Few films, even the greatest ones, are life-changing. It’s just something critics say. But Roberto Rossellini’s Paisan, showing Italy in tatters in the second world war, really did alter the paths taken by two Italian brothers: 17-year-old Paolo Taviani and his 15-year-old brother Vittorio, who saw it in 1946. They made a pledge after leaving the cinema: if they were not shooting films within a decade, they would buy a gun and shoot themselves. Thirty years later, and fully established as directors, they made their masterpiece, Padre Padrone. It won the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 1977, as well as the international critics’ prize – the first picture to scoop both awards at the festival. The jury president that year was the man who had inspired them: Roberto Rossellini.
Padre Padrone, which was made for Italian television, is based on the autobiography by the linguist Gavino Ledda. It details his upbringing in Sardinia at the hands of his father, a brutal peasant farmer, and opens with the real Gavino whittling away at a branch with his knife. The camera pans right to a man approaching a door. It is Omero Antonutti, the actor who will play Gavino’s father. He is about to enter a classroom, from which he will drag his illiterate six-year-old son (Fabrizio Forte) before forcing him to work in the wind-beaten mountains. Gavino hands his screen parent the stick he has been fashioning: “My father was carrying this,” he says. It’s a masterful, Brechtian moment; the baton is passed from reality to cinema.
The film was directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud , starring Sean Connery and Christian Slater…
Which one did you prefer ? The novel or the film ?
Who committed the murders ?
Where there any murders ?
Is this what the pundits were saying back then ?
“If The Name of the Rose seems an odd choice for such critical and popular acclaim, Eco’s elevation into literary superstardom seems just as surprising. A scholarly university professor, Eco’s main fields of interest included semiotics, aesthetics, and medieval philosophy. No one could have predicted the furor caused by his debut novel and the subsequent film; yet the well-drawn characters, the mysterious setting, and the detective-fiction plot continue to attract a diverse audience that gathers every Monday evening @ the Cinematiki to discuss films like this”
A break-through Italian film directed by Mario Monicelli featuring some of the hottest actors at the time : Marcello Mastroianni, Vittorio Gassman, Renato Salvatori, Claudia Cardinale and Toto…Celebrated as one of the great comedies of those times…
The film is also notable for its breezy jazz score by the composer Piero Umiliani, who helped develop the style of the jazz soundtracks now considered characteristic of European films in the 1960s and 1970s.
THE TOP FOUR ITALIAN DIRECTORS OF THE 1960’S CREATE A TECHNICOLOR PASTICHE ENTITLED “BOCACCIO 70” WITH SOME OF THE MOST INTRIGUING FILM STARS OF EUROPEAN CINEMA…sounds like a “meringue a quatre” to be seen and discussed by a bunch of well intentioned cinematikeros with a sharp eye and good sense of humor…
The film is set in a small town in France near the end of World War I. As the Imperial German Army retreats they booby trap the whole town to explode. The locals flee and, left to their own devices, a gaggle of cheerful lunatics escape the asylum and take over the town — thoroughly confusing the lone Scottish soldier who has been dispatched to defuse the bomb.
The circularity of violence seen in a story that circles on itself. The first film made in the newly independent Republic of Macedonia, Milcho Manchevski’s Before the Rain crosscuts the stories of an orthodox Christian monk, a British photo agent, and a native Macedonian war photographer to paint a portrait of simmering ethnic and religious hatred about to reach its boiling point. Made during the strife of the war-torn Balkan states in the nineties, this gripping triptych of love and violence is also a timeless evocation of the loss of pastoral innocence, and remains one of recent cinema’s most powerful laments on the futility of war. Awarded Golden Lion for Best Film at 1994 Venice Film Festival.