Italian Neo-Realism

Roberto Rossellini – Il Messia AKA The Messiah (1975)

Quote:
Virtually unknown outside of Italy, Messiah (Il Messia) is historically important as the last directorial effort of Roberto Rossellini. In retelling the life of Christ, Rosselini harks back to the humanistic style he’d utilized on his many Italian TV projects of the 1960s. The director has no intention of depicting Jesus as being the vessel of divine providence. The Man from Galilee is shown simply as one who is unusually moral and of spotless character — the sort of person who’d be a natural leader no matter who his Father was. Co-scripted by its director, Messiah was completed in 1975, but not given a general release until 1978. Read More »

Federico Fellini – La strada [+Commentary] (1954)

Quote:
There has never been a face quite like that of Giulietta Masina. Her husband, the legendary Federico Fellini, directs her as Gelsomina in La strada, the film that launched them both to international stardom. Gelsomina is sold by her mother into the employ of Zampanò (Anthony Quinn), a brutal strongman in a traveling circus. When Zampanò encounters an old rival in highwire artist the Fool (Richard Basehart), his fury is provoked to its breaking point. With La strada, Fellini left behind the familiar signposts of Italian neorealism for a poetic fable of love and cruelty, evoking brilliant performances and winning the hearts of audiences and critics worldwide. The Criterion Collection is proud to present La strada, winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film in 1956. Read More »

Alessandro Blasetti – Un giorno nella vita (1946)

Quote:
Made immediately following the end of the war, Blasetti’s Un giorno nella vita follows
the trend of many other Italian films from this moment in history, and investigates the
situation of Italian people locked in mortal conflicts on native soil. In this case, the setting is
a secluded Convent of Nuns, the inhabitants of which appear to have lived through the war
years relatively oblivious and unaffected by the events of the outside world. However, the
peace of the Convent is upset, when a group of Italian partisans led by Amedeo Nazzari
takes shelter on the grounds of the convent. The Germans are in close pursuit, and one of
the partisans is in dire need of medical attention. Elisa Cegani and Mariella Lotti are
featured in the cast of nuns, who decide to aid the wounded partisan, and slowly also come
to sympathize with the battle weary men. Read More »

Marco Bellocchio – I pugni in tasca AKA Fists in the Pocket (1965) (HD)

Synopsis
A young man takes drastic measures to rid his dysfunctional family of its various afflictions. Read More »

Marco Bellocchio – I pugni in tasca AKA Fists in the Pocket (1965)

Quote:
Tormented by twisted desires, a young man takes drastic measures to rid his grotesquely dysfunctional family of its various afflictions in this astonishing 1965 debut from Marco Bellocchio. Charged by a coolly assured style, shocking perversity, and savage gallows humor, Fists in the Pocket (I pugni in tasca) was a gleaming ice pick in the eye of bourgeois family values and Catholic morality, a truly unique work that continues to rank as one of the great achievements of Italian cinema. Read More »

Federico Fellini – Le Notti di Cabiria AKA The Nights of Cabiria (1957)

Plot Synopsis
Tragic story of a naive prostitute searching for true love in the seediest sections of Rome.

Nights of Cabiria Essay by Federico Fellini
The subject of loneliness and the observation of the isolated person has always interested me. Even as a child, I couldn’t help but notice those who didn’t fit in for one reason or another—myself included. In life, and for my films, I have always been interested in the out-of-step. Curiously, it’s usually those who are either too smart or those who are too stupid who are left out. The difference is, the smart ones often isolate themselves, while the less intelligent ones are usually isolated by the others. In Nights of Cabiria, I explore the pride of one of those who has been excluded. Read More »

Luchino Visconti – Ossessione AKA Obsession [+Extras] (1943)

Gino, a young and handsome tramp, stops in a small roadside inn run by Giovanna. She is unsatisfied with her older husband Bragana : she only married him for money. Gino and Giovanna fall in love. But Bragana is inhibiting for their passion, and Giovanna refuses to run away with Gino. Read More »