Tag Archives: Italian

Danièle Huillet & Jean-Marie Straub – Fortini / Cani (1976)


Synopsis :
The film is a sort of presentation of Franco Fortini’s book ‘I Cani del Sinai’. Fortini, an Italian Jew, reads excerpts from the book about his alienation from Judaism and from the social relations around him, the rise of Fascism in Italy, the anti-Arab attitude of European culture. The images, mostly a series of Italian landscape shots, provide a backdrop that highlights the meaning of the text. Read More »

Erik Gandini – Videocracy (2009)


Much has been sad about this documentary, before it’s been shown. Europe outside Italy has its view clear. How is Berlusconi possible? You meet this agent with Mussolini songs in his cell phone. You meet the paparazzi king who with a considerable amount of self irony calls himself a Robin Hood, who takes from the poor and gives to himself. You also meet the 26-year-old worker, still living with his mother, who wants to be famous, combining Ricky Martin songs with karate tricks.

What we are supposed to think is obvious, but who is to blame? Is it the TV viewers who let this happened or someone else? The hen or the egg once again. That’s the discussion which really ought to start from this film. (Stensson, from IMDB)
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Salvatore Mereu – Bellas mariposas (2012)


Italian writer-director Salvatore Mereu’s drama of Sardinian childhood adapts a short story by local author Sergio Atzeni.

There are films that gently invite the viewer into their world, and there are others which yank us in throat first. Salvatore Mereu’s Bellas Mariposas, a twelve-year-old’s precocious journal of one long summer day in her run-down Sardinian neighborhood, is a fine example of the latter. Writer-director Mereu, ably following up 2008’s well-received Sonetaula with another snapshot of life on his native island, accumulates detail and atmosphere to a claustrophobic degree, audaciously deploying direct-to-camera address to make the viewer more confidant than spectator.

Immersively evocative and grittily atmospheric, this is distinctive auteur fare whose hard-knock verisimilitude recalls more violent recent predecessors like Matteo Garrone’s widely-admired Gomorrah (2008) and Matteo Botrugno & Daniele Coluccini’s lesser-known Et In Terra Pax (2010). Somewhat overlooked when premiering in a Venice sidebar, Mereu’s “free” adaptation of an unfinished tale by influential Sardinian author Sergio Atzeni unfortunately faces an uphill battle to find room even at mainland Italian arthouses. Edgy festivals and those with a particular interest in young people’s issues should nevertheless definitely give it a try. Read More »

Matteo Pellegrini – Italian Movies (2012)


Cleaners, emigrants from all over the world, work in night shift at studio sound stages where Italian soap operas are filmed. Once they find unlocked one of the doors to rooms where cameras and shooting equipment is stored. And Hindu Dilip stumbles on a great idea: to film his friend’s wedding ceremony as a gift to him. Quite soon this idea becomes the second source of income for the whole shift team of cleaners and changes their lives forever. After many ceremonies and guest nights they decide to use the empty sound stages at night to film the real stories of real people. The TV «soap» during the day and the real life stories at night… A small screw in the huge television machine. But how long will it last?
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Davide Manuli – Girotondo, giro intorno al mondo (1998)


Angelo is an orphan who grew up with a nomad woman. He reacts to his pain over the death of his best friend for overdose, thanks to the encounter with Serena. She survives being a prostitute, but she has not lost hope. Angelo moves along an axis of characters in a desolate and poetic day without end. Read More »

Franco Zeffirelli – I Pagliacci (1982)


IMDB User Comment:
Viva Pagliacci! Viva Zeffirelli!
27 August 2006 | by Marcin Kukuczka (Cieszyn, Poland)

Ruggero Leoncavallo’s dramatic libretto, PAGLIACCI, has been brought to screen several times. The sad story of Canio, a traveling entertainer betrayed by his wife, Nedda, has touched the audiences for years. Let us mention the famous Enrico Caruso and the significant role of this opera in his career. Yet, nowadays, when you want to find a good operatic direction, particularly its form on screen, look for Franco Zeffirelli’s works. While seeing his works, you can expect nothing less than a masterwork. The talented Italian-international director Zeffirelli, in case of opera, is probably most known for his ultimate masterpiece, the screen adaptation of Giusseppe Verdi’s LA TRAVIATA (1981). What crowds there are who say that they began to love opera thanks to this one! Nevertheless, PAGLIACCI is equally worth attention, not only for opera fans and not only due to the fact that the same classical pair are cast (Teresa Stratas and Placido Domingo). Read More »

Bernardo Bertolucci – Il conformista AKA The Conformist (1970)


This story opens in 1938 in Rome, where Marcello has just taken a job working for Mussollini and is courting a beautiful young woman who will make him even more of a conformist. Marcello is going to Paris on his honeymoon and his bosses have an assignment for him there. Look up an old professor who fled Italy when the fascists came into power. At the border of Italy and France, where Marcello and his bride have to change trains, his bosses give him a gun with a silencer. In a flashback to 1917, we learn why sex and violence are linked in Marcello’s mind. (IMDb) Read More »