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Le amiche (The Girlfriends)

Michelangelo Antonioni's pre-international breakthrough drama is as good as anything he's done, a flawlessly acted and directed story of complex relationships -- that include his 'career' themes before the existential funk set in. It's one of the best-blocked dramatic films ever... the direction is masterful. Le amiche Blu-ray The Criterion Collection 817 1955 / B&W / 1:37 flat full frame / 106 min. / available through The Criterion Collection / Street Date June 7, 2016 / 39.95 Starring Eleonora Rossi Drago, Gabriele Ferzetti, Franco Fabrizi, Valentina Cortese, Madeleine Fischer, Yvonne Furneaux, Anna Maria Pancani, Luciano Volpato, Maria Gambarelli, Ettore Manni. Cinematography Gianni De Venanzo Film Editor Eraldo Da Roma Original Music Giovanni Fusco Written by Suso Cecchi D'Amico, Michelangelo Antonioni, Alba de Cespedes from a book by Cesare Pavese Produced by Giovanni Addessi Directed by Michelangelo Antonioni

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

It's time to stop being so intimidated by Michelangelo Antonioni. His epics of existential alienation La notte, L'eclisse and
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Structure of ‘La Haine,’ Don Cheadle Analyzes ‘Miles Ahead,’ Searching For Women-Directed Films, and More

Dailies is a round-up of essential film writing, news bits, videos, and other highlights from across the Internet. If you’d like to submit a piece for consideration, get in touch with us in the comments below or on Twitter at @TheFilmStage.

NYC’s IFC Center has plans to expand, and they could use your help to let city officials know you support it.

Watch Don Cheadle analyze a scene from Miles Ahead:

Xavier Dolan‘s The Death and Life of John F. Donovan begins shooting on July 9th, Le Journal de Quebec reports.

Cinematographer Jeff Cutter discusses shooting 10 Cloverfield Lane with Filmmaker Magazine:

Anamorphic lenses just have a feeling that reminded Dan and I of what it used to be like watching these great widescreen movies when we were kids that were shot anamorphic. It just makes it feel like a big movie and that was something that we really,
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Academy Award Film Series: It Takes Eastwood to Get Enthusiastic Praise for Derivative, Mostly Predictable Father Figure Melo

'Million Dollar Baby' movie with Hilary Swank and Clint Eastwood. 'Million Dollar Baby' movie: Clint Eastwood contrived, overlong drama made (barely) watchable by first-rate central performance Fresh off the enthusiastically received – and insincere – Mystic River, Clint Eastwood went on to tackle the ups and downs of the boxing world in the 2004 melo Million Dollar Baby. Despite the cheery title, this is not the usual Rocky-esque rags-to-riches story of the determined underdog who inevitably becomes a super-topdog once she (in this case it's a “she”) puts on her gloves, jumps into the boxing ring, and starts using other women as punching bags. That's because about two-thirds into the film, Million Dollar Baby takes a radical turn toward tragedy that is as unexpected as everything else on screen is painfully predictable. In fact, once the dust is settled, even that last third quickly derails into the same sentimental mush Eastwood and
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

The Passionate Thief (1960) | Review

Miracolo!: Monicelli’s Exuberant, Digitally Restored Classic

There hasn’t been a performer that’s come close to equaling the vibrant energy of Italian actress Anna Magnani, that furious powerhouse that graced some of the best works of Rossellini, Visconti, Pasolini, and Renoir and swept her way through English language cinema, winning an Oscar for 1955’s The Rose Tattoo. It’s with great pleasure to discover that Mario Monicelli’s forgotten classic The Passionate Thief was digitally restored last year, playing at the 2014 Telluride Film Festival before being treated to a limited theatrical run this Spring at select theaters. Starring Magnani with her frequent stage collaborator, famed comedian Toto, and a nubile Ben Gazzara, the trio wanders through Rome’s streets one lackluster New Year’s Eve as they stumble through a series of escapades.

