14 items from 2015
Black Souls, 2015.
Directed by Francesco Munzi.
The story of three brothers, the sons of a shepherd, close to the ndrangheta and of their divided souls.
Tantalisingly steady in its pace, Black Souls toys with the idea of classical Mafia crime drama, subverting its stereotypical themes for moments that question the allure that violence, ambition and revenge bring to film. Director Francesco Munzi’s (Saimir, The Rest of the Night) cinematic adaption of Joachim Criaco’s novel, Black Souls, pays as much attention to character development as a Shakespearean theatre production would, resulting in a genuinely in-depth picture that intensifies slowly but consistently minute by minute.
Despite being such an ambitious work, Munzi’s plot draws dangerously close to becoming stagnant. However, through its dramatically captivating character development and stunningly distractive cinematography, Black Souls rewards its audience with a conclusion that shocks and satisfies its viewers. »
- Joshua Gill
Francesco Munzi’s tale of a Calabrian mob family at war is sombre and spare
Don’t say mafia, say ’ndrangheta – the Calabrian crime network that is the subject of Francesco Munzi’s gripping drama, as sombre as its title suggests. This is a dynastic tale that gets more claustrophobic as it develops, as its web of vendetta-style recriminations closes in on the Carbone clan, goat farmers who have diversified into riskier and more profitable businesses.
The film focuses on the differences of character between the Carbone brothers: Luigi (Marco Leonardi), the hard man out in the field; urbane Rocco (Peppino Mazzotta), who lives a seemingly respectable bourgeois lifestyle in Milan; and older brother Luciano (Fabrizio Ferracane), who’d rather tend his herd than continue the old cycle of bloodshed. But when Luciano’s tearaway son makes a rebellious gesture, matters move inexorably towards an outcome that could be called operatic, »
- Jonathan Romney
★★★☆☆ Francesco Munzi's Black Souls (2014) is a grimly serious family tragedy centred around the feuds within the Calabrian equivalent of the mafia, the 'Ndrangheta. The drama begins in Amsterdam where a business deal is going down between mob boss Luigi (Marco Leonardi) and some Spanish, or South American partners. It doesn't really matter which as this proves to be largely an irrelevance to the rest of the film. In fact, the story has a couple of false starts and seems to stumble into being, but this also might be a way of subverting our expectations.
- CineVue UK
Xan Brooks, Henry Barnes and Catherine Shoard review Black Souls, an Italian gangster thriller set in the foothills of the Aspromonte mountains. Francesco Munzi’s film sees the younger generation of a prominent family itching to get into the crime business as their elders look for a way out. Black Souls, which stars Marco Leonardi and Peppino Mazzotta, is released in the UK on Friday 30 October
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- Xan Brooks, Henry Barnes, Catherine Shoard, Dan Susman, Richard Sprenger, Phil Maynard and Andrea Salvatici
'Everest' 2015, with Jake Gyllenhaal at the Venice Film Festival. What global warming? Venice Film Festival 2015 jury: Oscar winner Alfonso Cuarón president The 2015 Venice Film Festival, to be held Sept. 2–12, has announced the members of its three main juries: Venezia 72, Horizons, and the Luigi De Laurentiis Award for Best Debut Film. In case you're wondering, “Why Venezia 72”? Well, the simple answer is that this is the 72nd edition of the festival. Looking at the lists below, you'll notice that, as usual, Europeans dominate the award juries. The only two countries from the Americas represented are the U.S. and Mexico, and here and there you'll find a sprinkling of Asian film talent. Golden Lion jury The Golden Lion – Venezia 72 Competition – jury is comprised by the following: Jury President Alfonso Cuarón, the first Mexican national to take home the Best Director Academy Award (for the Sandra Bullock-George Clooney »
- Anna Robinson
The festival program unveiled today includes 33 world premieres (including 22 shorts) and 135 Australian premieres (with 18 shorts) among 251 titles from 68 countries.
Among the other premieres will be Daina Reid.s The Secret River, Ruby Entertainment's. ABC-tv miniseries starring Oliver Jackson Cohen and Sarah Snook, and three Oz docs, Marc Eberle.s The Cambodian Space Project — Not Easy Rock .n. Roll, Steve Thomas. Freedom Stories and Lisa Nicol.s Wide Open Sky.
Festival director Nashen Moodley boasted. this year.s event will be far larger than 2014's when 183 films from 47 countries were screened, including 15 world premieres. The expansion is possible in part due to the addition of two new screening venues in Newtown and Liverpool.
As previously announced, Brendan Cowell »
- Don Groves
Don't be alarmed if you feel a little lost during the early scenes of the somber new gangster film Black Souls. Director Francesco Munzi lets his tragic narrative unfold gradually and subtly, like a neo-neorealist take on The Godfather. There's a good reason for this: He wants to show us his individual characters — all members of the Carbone family – in their different environments. And at first, this isn't quite the Mafia we recognize from movies. There's a mundane quality to this business: We see Rocco (Peppino Mazzotta), the boss, getting cash from his bankers so he can pay his men (many of whom, we may notice, have Middle Eastern names); we see his loose-cannon brother Luigi (strong-jawed Marco Leonardi — who was once the fresh-faced teenage Toto in Cinema Paradiso) negotiating some kind of deal with a group of Spaniards; we see Luciano (Fabrizio Ferracane), the oldest, who wants »
- Bilge Ebiri
In his review of Vitagraph Films’ Black Souls (Anime Nere), Travis Keune wrote the movie is, “a richly deep story about an unconventional “family business” that conjures up the essence of The Godfather but distances itself even further from the genre stereotypes than just about any film we’ve seen in recent years.”
