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4 items from 2016


Fellini’s City of Women

30 May 2016 5:08 PM, PDT | Trailers from Hell | See recent Trailers from Hell news »

That naughty boy Federico Fellini goes all out with this essay-hallucination about women, a surreal odyssey that hurls Marcello Mastroianni into a world in which women are no longer putting up with male nonsense. It's an honest (if still somewhat sexist) effort by an artist acknowledging illusions and pleasures that he knows are infantile. City of Women Blu-ray Cohen Media Group 1980 / Color / 1:85 widescreen / 139 min. / La cittá delle donne / Street Date May 31, 2016 / 39.98 Starring Marcello Mastroianni, Anna Prucnal, Bernice Stegers, Iole Silvani, Donatella Damiani, Ettore Manni, Fiammetta Baralla, Catherine Carrel, Rose Alba. Cinematography Giuseppe Rotunno Film Editor Ruggero Mastroianni Original Music Luis Bacalov Written by Brunello Rondi, Bernardino Zapponi, Federico Fellini Produced by Franco Rossellini, Renzo Rossellini, Daniel Toscan du Plantier Directed by Federico Fellini

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

Federico Fellini's 1980 City of Women was called 'wonderfully uninhibited' by The New York Times. Fellini's output slowed to a crawl in the 1970s, »

- Glenn Erickson

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New on Video: ‘What?’

19 May 2016 3:36 PM, PDT | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »

What?

Written by Gérard Brach, Roman Polanski

Directed by Roman Polanski

Italy/France/Germany, 1972

You can forgive Roman Polanski if he wanted to take things easy in 1972 and make a light-hearted, frivolous little movie. Less than two years removed from the grisly Manson family murders that took from the acclaimed filmmaker his wife and unborn child, Polanski first confronted his troubled demons with a suitably grim adaptation of Macbeth (1971). After that, apparently ready for solace of a livelier variety, he and a motley crew of friends and associates set sail for Carlo Ponti’s extravagant Italian villa. There they made the peculiarly disappointing What?, a raucous sex comedy without much sex and with very little comedy.

What? begins as globe-trotting Nancy (Sydne Rome) has hitched a ride with some Italian natives. As she speaks of her touristic adventures, the men in the car are more focused on her palpable sexuality. »

- Jeremy Carr

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What?

6 May 2016 7:25 PM, PDT | Trailers from Hell | See recent Trailers from Hell news »

What is this -- a naughty sex odyssey as absurdist art? Or a non-pc slice of sleazy art film exploitation? Either way it's a (minor) Polanski masterpiece of direction, influenced by the Italian setting. Is what turns Polanski on? The entire excercise is a Kafka comedy of erotic discomfort. What? Blu-ray Severin 1972 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 110 min. / Che? / Street Date April 26, 2016 / 29.95 Starring Marcello Mastroianni, Sydne Rome, Hugh Griffith, Guido Alberti, Gianfranco Piacentini, Romollo Valli. Cinematography Marcello Gatti, Giuseppe Ruzzolini Production Design Aurelio Crugnola Film Editor Alastair McIntyre Original Music Claudio Gizzi Written by Gérard Brach, Roman Polanski Produced by Carlo Ponti Directed by Roman Polanski

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

It's a slippery slope, I tell you: art films are the gateway to surrealism, and surrealism connects straight to bondage and kinky costume play, which is a direct conduit either to Comic-Con or being forced to resign from the P.T.A. »

- Glenn Erickson

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Le Mépris: How Jean-Luc Godard turned cash and chaos into beauty

4 January 2016 4:00 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

The famously perverse French New Wave director set himself up for a fall – then made one of his most exquisite and approachable movies

The title of Jean-Luc Godard’s first movie in colour is not misbegotten. Contempt (Le Mépris in French) was the one thing not in short supply when the film-maker decamped to Cinecitta Studios in Rome to make a film of an Alberto Moravia novel (for which he had equal contempt) about the making of a film of Homer’s Odyssey. Godard hated his overbearing and cartoonish big-money producers Joseph E Levine and Carlo Ponti – he called them “King Kong” and “Mussolini” respectively – and stirred elements of their personalities into that of his on-screen producer, the boorish, money-driven philistine Jeremy Prokosch (Jack Palance). The exasperated Palance’s contempt for Godard’s working methods was also worked into the film itself.

Related: The essential Godard: five key films from »

- John Patterson

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4 items from 2016


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