Francesco Rosi

  • Francesco Rosi – Il momento della verità AKA The Moment of Truth (1965)

    1961-1970DramaFrancesco RosiItaly

    In the sporting world, bullfighting remains the epitome of contradiction, where grace begets gore and patience rewards ego. Such unsettling dichotomies haunt Francesco Rosi’s The Moment of Truth, a dangerously alive film that jumps down from the stands and into the ring where Spanish toreros dance a prolonged tango with beasts whose one instinct is to gorge whatever body part they can. In an attempt to grasp a sense of immediacy from convention, Rosi leans heavily on a gripping hand-held aesthetic, seemingly pinning his fluid camera to the flamboyant garb of his strutting protagonists as they tempt fate on a daily basis. While much of The Moment of Truth can be surmised within a very generic sports-genre arc (rise and fall, temptation of riches), this is most definitely a film that lives and breathes in the details of experience, and it’s hard not to admire its unabashed dedication to controlled chaos and incompleteness despite the difficult subject matter.Read More »

  • Francesco Rosi – Cristo si è fermato a Eboli AKA Christ Stopped at Eboli [Full TV Cut] (1979)

    Drama1971-1980Francesco RosiItaly

    An elegy of exile and an epic immersion in the world of rural Italy during the regime of Benito Mussolini, Francesco Rosi’s sublime adaptation of the memoirs of the painter, physician, and political activist Carlo Levi brings a monument of twentieth-century autobiography to the screen with quiet grace and solemn beauty. Banished to a desolate southern town for his anti-Fascist views, Levi (Gian Maria Volontè) discovers an Italy he never knew existed, a place where ancient folkways and superstitions still hold sway, and that gradually transforms his understanding of both himself and his country. Presented for the first time on home video in its original full-length, four-part version, Christ Stopped at Eboli ruminates profoundly on the political and philosophical rifts within Italian society—between North and South, tradition and modernity, Fascism and freedom—and the essential humanity that transcends all.Read More »

  • Francesco Rosi – Salvatore Giuliano [+Extras] (1962)

    1961-1970DramaFrancesco RosiItaly

    In 1950, 28-year-old outlaw Salvatore Giuliano is found gunned down in a Sicilian courtyard. Little is as it seems. The film moves back and forth between the late 1940s, when Giuliano and other reprobates were recruited by separatist politicians to do their fighting, and the days leading up to and following Giuliano’s death. After Sicily’s self-rule is declared, will the outlaws be pardoned as promised? And why does Giuliano order his gang to fire on a peaceful May Day rally? Police, Carabinieri, and Mafia have their uses for him. There’s a trial after his death: will the truth come out or does the code of silence help protect those in power? (IMDB)Read More »

  • Francesco Rosi – Cadaveri eccellenti AKA Illustrious Corpses [24fps PAL restore] (1976)

    1971-1980CrimeFrancesco RosiItalyThriller

    Plot (minor spoilers):
    The film starts with the murder of Investigating Judge Vargas in Palermo, amongst a climate of demonstrations, strikes and political tension between the Left and the Christian Democratic government. The subsequent investigation failing, the police assign to the case Inspector Rogas (Lino Ventura), who has firm faith in the integrity of the judiciary. While he is starting his investigation, two further judges are killed. All victims turn out to have worked together on several cases. After Rogas discovers evidence of corruption surrounding the three government officials, he is encouraged by superiors nonetheless to trail the “crazy lunatic” who is murdering the judges. Rogas seeks three men who had been wrongfully convicted by the murdered judges. He is joined by a journalist friend working for a far-left newspaper.Read More »

  • Vittorio Gassman & Francesco Rosi – Kean aka Kean, Genio e Sregolatezza aka Kean, Genius and Recklessness (1956)

    1951-1960DramaFrancesco RosiItalyVittorio Gassman and Francesco Rosi


    Edmund Kean is a popular and flamboyant British actor of the nineteenth century, addicted however to vices and in debt. He argues with the Prince of Wales, his companion in intemperance, the wife of the Danish ambassador, but eventually falls in love with Anna, a young but promising beginning actress.Read More »

  • Francesco Rosi – Uomini contro AKA Many Wars Ago (1970)

    1961-1970DramaFrancesco RosiItalyWar


    On the Italian/Austrian front during World War I, a disastrous Italian attack upon the Austrian positions leads to a mutiny among the decimated Italian troops. (IMDb)Read More »

  • Francesco Rosi – La Tregua AKA The Truce (1997)

    1991-2000DramaFrancesco RosiItaly


    Based on Primo’s account of his liberation from Auschwitz and long journey home through a Europe caught between war and peace. The truce is not only an account of hardship and the rediscovering of humanity but of the relief, exuberance and comedy in a momentous journey after the most gruesome period of modern history.Read More »

  • Francesco Rosi – I magliari AkKA The Swindlers (1959)

    1951-1960DramaFrancesco RosiItalian Neo-RealismItaly


    In Rosi’s film I magliari (The Weavers, sometimes known as The Swindlers, 1959) the Southern Problem is articulated through the theme of emigration. The film is, in fact, both set and shot entirely in Germany where a motley group of Italian immigrants try to make their fortune by engaging in a series of organised scams that appear to revolve around the sale of poor quality textiles to Germans at inflated prices. Although the latter part of the film develops into something of a love story between the rather good-hearted young Tuscan emigrant, Mario (Renato Salvatore), and Paola (Belinda Lee), the wife of the German boss, much of the film focuses on male groups exercising, challenging and negotiating power in a desperate effort to secure spoils and territory.Read More »

  • Francesco Rosi – Tre fratelli AKA Three Brothers (1981)

    1971-1980DramaFrancesco RosiItaly


    Three Brothers opens to an oddly sterile medium shot of a building wall (made even colder and more impersonal by the black and white photography) as the amplified sound of a heartbeat discordantly accompanies an elegiac melody, before a jarring chromatic shift focuses the camera in extreme close-up at the center of a littered, derelict vacant lot amid a pack of rats scavenging for food. The strangely primal image serves to wake the pensive and introverted Rocco (Vittorio Mezzogiorno) from his discomforting sleep, who then subsequently opens his door to reveal the bustling sight of rambunctious, troubled adolescents in their sleeping quarters at a juvenile reformatory facility in Naples. An early morning visit from the local police seemingly reinforces his own sense of crisis over the efficacy of his selfless efforts to rescue the children entrusted to his care as their investigation into a series of petty thefts has been traced back to several unidentified young delinquents who have devised a means to scale the walls of the institute at night to sneak into town, then return to the facility unobserved by morning, and have asked Rocco for his assistance in identifying the perpetrators. The theme of protective and isolating walls carries through to the image of Rocco’s elderly father Donato (Charles Vanel) as he leaves the gates of his remote mountainside villa in southern Italy and, while walking through an open field, has a surreal encounter with his wife Catalina as she attempts to recapture an errant rabbit that had escaped from the kitchen.Read More »

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