13 items from 2016
The Lon Chaney silent The Hunchback of Notre Dame is an important document, and a pretty good movie, especially if you can see it projected. William Dieterle's 1939 film with Charles Laughton is an outright classic, with iconic casting in every role, but in a way it, like its predecessor, is as much a travesty of Victor Hugo's story as the Disney version. Tragedy is softened, hard edges blurred. (And actually there's a lot to admire in the cartoon: an epic cinematic scale and vision, use of humor that doesn't actually wreck the serious aspects. It's just that, starting with Quasimodo not being deaf—because he has to sing, you see—means you're not filming Notre-Dame de Paris by Victor Hugo at all.)So it was perhaps inevitable that the French would one day have to show us how it's done, and present a more faithful rendering of the book. »
Killer Greek scenery in CinemaScope graces Jean Negulesco's relaxed thriller about art theft in the Aegean. But viewers are more likely to remember Sophia Loren's sexy wet diving costume that insured that her American debut didn't go unnoticed. Boy on a Dolphin Blu-ray Kl Studio Classics 1957 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 111 min. / Street Date October 25, 2016 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95 Starring Alan Ladd, Clifton Webb, Sophia Loren, Alexis Minotis, Jorge Mistral, Laurence Naismith, Piero Giagnoni, Gertrude Flynn, Marni Nixon (voice), Scilla Gabel (Loren underwater). Cinematography Milton R. Krasner Film Editor William Mace Original Music Hugo Friedhofer Written by Ivan Moffat, Dwight Taylor from the novel by David Divine Produced by Samuel G. Engel Directed by Jean Negulesco
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
- Glenn Erickson
Top Thirteen Films of Mario Bava “Movies are a magician's forge, they allow you to build a story with your hands--at least, that's what it means to me. What attracts me in movies is to be presented with a problem and be able to solve it. Nothing else; just to create an illusion, an effect, with almost nothing.” –Mario Bava Mario Bava was born on July 31, 1914 in the coastal northern Italian town of San Remo. His father was a cinematographer in the early days of Italian cinema. Bava made his film debut in the early 1940’s working on films that featured such names as Gina Lollobrigida, Steve Reeves and Aldo Fabrizi. Bava was thrust into the position of director when then current...
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27 May 2016 11:05 AM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »
"I'm really moved when I'm with the public," says Gina Lollobrigida, the Italian star of Hollywood's Golden Age, as we sit down to record an episode of the 'Awards Chatter' podcast in the penthouse of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, where she was staying during her rare, brief visit from Rome to Los Angeles for April's TCM Classic Film Festival. "They say 'thank you' to me, that I gave to them beautiful moments. They cry. When I am even in Russia or some place where I think I'm completely unknown, they applaud me like they've seen me all their life,
- Scott Feinberg
Well, another year spent in the company of classic cinema curated by the TCM Classic Film Festival has come and gone, leaving me with several great experiences watching favorite films and ones I’d never before seen, some already cherished memories, and the usual weary bag of bones for a body in the aftermath. (I usually come down with something when I decompress post-festival and get back to the working week, and this year has been no exception.) There have now been seven TCMFFs since its inaugural run in 2010. I’ve been lucky enough to attend them all, and this time around I saw more movies than I ever have before—18 features zipping from auditorium to queue and back to auditorium like a gerbil in a tube maze. In order to make sure I got in to see everything I wanted to see, I had to make sure I was »
- Dennis Cozzalio
I’m still recovering from the TCM Classic Film Festival this past weekend, where I hosted ten events…but I suspect that some of the people I interviewed are doing just fine because they seem to have limitless energy, not to mention charisma. I’m talking about Darryl Hickman, who’s 85, Rita Moreno, who’s 84, Gina Lollobrigida, who’s 88, and Eva Marie Saint, who knocked me for a loop when she cheerfully volunteered that she’s 92! Rita is still busy doing television, so it’s amazing to think that she played Tuptim in The King and I sixty years ago. She’s as sassy and funny as ever, and when she teased the crowd with mentions of her longtime lover Marlon Brando, she urged them to check out her...
