Tag Archives: Italian

Federico Fellini – 8 1/2 aka Otto e Mezzo [+Extras] (1963)

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Plot Summary :

Famed director Guido Anselmi is working on his latest movie – part science fiction, part commentary on Catholicism, but most importantly primarily autobiography. Despite Anselmi declaring that this movie should be an easy one to make, he is having problems with his artistic vision, specifically as he does not want to tell a lie on screen. From the stress, he has checked himself into a spa to help him with many of his problems, both professional and personal.

As he works through these problems, he reminisces about his childhood and fantasizes about how he either sees things playing out or how he hopes they will play out. Surrounding him at the spa and/or on set are many of the real life people who will be portrayed on screen including: his wife Luisa who he loves but who he does not fully understand especially as it relates to their marriage; his mistress Carla, the antithesis of Luisa; and an actress named Claudia who he sees as providing his ultimate salvation. Read More »

Tinto Brass – La chiave aka The key (1983)

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R E V I E W B Y D E R E K H I L L
Director Tinto Brass is a man of big passions. His films — excluding Caligula (1980), which doesn’t really fit into his overall body of work — are filled with curvaceous women who are uninhibited and bold enough to freely express their healthy appetites for sex. Brass’ camera lovingly (and intrusively) explores the many facets of a woman’s beauty, be it physical or psychological. Brass also isn’t shy about what he likes most about a woman’s body, either — her ample backside. The bigger the better.
Although Brass would probably chuckle at the idea that his films have a strong feminist slant, Brass’ female leads are strong, independent, and almost heroic in their quests to become emancipated from their roles as housewives, concubines, or mothers. Less cartoonish than his American counterpart Russ Meyer’s heroines, Brass’ ladies actually exude a real humanity with their sensuality.
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Mario Monicelli – Un eroe dei nostri tempi AKA A Hero of Our Times (1955)


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Quote:
Some effort was made by us folks in KG’s Little Italy to honor Mario Monicelli after his death at the end of November last year, but as usual we didn’t reach very far beyond the usual group of converts. Most of you may have read that Monicelli committed suicide at age 95 by jumping off the hospital where he had just been diagnosed with cancer. This ended a career stretching 60 years, of which Un eroe dei nostri tempi is an early gem.

Alberto Sordi, who would join forces with Monicelli in films like La grande guerra and Un borghese piccolo piccolo, shines in this comedy, which must have been decisive when it came to establishing his less-than-heroic movie persona. Read More »

Franco Giraldi – La bambolona aka Baby Doll (1968)


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Synopsis:
A bachelor attorney with a roving eye for beautiful women stets his sights on a 17-year-old student for his next amorous conquest. He meets with her parents, an economically troubled couple who soon give their consent for the couple to date. Using an engagement ring as an enticing lure to initiate sex, the lawyer gets more than he bargained for with the wily female who is wise far beyond her years. The tables are turned on the lawyer as she withholds her affections, feigns a pregnancy and ends up holding all the cards in the relationship with the older, “more experienced” attorney. Read More »

Jean-Gabriel Albicocco – Le rat d’Amérique (1963)


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This South American adventure drama finds Charles (Charles Aznavour), a youthful
Frenchman traveling to Paraguay to start a new life. Seeking out a rich uncle, the
idealistic nephew is rejected by his miserly relation, and he goes on to get involved with
a shady woman and a band of gun runners who supply arms for the revolution of the
week. Charles and his new girlfriend head for the border after a shootout with federal
troops, and a kindly railroad worker hides the couple in an abandoned copper mine.
Charles is later thrown in prison while the girl becomes a concubine, but her violator is
killed when Charles escapes to rescue her and exact revenge. A pretty harrowing
composition could be written by the young couple on “How I Spent My Summer
Vacation.” ~ Dan Pavlides, Rovi Read More »

Vittorio Cottafavi – Una donna ha ucciso (1952)


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In 1951, two years after the “scandal” of the Fiamma che non si spegne, Cottafavi got the opportunity to work on a film with a small production company, Novissima Film. With little means, a number of technical and financial problems and working Sundays with the pieces of film given to him bit by bit, Cottafavi shot Una donna ha ucciso, a minor film that marked his comeback to directing. Followed by Traviata ’53 (1953), In amore si pecca in due (1953), Nel gorgo del peccato (1954) and Una donna libera (1954), Una donna ha ucciso was also the first of a pentalogy of melodramatic movies about the condition of women in contemporary society and the moral and social problems related to it. The film is based on a real crime story that took place immediately after the war. An Italian woman killed her English wartime lover for the sake of love. The story was reformulated by Cottafavi with the help of Siro Angeli and Giorgio Capitani. It was the producer who had the idea to make it a film; in fact, he had just gotten the rights to the autobiography of this woman who had been recently pardoned and released from jail. They planned to exploit the melodramatic and passionate elements of the story at a time when, for example, Raffaello Matarazzo’s films were enjoying enormous success. Gianni Rondolino Read More »

Franco Enriquez – Otello (1958)


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Amazon user review: I’m no special fan of things past, rather proposing that each age has its special conductors, singers, orchestras and that idolising per se performances of 30, 50 or more years ago may turn you away from your own surroundings and set you to unnecessarily living in a past that will not return, leading you to ignore very important events going on in your surroundings. There are exceptions, of course, and one of them is this 45 year old film (yes, film, not video tape and there lies its main problem, read below). Read More »