In the late 1930s, in Ferrara, Italy, the Finzi-Contini are one of the leading families, wealthy, aristocratic, urbane; they are also Jewish. Their adult children, Micol and Alberto, gather... See full summary »
Vittorio De Sica
Three episodes. The refrigerator. A married couple of two poor emigrant workers spend almost all their money to buy a refrigerator (a must in the '70s). The purchase is too expensive for ... See full summary »
Seven mini-stories of adultery: "Funeral Possession," a wayward widow at her husband's funeral; "Amateur Night," angry wife becomes streetwalker out of revenge; "Two Against One," seemingly... See full summary »
Vittorio De Sica
Cesira and her 13-year-old daughter, Rosetta, flee from the allied bombs in Rome during the second world war. They travel to the village where Cesira was born. During their journey and in ... See full summary »
Francesca and Walter are two-bit criminals in Northern Italy, and, in an effort to avoid the police, Francesca joins a group of women rice workers. She meets the voluptuous peasant rice ... See full summary »
Domenico, a successfull businessman, with an eye for the girls, begins an affair with Filumena when she is 17 years old. She becomes a prostitute, but also becomes the mistress of Domenico.... See full summary »
A family man travelling for work, Paolo Bianchi, meets on a train a lonely girl, Maria. He sees her again on a bus and she reveals him that she's in troubles: she's pregnant, her baby's ... See full summary »
The film follows the anguish of the four-year-old, Prico, after his mother, Nina, leaves his father, Andrea, for her lover Roberto. Prico is sent to his aunt and then to his grandmother. Nina returns when Prico is sick and vows to give up Roberto, even though he persists in seeing her. The family situation gradually improves until they take a holiday on the Italian Riviera. Written by
You ll need a big box of Kleenex to get through this!
The story relates the disintegrating marriage of a bourgeois couple, indicated through their modern, spacious apartment and the housekeeper they employ. This distinguishes the film from the better known Italian neo realist works which typically take place against a backdrop of poverty and deprivation. The story is seen through the eyes of their young son, Prico.
Far more obscure than de Sica's other work, this is still nonetheless a classic because it endures, the story could take place just as easily today, with a few minor adjustments of clothing and details.
I don t agree this film is sentimental, it manages to stay just the right side of mawkishness. However, it still tugs at your heart strings, the child is just superb. The sign of a genius director that De Sica was able to manage the logistics of the crew, the equipment and coax this sort of performance out of a four year old.
This film put me in mind of Brief Encounter and it would be interesting to watch the two alongside. Both deal with infidelity and both are fantastically moving films.
The Criterion DVD is an excellent transfer. There are a couple of interviews on the disc and the accompanying sleeve notes are really informative.
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