Tag Archives: Italian

Amleto Palermi – Cavalleria rusticana (1939)

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PLOT & Review:
(Contains some spoilers)

Quote:
This film was not based on the famous one-act opera of Pietro Mascagni but rather on the original story by the Sicilian writer Giovanni Verga. It’s the story of Santuzza, her love Turiddu, and his passion for the married Lola that leads to his death in a duel when Lola’s husband Alfio exacts satisfaction. Santuzza’s curse leveled at unfaithful Turiddu, “A te la mala Pasqua!” (“Hope you have a bad Easter!”) is a memorable moment… as it was in Mascagni’s opera.

All Sicilian passion and emotion, the film is shot against authentic Sicilian backgrounds. There are wonderful colorful sequences of villagers riding in decorated traditionally decorated carts. Those scenes are so vivid you almost don’t notice the absence of color in this black and white film. Mount Etna looms in the background, suggestive of the smoking volcanic passions of some of the characters we see living near it. Read More »

Joris Ivens, Paolo Taviani, Vittorio Taviani – L’Italia non è un paese povero (1960)

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According to Carlos Böker’s thesis, Joris Ivens, Film-Maker: Facing Reality (“Studies in Photography and Cinematography, No. 1”, UMI Research Press, 1978):

Quote:
…… Ivens was approached by Enrico Mattei, head of ENI, the Italian State Natural Gas Monopoly. Mattei, who died mysteriously in an air crash in 1962, and was the subject of a later film by Francesco Rosi (Il caso Mattei, The Mattei Affair, 1972), had been put in charge of ENI on the understanding that he would wind it up. However, he expanded its activities and investment programme against much internal political opposition and external opposition from the US-controlled multinational oil firms. Ivens’s films, collectively entitled Italia non è un Paese povero, were to be shown on television. The first part, Fuochi della Val Padana (Fire in the Po Valley), deals with the extraction and distribution of methane in the Po Valley. The second part is divided in two: Due città (Two Cities), devoted to Venice (Porto Maghera) and Ravenna, is a treatment of the production of agipgaz and its by-products; and La storia di due alberi (The Story of Two Trees), set in Lucania, which contrasts the impoverishment of peasant life in a southern village, where seven families are dependent on one olive tree, with the future benefits to come through the newly exploited natural resource (mechanisms for controlling the gas outlets, lit up at night, are called “Christmas trees”). Read More »

Lucio Fulci – Murderock – uccide a passo di danza AKA Murder Rock (1984)

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SYNOPSIS
The brutal worlds of murder and dance school competitions are thrown together in yet another lurid Lucio Fulci giallo. When an insane hatpin murderer terrorizes a prestigious New York dance school, mercilessly poking nubile young women deep into their competitive little hearts. Is it one of the students, jealous of competitive placement? Is it the voyeuristic headmaster, who watches the students through his many lurid security cameras? Perhaps it’s even a jealous boyfriend? (DVDActive) Read More »

Leonardo Ciacci & Leonardo Tiberi – La Roma di Mussolini aka Mussolini’s Rome (2008)

A historical document on the uses of Architecture and urban reform as tools for political propaganda, populism and the co-optation of the masses.

The newsreels of the time are a testimony to it: the city is a gigantic construction yard; new buildings rise next to the demolitions in the heart of Rome and the Fascist regime adopts new architectural styles and transforms the city. The documentary La Roma di Mussolini, by Leonardo Tiberi and Leonardo Ciacci, aided by footage of the Istituto Luce and maps and drawings of the time, describes XX century Rome, a monumental city opposed to the ancient and medieval one. And yet Mussolini, and his ‘demolishing fury’ take on older city plans, started or laid out back in 1800s. Republican Italy indeed did the same with projects that have begun under the Fascist regime. Read More »

Miklós Jancsó – La pacifista – Smetti di piovere AKA The Pacifist (1970)

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This highly symbolic and enigmatic political drama by Hungarian director Miklos Jancso was produced by a consortium from Italy, France and West Germany. This film is considered to be an homage to Antonioni as it uses his favorite leading actress (Monica Vitti) and his cameraman Carlo di Palma. This film was made during a time when Jancso was not allowed to make films in his native Hungary. In the middle of the crowd, while covering an Italian political protest by leftists, The Journalist (Monica Vitti), a pacifist, finds herself surrounded by a quite different group of people who jostle her, remove her recording equipment from her and set her car on fire. She complains to the police about this. However, when the police bring one of the young men before her for her to identify him, she says he is not one of her attackers. This leads to her having a romantic relationship with the young man. The group, and the young man, are young Italian neo-fascists, and the young man has been given the job of assassinating a leftist. He is too gentle to do this, and his group kills him right before The Journalist’s eyes. She goes to the police again, but they begin to believe that she is insane, even when she is forced to kill her boyfriend’s assailants right there in the police station. Read More »

Mario Camerini – Il Cappello a tre punte aka Three Cornered Hat (1934)

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Synopsis:

Also known as Three-Cornered Hat, this Italian comedy is based on a Spanish folk tale, which had previously been adapted as a ballet by Manuel de Filla. Director Mario Camerini and his team of screenwriters have refashioned the material as a vehicle for the popular De Filipo brothers, Peppino and Eduardo. The story is a mistaken-identity affair, predicated on the fact that a pompous governor is the exact look-alike of a poor miller. Much of the fun is derived from the efforts to pass off the miller’s homely wife as the governor’s gorgeous spouse. Described by one Mario Camerini devotee as “pretty, noisy and accomplished,” ‘Il Cappell a Tre Punte’ was filmed in 1934, and released in the U.S. two years later. Read More »

Tinto Brass – Action (1980)


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Description: Bruno is an idealistic hero who questions the meaning of life in this confusing and sometimes hallucinatory erotic drama. After a night in jail, he is gang-raped by punk rockers in a garbage dump. He later saves an old man who believes he is Garibaldi and a woman he believes is Ophelia. Bruno watches helplessly as she later jumps from a window.
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