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Italian cinema

Italian comedy - Italian exploitation - Italian horror - giallo films - mondo films - neorealism - il sexy - spaghetti western - sword and sandal films

Characters: Maciste

Directors: Dario Argento - Mario Bava - Bernardo Bertolucci - Tinto Brass - Federico Fellini - Marco Ferreri - Lucio Fulci - Riccardo Freda - Sergio Leone - Pier Paolo Pasolini - Elio Petri - Roberto Rossellini - Giuseppe Tornatore - Luchino Visconti

Screenwriters: Ernesto Gastaldi

Composers: Ennio Morricone - Piero Piccioni

Actors: Laura Antonelli - Asia Argento - Erika Blanc - Sophia Loren - Marcello Mastroianni - Silvana Mangano - Rosalba Neri

Titles: Quo Vadis? () - Open City (1945) - Bitter Rice (1949) - Black Sunday (1960) - La Ricotta (1963) - The Whip and The Body (1963) - The Witches (1966) - Blow-Up (1966) - Femina Ridens (1969) - The Libertine (1969) - Last Tango in Paris (1972) - A Special Day (1977) - Christ Stopped at Eboli (1979) - The Dreamers (2003)

Femina Ridens/The Frightened Woman (1969) - Piero Schivazappa [Amazon.com]

Black Sunday (1960) - Mario Bava [Amazon.com]

Last Tango in Paris (1972) - Bernardo Bertolucci [Amazon.com]

The Dreamers (2003) - Bernardo Bertolucci [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Blow-Up (1966) - Michelangelo Antonioni [Amazon.com]

Cinema of Italy

The history of Italian cinema began a just few months after the Lumière brothers had discovered it, and it was precisely with a few seconds of film in which Pope Leo XIII was blessing the camera. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cinema_of_Italy [Apr 2005]


In the meanwhile, fascism had created a dicastery for the popular culture; this administration suggested, and Mussolini fully approved, the creation of some important structures for Italian cinema. An area was found in the southeast of Rome to build ex novo a town of cinema, Cinecittà. The town was conceived in order to provide all what could be needed for making a film inside it: the theatres, the technical services, and even a school of cinematography for younger apprentices. Even now, many films are entirely shot in Cinecittà. On another field Vittorio Mussolini, son of the dictator, created a national producing company and organised the work of the best gifted authors, directors and actors (among which some political opponents too), also creating a notably interesting communication among them, resulting in famous friendships and, beyond this, in a stimulating cultural interaction. Roberto Rossellini, Federico Fellini and many others were among these people. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cinema_of_Italy#Cinecitt.E0 [Apr 2005]

Padre Padrone

Padre Padrone (1977) - Taviani brothers
This is the scene where Gavino is hauled away from school at the age of 7, and wets his pants.

Padre Padrone (1975) - Gavino Ledda
A cover of the autobiographical novel on which the story is based

I watched the 1977 Padre Padrone on Canvas last night. This slow and surreal Italian artfilm is typical of 1970s government-funded cinematic modernism, with its emphasis on alienation, sordidness and loneliness. Although not without its merits the film is an unpleasant viewing experience. Some of the highlights included talking sheep, swelling music, on screen text, boys molesting animals and weird sound effects. For a similar but more enjoyable portrayal of Italian rural backwardness, check Christ Stopped at Eboli. Rating: psychological realism 7/10, oddity value 8/10, feelgood factor 2/10 [Dec 2006]

Jim Gay of Amazon notes on the minimalism and theatricalness of the film which make it an excellent example of the contemplative cinema category:

... the Tavianis have abstracted their characters past all recognition. There is no time in the film when a scene is not a carefully controlled abstraction. Now the characters are all gestures and tableaux, swallowed by pastoral landscapes, markers in its historical sweep rather than flesh-and-blood people. While this might appeal to an audience's sense of intellectual cool, it also deprives them of the richer joys of being allowed under a character's skin. --Jim Gay

More notes on government funding and art films:

Independent media production in the U.S. illustrates most vividly the clash between commerce and art. As last winter's stalled GATT negotiations over Hollywood's dominance of European film markets illustrates, the European model of filmmaking has always viewed films more as cultural than commercial products. From the very beginning, there were “films d'art,” which often documented great performers such as Bernhardt, Loie Fuller and Pavlova. Private patronage allowed many artists, including Man Ray, Picabia and Duchamp to create films. State-subsidized filmmaking provided the impetus for the careers of many European filmmakers, among them Ingmar Bergman, Francois Truffaut and the Taviani Brothers. --by Daryl Chin, 1994 via http://www.experimentaltvcenter.org/history/people/ptext.php3?id=13&page=1

See also: patron

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