7 items from 2016
Richard Brooks' exciting Humphrey Bogart picture is one of the best newspaper sagas ever. An editor deals with a gangster threat and a domestic crisis even as greedy heirs are selling his paper out from under him. Commentator Eddie Muller drives home the film's essential civics lesson about what we've lost -- a functioning free press. Deadline - U.S.A. Blu-ray Kl Studio Classics 1952 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 87 min. / Street Date July 26, 2016 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95 Starring Humphrey Bogart, Ethel Barrymore, Kim Hunter, Ed Begley, Warren Stevens, Paul Stewart, Martin Gabel, Joe De Santis, Audrey Christie, Jim Backus, Willis Bouchey, Joseph Crehan, Lawrence Dobkin, John Doucette, Paul Dubov, William Forrest, Dabbs Greer, Thomas Browne Henry, Paul Maxey, Ann McCrea, Kasia Orzazewski, Tom Powers, Joe Sawyer, William Self, Phillip Terry, Carleton Young. Cinematography Milton Krasner Film Editor William B.Murphy Original Music Cyril J. Mockridge Produced by Sol C. Siegel »
- Glenn Erickson
Panama City — In a gala ceremony held Saturday evening in Panama’s majestic 1000-seater Teatro Balboa, Italian actress Lucía Bosé received a lifetime achievement award and the keys to the city, from the Mayor of Panama City, José Maria Blandon.
Guests at the star-studded event included Lucia’s son, actor-singer Miguel Bosé, Spanish actress Marisa Paredes, New York performance artist Laurie Anderson, Chilean-American composer Nicolas Jaar and Venezuelan thesp Edgar Ramirez,
The tribute included a speech by writer Boris Izaguirre, a close family friend. He said that Bosé is an icon of post-war Italian cinema, who epitomized the new roles assumed by Italian women as the country rose from the ashes of war, confronting issues such as infidelity, equal rights for women at the workplace, »
- Martin Dale
Directed by Giuseppe De Santis
The opening credits of Bitter Rice parade an array of Italian film industry luminaries, figures who would help redefine the country’s national cinema, picking up where neorealism left off and setting the stage for the remarkable work that would emerge in the decades to come. Screenwriters Carlo Lizzani and Giuseppe De Santis (who also directed) were two of eight individuals contributing in one way or another to the script, though they were the two who would share an Academy Award nomination for its story. Cinematographer Otello Martelli had nearly 50 films under his belt by the time of Bitter Rice, but in the years that followed he would most memorably man the camera for Federico Fellini’s finest films. And producing the movie was the venerable Dino De Laurentiis, really just at the start of his legendary career. »
- Jeremy Carr
Both a socially conscious look at the hardships endured by underpaid field workers and a melodrama tinged with sex and violence, this early smash for producer extraordinaire Dino De Laurentiis and director Giuseppe De Santis is neorealism with a heaping dose of pulp.
Bitter Rice is currently available to stream on Hulu Plus. Order the Blu-ray from Amazon.
Throughout the year, Press Notes will collect various links to reviews of new Criterion Collection releases from around the web, published on the release date and updated as new reviews are posted.
The new transfer is very good. I did some direct comparisons with the old R2 Italian DVD release and can confirm that the improvements in terms of detail, clarity, and especially depth are quite remarkable. Even in areas where it is obvious that time has »
- Ryan Gallagher
Forget the proletarian messages, this Italian Neorealist classic is really an exploitation film about ogling brazen, buxom babes in short-shorts, up to their knees in a rice paddy. Hollywood actress Doris Dowling is the nominal star but new discovery Silvana Mangano became the knockout dream of every Italian male suffering from postwar shortages (cough). Giuseppe De Santis delivered the perfect combo -- an art film that pulled in every lonely guy nella cittá. Bitter Rice Blu-ray The Criterion Collection 792 1949 / B&W / 1:33 flat full frame / 109 min. / Riso amaro / available through The Criterion Collection / Street Date January 12, 2016 / 29.95 Starring Vittorio Gassman, Doris Dowling, Silvana Mangano, Raf Vallone. Cinematography Otello Martelli Film Editor Gabriele Varriale Original Music Goffredo Petrassi Written by Corrado Alvaro, Giuseppe De Santis, Carlo Lizzani, Franco Monicelli, Carlo Musso, Ivo Perilli, Gianni Puccini Produced by Dino De Laurentiis Directed by Giuseppe De Santis
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
Way back in »
- Glenn Erickson
Criterion digs Bitter Rice out of obscurity this month, a pulpy mix of social drama and dime store pathos from director and screenwriter Giuseppe De Santis. Premiering at the 1949 Cannes Film Festival, the title was also nominated for an Oscar in 1950 for Best Story. Lumped in with the neo-realism movement, it’s been a well-regarded minor title, but its problematic noir elements seem to have denied it prominent classification, at least compared to De Santis’ contemporary, Roberto Rossellini, whose Rome, Open City (1945) birthed the movement (and had just finished his notable war trilogy the year prior to release of this title). But De Santis creates something a bit stranger with this hybrid, a darker examination of sex and violence from the perspective of two central female characters. In its native language, the title is a pun since the Italian word for rice can also be substituted for the word laughter, »
- Nicholas Bell
Cinephiles and historians can (and do) debate about which postwar Italian movies were a "betrayal" of the intentionally cultivated neorealism movement. But more plainly, a case could be made that neorealism got tired of itself. Or, more readily, Italian neorealism had always, in different ways, allowed for more than just soul-searing tales set amid a world of bombed out rubble. How best to go about its mission of humanizing postwar Italy is a question that would fall upon its individual filmmakers. Giuseppe De Santis, a younger and clearly vigorous filmmaker in 1949 when Bitter Rice (aka Riso amaro) was released, saw fit to infuse the film with a healthy dose of pulpy crime. Specifically, American pulpy crime; lurid, dangerous, kind of sexy. This infusion would be both...
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7 items from 2016
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