Read the rest of the review here and check out the brand new clip.
Based on real events described in Gioacchino Criaco’s novel, Black Souls (Anime Nere) is a tale of violence begetting violence and complex morality inherited by each generation in rural, ancient Calabria, a reallife mafia (‘Ndrangheta) seat in Southern Italy.
The Carbone family consists of three brothers, Luigi (Marco Leonardi) and Rocco (Peppino Mazzotta) who are engaged in the family business of international drug trade and Luciano (Fabrizio Ferracane) who has remained in the ancestral town of Africo in the Aspromonte mountains on the Mediterranean coast – herding goats. »
- Movie Geeks
Crime and families (and crime families) have been a part of international cinema for years with movies as diverse as The Godfather, Animal Kingdom and The Raid all touching on the subject to varying degrees. Two new far lower profile films head into theaters this week, and while neither reach the heights of the ones just mentioned they’re both worthy additions to the sub-genre as they explore the deadly ramifications of mixing blood relatives with bloodletting. You can pick your friends, but it turns out you can’t pick your crime family. ————————————————- Three adult men, brothers, have moved on from the grief over their father’s murder to focus on what makes them happy. Rocco (Peppino Mazzotta) is a businessman, at least on the outside, who runs a drug and crime empire from his snazzy Milan apartment while Luigi (Marco Leonardi) participates with a far more hands-on approach. The »
- Rob Hunter
Like many genre films, the category of mafia films is often branded with certain expectations. Granted, not all of these films are created equal, but we generally expect to see lots of violence and/or lots of foul language and Hollywood stereotypes. Where Black Souls succeeds is in refusing such stereotypes and telling a richly deep story about an unconventional “family business” that conjures up the essence of The Godfather but distances itself even further from the genre stereotypes than just about any film we’ve seen in recent years.
Director Francesco Munzi’s Black Souls (“Anime nere” in Italian) maintains a nearly unprecedented level of dignity for its type. The film tells the story of three brothers closely connected to N’drangheta, a mafia-like criminal organization based out of Calabria. These three brothers, sons of a shepherd, have differing views on their relationships with N’drangheta, which plays a »
- Travis Keune
“You’re dressed like a shepherd!” Driving around Milan, middle-aged Luigi Carbone (an unrecognizable Marco Leonardi, of Like Water for Chocolate fame) affectionately disparages his 20-year-old nephew, Leo (Giuseppe Fumo), before planting him in a job in his own industry. The only child has fled a Calabrian farm and the father who runs it, Luciano (Fabrizio Ferracane, master of fluctuating facial tics), who is Luigi’s oldest brother. Leo hopes for an exciting and lucrative life better tailored to his needs than herding: working with Luigi, his idol, Uncle Rocco (Peppino Mazzotta), and their childhood pal and staunch ally, Nicola (Stefano Priolo). […] »
- Howard Feinstein
Now I Lay Me Down to Kill: Munzi’s Enjoyably Reserved Mafia Film
Premiering last fall at the 2014 Venice Film Festival, where it picked up a handful of prizes, Francesco Munzi’s third film, Black Souls, is a deliberately paced examination of familiar mafia standards. Based on a novel by Giacchino Criaco, it’s bound to be compared (and perhaps exist within the shadow of) Matteo Garrone’s highly celebrated 2008 feature, Gomorrah. But Munzi’s film is equally convincing, lending an austere sense of realism to what otherwise plays like a classic theatrical tragedy of three brothers at odds, locked in opposition and contention with the heavy baggage of their lineage. Light on dialogue and heavy on brooding characters marinating in their own mistrust or disdain of one another, it’s a successfully engaging film, but despite an enjoyably dire finale, isn’t as memorable as some modern comparative material. »
- Nicholas Bell
The makers of Black Souls, a superior Italian gangster movie, deserve praise for executing with atypical sensitivity a generic times-are-changing/nostalgia-for-an-imaginary-chivalrous-yesteryear scenario. Like most post-Godfather Mafia dramas, Black Souls concerns an ambivalent protagonist — in this case, gruff goat-herder Luciano (Fabrizio Ferracane) — who has a love/hate relationship with his family's unspoken, honor-bound traditions. Luciano, the eldest of three brothers, cares for siblings Rocco (Peppino Mazzotta) and Luigi (Marco Leonardi). But Luciano doesn't want anything to do with their drug-smuggling business or their shaky alliance with Don Peppe, the man who killed Luciano's father. Luciano is forced to do something after his trigger »
"Goodfellas" turns 25-years-old in 2015, but mob life continues to inspire even more movies. "Black Souls" is another tale of the underworld, and today we have an exclusive clip the award-winning movie where it seems every move is a dangerous one. Directed by Francesco Munzi, and starring Marco Leonardi, Peppino Mazzotta, Fabrizio Ferracane, Barbora Bobulova, Anna Ferruzo, and Giuseppe Fumo, the film is based on real events and follows the three Carbone brothers, Luigi and Rocco, who are engaged in the family business of the international drug trade, and Luciano, who has remained behind herding goats in their ancestral town of Africo in the remote Aspromonte mountains on the Ionic coast. When Luciano’s 20-year-old son Leo shoots up a local bar owned by a rival family, his reckless actions reignite a longstanding blood feud and set off a tragic chain of events that violently grinds toward an inevitable bloody showdown for all involved. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
14 items from 2015
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