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- Leonard Maltin
For Dennis Cozzalio, "since 2010 there has been one film festival I have attended that I can call home, a place which has felt like just that for going on seven years now—the annual TCM Classic Film Festival." We're rounding up previews of this year's edition, the seventh, running from today through Sunday. Plus, interviews with Carl Reiner, whose Steve Martin-starring comedy Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid will be screening. Faye Dunaway will be on hand for a presentation of Network. And Gina Lollobrigida will be making a rare public appearance as the festival presents Buona Sera, Mrs. Campbell and Trapeze. » - David Hudson »
I live in Los Angeles, and my residency here means that a lot of great film programming-- revival screenings, advance looks at upcoming releases and vital, fascinating glimpses at unheralded, unexpected cinema from around the world—is available to me on a week-by-week basis. But I’ve never been to Cannes. Toronto, Tribeca, New York, Venice, Berlin, Sundance, SXSW, these festivals are all events that I have yet to be lucky enough to attend, and I can reasonably expect that it’s probably going to stay that way for the foreseeable future. I never attended a film festival of any kind until I made my way to the outskirts of the Mojave Desert for the Lone Pine Film Festival in 2006, which was its own kind of grand adventure, even if it wasn’t exactly one for bumping shoulders with critics, stars and fanatics on the French Riviera.
But since 2010 there »
- Dennis Cozzalio
Rome — Offbeat superhero movie “They Call Me Jeeg,” a fresh riff on formulaic Hollywood franchises and on a 1970 Japanese cartoon series, was the big winner at Italy’s 60th David di Donatello Awards, the country’s top film nods, scooping seven statuettes including for best debut director, producer, actress, actor, and supporting female and male thesps.
The best picture prize went to Paolo Genovese’s high-concept dramedy “Perfect Strangers.” “Strangers,” which is about a dangerous game played with cell phones, is the only Italian film unspooling at the Tribeca Film Festival. “Strangers,” which has done boffo biz locally, also took the best screenplay nod.
Matteo Garrone won the best director nod for the English-language horror/fantasy “Tale of Tales,” which also won in the cinematography, production design, costume design, makeup and hair categories.
“I’m lucky that Jeeg was not eligible for best director,” Garrone quipped as soon as he got on stage. »
- Nick Vivarelli
Maestro Giulio Questi is otherwise best known for Django... Kill! (1967), maybe the most extreme, sadistic and demented spaghetti western ever made. The following year he made a unique sort-of-giallo, Death Laid an Egg, which isn't specially extreme in terms of bloodletting (the competition there would be very stiff), but is simply one of the craziest films ever made in any genre, combining as it does two subjects of compelling interest to the public: homicide and intensive poultry farming.We open with eerie microscope images of a biological nature, with a soundtrack eerily evoking the effect of a computer, a piano and a suit of armor having sex while falling down a flight of metal stairs. Then the film launches into its first murder: seemingly our hero, Jean-Louis Trintignant, is addicted to knifing hookers in a motorway hotel. Trintignant is married to Gina Lollobrigida, and they live with Ewa Aulin in »
- David Cairns
The timing may be coincidental, but it feels apt that I interviewed Monica Bellucci on International Women’s Day, March 8. One of the most restlessly globe-trotting stars in world cinema, the Italian model-turned-actor refuses to let her filmography be dictated either by national borders or imagined age brackets: Now in her fifties and defying the industry’s oft-decried shutout of women over 40, she has recently worked with Iranian auteur Bahman Ghobadi on “Rhino Season,” lent otherworldly luster to fellow Italian Alice Rohrwacher’s rural fable “The Wonders” and struck sparks with Daniel Craig in last year’s 007 outing “Spectre.” She’ll be hitting TV screens, too, with a role in Neil Jordan’s French-set crime series “Riviera,” which starts rolling in June.
- Guy Lodge
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
Rome – Actress Silvana Pampanini, the voluptuous postwar Italian diva who starred in more than fifty films and reigned as Italy’s sex symbol in the 1950’s when she worked with Vittorio De Sica, Marcello Mastroianni, Buster Keaton, and Vittorio Gassman, among others, died on Wednesday in Rome. She was 90.
Born September 25, 1925, in Rome, Pampanini was the niece of soprano Rosetta Pampanini. She therefore trained as an opera singer and entered the film business after participating in a Miss Italy beauty pageant in 1946. Her failure to win prompted an outcry in the tabloids of the day.
Pampanini’s first big hit was 1951 comedy “Bellezze in bicicletta,” (”Beauties on bicycles”) directed by Carlo Campogalliani. A slew of pics followed, including Luigi Comencini’s drama “The White Slave Trade” in 1952, with Vittorio Gassman; Italo-Spanish comedy “The Island Princess,” (Aka “Tirma”) with Mastroianni; and “Roman Tales,” with De Sica, in 1955. In 1965 she starred in »
- Nick Vivarelli
13 items from 2016
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