Gillo Pontecorvo

  • Gillo Pontecorvo – Giovanna (1955)

    This short is set in the early 1950s in a small textile factory in central Italy (Prato). Giovanna and her fellow female workers decide to enact a protest against the direction of the factory’s dismissal plan, by occupying the factory and continuing to work until the proprietor cancels the dismissals. None of these women can really afford to lose their jobs, as it is the only income in the family. All workers receive moral and material support from their families, apart from Giovanna, who bravely endures her husband’s disapproval. Almost all the women hold out for thirty-five days in spite of the proprietor’s attempts to break their resistance. At first he blocks the road to the factory, then he cuts off electric power to increase their isolation; finally, he tries to convince them to accept the dismissal of at least a smaller number of them. But the women overcome these obstacles, determined to resist… (IMDB)Read More »

  • Gillo Pontecorvo – La battaglia di Algeri AKA The Battle of Algiers (1966)

    Quote:
    The most electrifyingly timely movie playing in New York was made in 1965. Gillo Pontecorvo’s The Battle of Algiers is famous, but for some time it’s been available only in washed-out prints with poorly translated, white-on-white subtitles. The newly translated and subtitled 35-millimeter print at Film Forum is presumably the version that was privately screened in August for military personnel by the Pentagon as a field guide to fighting terrorism. Former national-security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski volunteered this blurb: “If you want to understand what’s happening right now in Iraq, I recommend The Battle of Algiers.” I wonder if these politicos are aware that Pontecorvo’s epic was once used by the Black Panthers as a training film? In fact, not much in the current Iraq situation is historically comparable to the late-fifties Algerian struggle for independence dramatized in The Battle of Algiers, but its anatomy of terror remains unsurpassed—and, woefully, ever fresh.Read More »

  • Gillo Pontecorvo – Queimada (1969)

    Plot:
    The professional mercenary Sir William Walker instigates a slave revolt on the Caribbean island of Queimada in order to help improve the British sugar trade. Years later he is sent again to deal with the same rebels that he built up because they have seized too much power that now threatens British sugar interests.Read More »

  • Gillo Pontecorvo – Operación Ogro [Spanish version] (1979)

    As 1973 winds down, Franco is still governing Spain with an iron hand. Opposition parties are forbidden; labor movements are repressed; and Basque nationalists are mercilessly hunted down. The caudillo [dictator] is aging, though, and the continuity of the régime is in question. One man has the trust of Franco, enough authority and experience to assume the leadership, and an impeccable track record as to dealing with enemies of the State: Admiral Luis Carrero Blanco. For the embattled, clandestine Basque organization ETA, Carrero Blanco must be brought down. Daring plans are made, requiring a meticulous execution…
    — Eduardo Casais, IMDbRead More »

  • Gillo Pontecorvo – La battaglia di Algeri AKA The Battle of Algiers (1966) (HD)

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    Quote:
    A film commissioned by the Algerian government that shows the Algerian revolution from both sides. The French foreign legion has left Vietnam in defeat and has something to prove. The Algerians are seeking independence. The two clash. The torture used by the French is contrasted with the Algerian’s use of bombs in soda shops. A look at war as a nasty thing that harms and sullies everyone who participates in it.Read More »

  • Various – 12 registi per 12 città (1989)

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    Promotional omnibus film, made for the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy, featuring portraits of 12 Italian cities.
    For all those who will not be going to Italy for a vacation this year… here is the next best thing. A who’s who of Italian directors anno 1990 turn their cameras on a specific Italian city. Most of these (very) short films do not have dialogue of any kind, and rely instead solely on the beauty of the images and music to depict the various cities.

    Directed by
    Michelangelo Antonioni (segment “Roma”)
    Bernardo Bertolucci (segment “Bologna”)
    Giuseppe Bertolucci (segment “Bologna”)
    Mauro Bolognini (segment “Palermo”)
    Alberto Lattuada (segment “Genova”)
    Carlo Lizzani (segment “Cagliari”)
    Mario Monicelli (segment “Verona”)
    Ermanno Olmi (segment “Milano”)
    Gillo Pontecorvo (segment “Udine”)
    Francesco Rosi (segment “Napoli”)
    Mario Soldati (segment “Torino”)
    Lina Wertmüller (segment “Bari”)
    Franco Zeffirelli (segment “Firenze”)
    Read More »

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