4 items from 2013
Rossana Podestà dead at 79: ‘Helen of Troy’ actress later featured in sword-and-sandal spectacles, risqué sex comedies (photo: Jacques Sernas and Rossana Podestà in ‘Helen of Troy’) Rossana Podestà, the sensual star of the 1955 epic Helen of Troy and other sword-and-sandal European productions of the ’50s and ’60s — in addition to a handful of risqué sex comedies of the ’70s — died earlier today, December 10, 2013, in Rome according to several Italian news outlets. Podestà was 79. She was born Carla Dora Podestà on August 20, 1934, in, depending on the source, either Zlitan or Tripoli, in Libya, at the time an Italian colony. According to the IMDb, the renamed Rossana Podestà began her film career in 1950, when she was featured in a small role in Dezsö Ákos Hamza’s Strano appuntamento ("Strange Appointment"). However, according to online reports, she was actually discovered by director Léonide Moguy, who cast her in a small role in »
- Andre Soares
"It's hard, keeping a relationship going when one's here and the other's there—but it's easy, too," one of the characters in L'Avventura quips. This prescient observation—that distance and alienation engender social relations as much as they encumber them—still rings true 53 years after the film's release, at a cultural moment when technology simultaneously unites and distances us. One of the defining works of modernist cinema, Michelangelo Antonioni's enduring masterpiece—now in its first new 35mm print in over a decade—only grows more poignant with time, as its social critique is revealed to be timeless. The bourgeois, vapid lives of Anna (Lea Massari) and Claudia (Monica Vitti) are filled with yachts, lovers, and anomie; yet it's nevertheless sho »
Rome — Armando Trovajoli, an Italian who composed music for some 300 films and whose lush and playful serenade to Rome is a much-requested romantic standby for tourists, has died at age 95.
The city's mayor, Gianni Alemanno, mourned Trovajoli's passing, saying in a statement that `'the voice of Rome has been extinguished." The Italian news agency Ansa said widow Maria Paola Trovajoli announced the death Saturday, saying her husband had died a few days before in Rome but declining to give the exact date.
Roman by birth, Trovajoli began his musical career as a pianist, playing jazz and dance music. He appeared with many jazz stars, among them Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Chet Baker, Louis Armstrong, Stephane Grappelli and Django Reinhardt.
In the 1950s, his prolific relationship with the film world took flight. Travojoli composed for many of Italy's hit movies of the next decades, especially comedies.
He wrote the music for »
La course du lièvre à travers les champs (The Race of the Hare Across the Fields a.k.a. ...and Hope to Die, 1972) is an interesting late entry in the career of French crime specialist René Clément, a kind of smorgasbord of his favorite stuff: hardboiled crime, knotty sexual triangles, a hero on the run, convoluted crime schemes, with a harkening back to childhood sins that suggests his classic Jeux interdits (Forbidden Games, 1952). This might suggest desperation to recapture past glories, but the film is also stuffed with experimentation and up-to-the-minute influences (a train station confrontation early on suggests Leone) which confirm the filmmaker as alert to new possibilities.
But the film could just as easily be approached through the sensibility of its writer, Sébastien Japrisot, a key figure in French cinema and crime cinema, or even through that of the author of the source novel, David Goodis. »
- David Cairns
4 items from 2013
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