Tag Archives: Italian

Joe D’Amato – Emanuelle e Françoise le sorelline AKA Emanuelle’s Revenge AKA Emanuelle and Francoise (1975)

Synopsis:
Emanuelle (Lindt) is out to avenge her sister (Gori), who committed suicide after escaping from her sadistic lover Carlo (Eastman). So she chains him up in her basement, drugs him, and forces him to watch her having sex. Carlo starts hallucinating all kinds of bloody horrors and cannibalistic doings, so he decides he has to break free and kill Emanuelle. Read More »

Danièle Huillet & Jean-Marie Straub – Dalla nube alla resistenza, aka: From the Cloud to the Resistance (1979)


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Straub/Huillet’s From the Cloud to the Resistance (1978) has been summarized by Straub as follows: ‘From the cloud, that is from the invention of the gods by man, to the resistance of the latter against the former as much as to the resistance against Fascism.

‘Dalla nube alla resistenza (From the Cloud to the Resistance ) (1978), based on two works by Cesare Pavese, falls into the category of History Lessons and Too Early, Too Late as well. It, too, has two parts—a twentieth-century text and a text regarding the myths of antiquity, each set in the appropriate landscape. Pavese’s The Moon and the Bonfires looks back on the violent deaths of Italian anti-Fascist resistance fighters; Dialogues with Leucò is a series of dialogues between heroes and gods, connecting myth and history and returning to an ambiguous stage in the creation of distinctions, such as that between animal and human, which are fundamental to grammar and language itself. Such a juxtaposition of political engagement with profoundly contemplative issues such as myth, nature, and meaning points to the characters of Empedocles and Antigone in the Hölderlin films.’

(Library Synopsis): Six dialogues between figures from Greek antiquity, taken from Cesare Pavese’s ‘Dialoghi con Leucò’, are followed by an episode set in modern times, taken from the same author’s novel ‘La Luna e i falò’. Read More »

Marco Ferreri – Il Seme dell’uomo aka The seed of man (1969)

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During a Post-Apocalyptic period in the near future the majority of the European population has been wiped out by some sort of undefined plague. Cino and Dora, a young couple, are rounded up by what constitutes the authorities on an isolated temporary base. They are examined and given antibiotics which will protect them for six months, told to pick out a deserted house to live in the area, and use that time to conceive a child. They are later visited by an enigmatic group of black-clothed, initially threatening vigilantes who are evidently satisfied with the couple when they hear that a child is contemplated. However, despite her evident fondness for Cino, Dora is reluctant to try to conceive a baby. Then their domestic tranquility is interrupted by a beautiful French interloper who seems as if she is more than willing to fill in for Nora and conceive Cino’s children. Read More »

Marco Ferreri – Dillinger è morto AKA Dillinger Is Dead [Widescreen] (1969)

In this magnificently inscrutable late-sixties masterpiece, Marco Ferreri, one of European cinema’s most idiosyncratic auteurs, takes us through the looking glass to one seemingly routine night in the life of an Italian gas mask designer, played, in a tour de force performance, by New Wave icon Michel Piccoli. In his claustrophobic mod home, he pampers his pill-popping wife, seduces his maid, and uncovers a gun that may have once been owned by John Dillinger—and then things get even stranger. A surreal political missive about social malaise, Dillinger Is Dead (Dillinger è morto) finds absurdity in the mundane. It is a singular experience, both illogical and grandly existential. Read More »

Elio Petri – Indagine su un cittadino al di sopra di ogni sospetto AKA AKA Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion (1970)

Quote:
A paranoid police procedural, a perverse parable about the corrupting elements of power, and a candidate for the greatest predated Patriot Act movie ever, Elio Petri’s stunning thriller makes no attempt to hide the culprit behind the film’s grisly murder: It wants you to know that Gian Maria Volonté’s dapper killer is responsible for the beautiful corpse splayed out on those black silk bedsheets. The shocks here are (a) that the spaghetti-Western stalwart isn’t wearing a cowboy hat for once, and (b) that Volonté is not just the criminal, he’s also the homicide detective heading up the investigation. Deliberately hiding some clues while planting others in plain sight—bloody footprints, a strand of his tie purposefully inserted under her fingernails—the rising-up-the-precinct-ladder cop plays a game of cat-versus-other-dumber-cats, all while ordering copious wiretaps and amassing blackmail fodder against radical agitators. Is he toying with his fellow officers to demonstrate his sociopathic superiority? Or is he trying to take down a rotten system from the inside, debunking the notion that any citizen is above suspicion? Read More »

Federico Fellini – La voce della luna AKA The Voice of the Moon (1990)

The swansong of the great Italian filmmaker Federico Fellini (La dolce vita, 8½), The Voice of the Moon emerged without fanfare: it played the Cannes Film Festival out of competition after its Italian premiere and failed to secure distribution in North America and the UK. This new restoration from the original negative seeks to right that wrong and provide the film with a second chance… Read More »

Roberto Rossellini – L’uomo dalla croce aka Man with a Cross (1943)

An extremely rare film by Roberto Rossellini, his third feature, made under the Fascist control of Italy. Basically rejected after the War because of the Fascist content of the film, “Rossellini produces a work which focuses upon the Italian expeditionary forces on the Eastern Front and upon a Catholic chaplain representative of Italy’s religious majority…the principal character’s humanity and sacrifice seem to prefigure the good-natured priest of Rome, Open City who works with leftist Resistance leaders…Rossellini underlines the common humanity in Fascist and Bolshevik alike” (Peter Bonadella, Italian Cinema from Neo-Realism to Present). Read More »