Based on short stories by famed author Alberto Moravia (The Conformist; Two Women; Contempt
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

Gardner, Crawford Among Academy's Career Achievement Award Non-Winners

Honorary Award: Gloria Swanson, Rita Hayworth among dozens of women bypassed by the Academy (photo: Honorary Award non-winner Gloria Swanson in 'Sunset Blvd.') (See previous post: "Honorary Oscars: Doris Day, Danielle Darrieux Snubbed.") Part three of this four-part article about the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Honorary Award bypassing women basically consists of a long, long — and for the most part quite prestigious — list of deceased women who, some way or other, left their mark on the film world. Some of the names found below are still well known; others were huge in their day, but are now all but forgotten. Yet, just because most people (and the media) suffer from long-term — and even medium-term — memory loss, that doesn't mean these women were any less deserving of an Honorary Oscar. So, among the distinguished female film professionals in Hollywood and elsewhere who have passed away without
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

New on Video: ‘I vinti’

I vinti

Directed by Michelangelo Antonioni

Written by Michelangelo Antonioni, Giorgio Bassani, Suso Cecchi D’Amico, Diego Fabbri, Roger Nimier, Turi Vasile

Italy/France, 1953

In 1953, Michelangelo Antonioni directed the episodic I vinti (The Vanquished), quite possibly the least “Antonioni-esque” feature he ever made (the roster of credited writers above is some indication of the impersonal nature of the film). Comprised of three vignettes about troubled youth in France, Italy, and England, the film at times comes across almost as a moralizing after school special, whereby it attempts to draw attention to the desperate and destructive state of young people during this period. But while the film’s obvious didacticism is its least laudable characteristic, I vinti is nevertheless a fascinating examination of this “burnt out generation.”

These young people were just children during World War II. They’ve grown up in a time of upheaval and violence, and now as
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New Release: Michelangelo Antonioni’s I Vinti DVD

Raro Video U.S. will release a restored version of Michelangelo Antonioni’s (Blow-up) 1953 I Vinti, one of the Italian master’s first feature films, on DVD on March 29.

Passion and murder collide in Michelangelo Antonioni's I Vinti.

I Vinti is a unique triptych film revolving around three murders, one taking place in Paris, another in Rome, and another in London. All of the perpetrators are affluent youths, each killing for dubious motives. In the France segment, a group of adolescents kill for money, even though they don’t need it; in the London segment, a poet uncovers a woman’s body and tries to profit from the discovery; and in the Italian segment, a student becomes caught up in a smuggling ring, with deadly results.

The film is told with Antonioni’s trademark splintered chronology, which weaves multiple story lines, in this case. The director remains one of
See full article at Disc Dish »

Senso Review – Alida Valli, Farley Granger d: Luchino Visconti

Senso (1954) Direction: Luchino Visconti Cast: Alida Valli, Farley Granger, Heinz Moog, Nina Morelli, Massimo Girotti, Christian Marquand, Sergio Fantoni Screenplay: Suso Cecchi d'Amico, Luchino Visconti; from Camillo Boito's novella Highly Recommended Alida Valli, Farley Granger, Senso Critical consensus regards Luchino Visconti's Senso as a radical departure, a sign of the director's shift in focus from the gritty world of downtrodden proles (such as in his neorealist classics Ossessione and La Terra Trema) to a rather more exciting historical fantasy involving the illicit romance between Countess Serpieri (Alida Valli) and Lieutenant Mahler (Farley Granger) during the Italian revolt against Austria — shot in radiant three-strip Technicolor to boot. A rather more defensible truism portrays Senso as a dry run for Visconti's later adaptation of Giuseppe di Lampedusa's The Leopard. There are obvious parallels between the two: male leads played by American actors (Granger in Senso, Burt Lancaster in The Leopard), brilliant color cinematography,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Senso DVD Review

Director: Luchino Visconti Writers: Luchino Visconti, Suso Cecchi d’Amico, Carlo Alianello, Tennessee Williams, Giorgio Bassani, Paul Bowles, Giorgio Prosperi Cinematographers: G.R. Aldo and Robert Krasker Starring: Alida Valli, Farley Granger, Heinz Moog, Rina Morelli Studio/Runtime: Criterion/123 mins. Arguably the first movie that could be called Italian Neo-realist was Luchino Visconti’s Ossesione, which he then followed up with two more features in the same tradition. But as the war that fostered the movement faded into the past Visconti radically shifted his style with Senso. Where neo-realism focused on the poor, here he brought his spotlight to aristrocrats. Where neo-realism...
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Screenwriter Suso Cecchi D'Amico Honored With Lincoln Center Film Festival

  • CinemaRetro
By David Savage

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“Prendi appunti.” (“Take notes.”)

