Tag Archives: Italian

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 »

Michelangelo Antonioni – Sette canne, un vestito (1949)

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short documentary on the production of rayon, shot in Torviscosa (Italy). It portrays the production of this new synthetic fabric in the small town of Torviscosa, entirely built following strict fascist canons. Read More »

Michelangelo Antonioni – Chung Kuo – Cina (1972)

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In 1970, Italian director Michelangelo Antonioni was asked to return to his roots as a documentarian for this profile of China, fully sanctioned by the government of the People’s Republic. In a detached, distant style, the director and his crew pick up snatches of life in and around Bejing, including: kids at an elementary school; a hospital where a woman is giving a cesarean birth; and a cotton mill and its workers. Despite Antonioni’s efforts, China denounced the finished film, and as such, it has gone relatively unseen in most parts of the world, including the United States. Read More »

Michelangelo Antonioni – Il Mistero di Oberwald aka The Oberwald Mystery (1981)

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The Passenger (1975) marked the end of Antonioni’s three picture deal with MGM, and simultaneously the end of his mainstream acceptance. Although revered now as one of his finest works, The Passenger had lukewarm reception at best, with most of the American critics still bitter of Antonioni’s caricaturing of American capitalism in Zabriskie Point (1969). Since those two films had been costly flops, Antonioni found himself unable to secure investors for the arthouse pictures he’d become known for. Five years past, and still not a film, until finally Antonioni settled on The Oberwald Mystery. Read More »

Michelangelo Antonioni – Gente del Po AKA People of the Po Valley (1947)

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“Paste Magazine” wrote:
by Sean Gandert

“Gente del Po” is very much a neo-realist work of its period, even though it’s completely a documentary rather than just having the trappings of reality. The film follows a family of fishers through their day-to-day life, inflecting a semblance of narrative onto things at the end by explaining a journey into town as a trip for medicine, but for the most part, the film is simply descriptive. Of course, Antonioni has never been particularly known for his narratives, which usually consist of little more than pretty young people angsting around, but here the difference is that the family doesn’t even approach characterization, described only as “a man, a woman, and a girl.” Read More »

Marco Ferreri – Liza AKA La Cagna [+Extra] (1972)

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synopsis:
This dark offbeat comedy from Marco Ferreri features Marcello Mastroianni and Catherine Deneuve. Mastroianni plays Giorgio, who lives on a island somewhere off the Mediterranean coast of France. He lives there with his dog, and the remains of an old German World War II airbase.

He earns his living drawing cartoons. Liza (Deneuve) swims to the island from a rich man’s yacht, and the yacht’s crew confirm the end of her relationship with the owner by bringing her luggage to the island. She and Giorgio meet and become involved. She is jealous of his relationship with the dog and kills her rival while assuming its duties: wearing a collar, fetching sticks, etc. Read More »