t particularly well-known, and it’s almost never seen nowadays. But any Ennio Morricone fans will immediately recognize the film’s haunting score, one of the composer’s greatest works. Continue reading Mauro Bolognini – Mosca addio aka Farewell Moscow (1987)