Director Francesco Rosi returns to his recurring theme of the connections between legal and illegal exercises of power in this sensationalized account of the infamous gangster Charles “Lucky” Luciano (Gian Maria Volonte). The film examines the life of Luciano after serving nine years of his 50-year sentence in the 1930s and 1940s, after which he was pardoned and deported to Italy. Once back in Italy, Luciano travels to Naples, where he finds himself under a continuous ten-year investigation by narcotics investigator Charles Siragusa (who plays himself). Rosi uses Luciano as a clinical study, questioning his legendary status and exploring the truth behind the legend.
Tag Archives: italian
Divorzio all’italiana / Divorce Italian Style (1961) Pietro Germi, Marcello Mastroianni, Daniela Rocca, Stefania Sandrelli, Comedy, Drama, Romance
In China, in the foothills of the Himalayas, a non-violent egalitarian society has for millennia offered proof that a harmonious and peaceful life is still possible. On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the United Nations the Mosuo were recognized as a “model society”. On what basis does this community of about 50,000 people function? Above all, for how much longer can it resist the pressures of a market economy engendered by strategically organized mass tourism? In a landscape of outstanding beauty, encounters and testimonies draw us closer to the traditional values cherished by this ethnic group confronted by a crucial challenge: how to safeguard the essence of its identity from destruction and not succumb, as have so many other societies, to the impact of unconstrained globalization.
Amici Miei / Mes Chers Amis (1975) Mario Monicelli, Ugo Tognazzi, Gastone Moschin, Philippe Noiret, Comedy, Drama
Like in many other Monicelli movies, the main theme of Amici miei is friendship, seen from a rather bitter point of view. It tells the story of four middle-aged friends in Florence who organize together idle pranks (called zingarate, “gypsy shenanigans”) in a continuous attempt to prolong childhood during their adult life…
Le stagioni del nostro amore / Seasons of Our Love (1965) Florestano Vancini, Enrico Maria Salerno, Anouk Aimée, Jacqueline Sassard, Drama
Vittorio (Enrico M. Salerno) is a 40-year-old journalist who reaches a mid-life crisis. His wife nags him constantly for ignoring her and their child. After his mistress dumps him, Vittorio returns to the town where he spent his childhood to reflect on the state of his life. Flashbacks are used to tell of Vittorio’s relationship with his parents as a child and the effects World War II had on his development.
La macchina ammazzacattivi / The Machine That Kills Bad People (1952) Roberto Rossellini, Gennaro Pisano, Marilyn Buferd, William Tubbs, Comedy, Fantasy
A demon bestows on a self-righteous working photographer’s camera the power to smite from the Earth “evil-doers”. Naturally, the indignant photographer turns his new weapon on, one by one, his entire village, beginning with the wealthy or illustrious. Soon, the poor he is so supposedly so enamored of become his victims too, so rife with impatience and contempt is he, that the slightest flaw is cause for smiting. Inevitably, he embarks on a task to destroy everyone.
L’Uomo, l’Orgoglio, la Vendetta / L’Homme, l’Orgueil et la Vengeance (1968) Luigi Bazzoni, Franco Nero, Tina Aumont, Klaus Kinski, Action, Drama, Romance
The film tells the story of a Spanish soldier, who falls in love with a gypsy only to end up deserting the army and being chased into the border lands, where he joins the gypsy smugglers to rob money for a journey to America. But it turns out his love has a husband and is only using him again and again….
L’Ora di Religione / Le Sourire de ma Mère (2002) Marco Bellocchio, Sergio Castellitto, Jacqueline Lustig, Chiara Conti, Drama
Marco Bellocchio’s My Mother’s Smile was deemed blasphemous by the Roman Catholic Church for what the Church referred to as Bellocchio’s “systematic destruction of family and religious values.” Contrary to the Church’s presumptions about Bellocchio, My Mother’s Smile is a fascinating portrait of a man (Sergio Castellitto as Ernesto) who is forced to reconcile with his own atheism after receiving a shocking appeal from the Church requesting his participation in the canonization of his “saintly” mother.
Scipione detto anche l’africano / Scipio the African (1971) Luigi Magni, Marcello Mastroianni, Silvana Mangano, Vittorio Gassman, Comedy, History
During the Second Punic War, the commander Scipio Africanus (Marcello Mastroianni) is in a crisis because the Roman army can not defeat the many Carthaginian legions of Hannibal Barca. Teaming with his brother Scipio Asiaticus (Ruggero Mastroianni), Africanus manages to destroy the troops of Hannibal at Zama and to win the war. When he returns triumphant to Rome, he realizes that he has been manipulated like a puppet by the consul Marcus Porcius Cato, called “the Censor” (Vittorio Gassman). Scipio, disgusted by the poor Roman politics, withdraws from his rank of general, while Cato plans to destroy with a third war the cursed city of Carthage.
3 personaggi principali: Nestore, vecchio ronzino bianco; Gaetano (Sordi), vecchio vetturino destinato all’ospizio, e il suo nipotino Ferruccio (Ripaldi). Dovrebbero portare il cavallo al mattatoio, ma Nestore si ribella. Film malinconico all’insegna di De Sica: il cavallo bianco di Sciuscià; lo sconsolato sentimento della vecchiaia e la solitudine di Umberto D; il rapporto adulto-bambino di Ladri di biciclette. Finale alla Chaplin. Molta zavorra: l’incontro con la figlia spogliarellista, la digressione gratuita e inverosimile dell’aneddoto mussoliniano, la visita all’accampamento degli zingari. Il ritmo lasco della narrazione sembra modellato sul passo stanco del ronzino. Sordi si tiene a briglia corta su una nota di rassegnata malinconia.