2 items from 2013
The Taviani brothers' account of a prison production of Julius Caesar marks a profoundly moving return to form
Before the emergence of the Coens, the Farrellys, the Hugheses and the Wachowskis, there were the Taviani brothers, Paolo and Vittorio, born in Pisa in respectively 1931 and 1929, the sons of a lawyer jailed for his anti-fascist activities. Coming out of Italian neorealism and the French new wave, adapting works by Tolstoy and Pirandello and much influenced by Brecht, they emerged in the late 60s. Theirs was a humanist cinema that reached out socially and chronologically, from an aristocrat disillusioned with revolution in early 19th-century Lombardy to the idealistic inhabitants of a Tuscan village standing up against the Nazis in 1944.
The Tavianis' finest film perhaps is Padre Padrone, the true story of a boy escaping from hard-scrabble peasant life in present-day Sardinia to be educated during his military service on the mainland. The »
- Philip French
Cesare deve morire (Caesar Must Die)
Directed by Paolo Taviani and Vittoria Taviani
Anyone who walks into a screening of Caesar Must Die with the belief that they will be seeing a documentary should know this now: Caesar Must Die is not a documentary. It can barely be called a docudrama. It rather belongs in the curious category of metafilm, nestled among those pictures that blur and obscure the line between fact and fiction, demolish the fourth wall and are so conscious of themselves that they may disappear into a spiral of self-referentiality. Metafilms can be some of the most innovative and invigorating pieces of cinema when successful, but when they are not they can materialise as hollow exercise or dense nuggets of intellectual tedium.
This film by the brothers Taviani, awarded the Golden Bear at »
2 items from 2013
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