Tag Archives: Italian

Franco Zeffirelli – I Pagliacci (1982)

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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)

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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 »

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 »