Vittorio Cottafavi

  • Vittorio Cottafavi – Una Donna Libera AKA A Free Woman (1954)

    Vittorio Cottafavi1951-1960ClassicsDramaItaly
    Una Donna Libera (1954)
    Una Donna Libera (1954)

    Liana, a young architecture student from a wealthy family, is about to get married to an engineer. Everything in her life seems well until she is confronted with the idea she is sacrificing the rest of her life for a man she barely knows and a mediocre lifestyle. So begins a series of romantic encounters in which Liana tries to find her freedom and happiness, but which will ultimately lead her to a tragic fate.

    Selected as one of the “100 Italian Films To Be Saved”Read More »

  • Vittorio Cottafavi – Antigone (1971)

    1971-1980DramaItalyTVVittorio Cottafavi

    Vittorio Cottafavi’s 1971 adaptation of the Sophocles play (he had adapted it earlier in 1958). Fans of Danièle Huillet & Jean-Marie Straub should be most impressed.Read More »

  • Vittorio Cottafavi – I persiani (1975)

    1971-1980ClassicsItalyTVVittorio Cottafavi

    Cottafavi’s adaptation of Aeschylus’ play.

    Michael Billington wrote:
    The Persians is the oldest surviving work of Western drama. First performed at the City Dionysia in 472 BC, The Persians takes a nuanced approach to the matter of war and conquest. It was a direct inspiration for the French national anthem, ‘La Marseillaise’. Percy Shelley’s drama Hellas was written in response to it. It’s the only play from the classical era that deals with historical events rather than mythological ones. In short, The Persians is a fascinating play and Aeschylus’ handling of war is worthy of closer inspection and analysis.Read More »

  • Vittorio Cottafavi – Traviata ’53 AKA Fille d’amour [French edit] (1953)

    1951-1960DramaItalyVittorio Cottafavi

    Plot: From the novel by Dumas “La Dames aux Camelias”. In Milan, a prostitute sacrifices herself to prevent the ruin of the young man she loves.Read More »

  • Vittorio Cottafavi – Operazione Vega (1962)

    1961-1970ItalySci-FiTVVittorio Cottafavi


    A TV movie (aired on Rai on July 2, 1962) that seems to come from a remote galaxy. We are no longer used to anything like this. It is an alienating charm, consciously cooled to the extreme, stylized in its scenographic and luminous lines of relentless, literary cleanliness (where can we hear a word like “dripping” on TV today?), Without a shred of sentimentality.

    In short, Bertolt Brecht on the small screen. The text is taken from a radio original by Friedrich Dürenmatt.Read More »

  • Vittorio Cottafavi – Il taglio del bosco AKA Woodcutting (1963)

    1961-1970DramaItalyTVVittorio Cottafavi

    Il taglio del bosco is a film for television of 1963 , directed by Vittorio Cottafavi , taken from eponymous book by Carlo Cassola .

    The film, produced by RAI, was broadcast on September 19, 1963 during the cycle of nine films entitled Tales of Italy today .

    The film sees the participation of Gian Maria Volonté as the only professional actor, while all the other characters are played by the inhabitants of Tirli , the village of the Grosseto hills where the film is shot and set.

    Gianni Rondolino defines the work “a phenomenological film that manages to introduce a disturbing moral dimension into the objectivity of the realistic vision”Read More »

  • Vittorio Cottafavi – La trincea (1961)

    1961-1970ItalyTVVittorio CottafaviWar

    pubblicato su “Alias” – Il manifesto del 26 maggio 2007
    Lorenzo Esposito e Donatello Fumarola

    Vittorio Cottafavi – La conquista dell’immagine (televisiva)

    Quando, fra il 1981 e il 1985, Vittorio Cottafavi firma i suoi due ultimi film prodotti dalla Rai, Maria Zef e Il diavolo sulle colline, la televisione è già lo specchio di un mondo in frantumi. La riduzione di spazi di pensiero, parallela all’occupazione dello spazio-tempo da parte dell’ideologia dell’inserzione, riguarda da vicino la rabbia e il dolore di queste immagini ultime. Immagini perfette, che dell’esperienza cine-televisiva, forniscono la lezione magistrale attraverso il racconto profetico della fine della civiltà contadina (Maria Zef), e si innestano nel punto nevralgico della crisi – come dimostrano i nostri giorni, mai rientrata del tutto – politica, economica e sociale italiana (la Torino del 1937 raccontata da Pavese ne Il diavolo sulle colline). Read More »

  • Vittorio Cottafavi – I nostri sogni AKA Our Dreams (1943)

    1941-1950ComedyItalian Cinema under FascismItalyVittorio Cottafavi

    Leo (Vittorio De Sica) is young man trying to make a living without any success. Through fortuitous circumstances, he is assigned by the director of a big firm to accompany for one night the daughter of the firm’s accountant, Titi (María Mercader). Leo pretends then to be the son of a tycoon, and takes her in a luxurious restaurant.Read More »

  • Vittorio Cottafavi – Una donna ha ucciso (1952)

    Drama1951-1960ItalyVittorio Cottafavi


    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 RondolinoRead More »

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