That was the famously economical answer the great Italian neo-realist screenwriter, Suso Cecchi d’Amico, gave when asked what advice she had for those aspiring to write films. Pay attention to the way people speak and act, and write it down, she seemed to be suggesting. It’s not in our daydreams where we’re going to find that convincing bit of dialogue or key to a character’s motivation. It’s in daily life, which holds more rich material than any of us could ever use.

The Bicycle Thief (‘48), Rocco and His Brothers (‘60) The Leopard (‘63), Senso (‘54), Violent Summer (‘59) and Jesus of Nazareth (TV, ‘77) are only a handful of the powerful films she wrote or contributed to, among more than 100 carrying her name.

Most cited for her career-long collaboration with director and close friend Luchino Visconti,
See full article at CinemaRetro »

The Leopard | Film review

Visconti's 1963 version of Giuseppe di Lampedusa's only novel is perhaps the only great movie based on a great book. Burt Lancaster, in his finest performance, brings gravitas and intelligence to its hero, Prince Salinas, the middle-aged Sicilian nobleman who confronts with stoic resignation the changing times of the Risorgimento in the 1860s. The music, the performances, the cinematography and the production design have all been praised over the years, but it is appropriate this time around to note the special contribution of its prolific screenwriter. One of Visconti's regular screenwriters, Suso Cecchi D'Amico died a month ago at the age of 96 after collaborating, credited and uncredited, on many of the best Italian films, from Rome, Open City via Roman Holiday to Salvatore Giuliano. She suggested dropping the novel's modern epilogue and persuaded Visconti to conclude with the extended society ball in Palermo, one of the most remarkable and influential sequences in movie history.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Suso Cecchi d'Amico, 1914 - 2010

  • MUBI
Updated through 8/4.

Legendary screenwriter Suso Cecchi d'Amico has died in Rome at the age of 96. More impressive than the sheer number of screenplays she'd written since 1946 — over 110 — is the lasting mark she's left on Italian and international cinema. She worked on the screenplay for that landmark of Italian Neo-Realism, Vittorio De Sica's Bicycle Thieves (1948), the first credit mentioned in most of today's first round of reports. But she may ultimately be best remembered for her literary adaptations, among them, Le Amiche (1955) for Michelangelo Antonioni, based on the short novel by Cesare Pavese, and of course, The Leopard (1963) for Luchino Visconti, from the novel by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa.
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Rome Film Fest to honor Suso Cecchi d'Amico

Rome Film Fest to honor Suso Cecchi d'Amico
Rome -- The Rome International Film Festival said Monday it would give its Marcus Aurelius career honor to prolific Italian screenwriter Suso Cecchi d'Amico, who died Saturday at the age of 96.

Cecchi d'Amico, the pseudonym for Giovanna Cecchi, worked with many of the most important directors of Italy's post-war era, including Michelangelo Antonioni, Mario Monicelli, Roberto Rossellini, Vittorio de Sica, Luchino Visconti and Franco Zeffirelli. Her list of more than 100 writing credits includes "Roma Citta Aperta" (Rome, Open City), "Ladri di biciclette" (Bicycle Thieves), and "Il Gatopardo" (The Leopard). She was nominated for an Oscar for her work on Monicelli's "Casanova '70."

The Rome festival said that Monicelli, still working at the end of 95, will accept the award on Cecchi d'Amico's behalf, with the late writer's three children expected to be on hand for the event.

The fifth edition of the festival will take place this year Oct. 28-Nov.
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Italian Screenwriter Cecchi D'Amico Dies

  • WENN
Italian Screenwriter Cecchi D'Amico Dies
Celebrated Italian screenwriter Suso Cecchi D'Amico has died at the age of 96.

The prolific writer, who contributed to classics including Bicycle Thieves and The Leopard, passed away in her hometown of Rome on Saturday. The cause of death has yet to be confirmed.

Cecchi D'Amico racked up over 100 film credits during her career and was nominated for an Academy Award for her 1965 comedy Casanova 70.

Italian President Giorgio Napolitano has led the tributes to the star, hailing her as a "great protagonist of one of the best seasons of Italian cinema".

Cecchi D'Amico was awarded a Golden Lion in acknowledgement of her lifetime achievements at the 1994 Venice Film Festival.

She is survived by her three children and a funeral is scheduled in the Italian capital on Monday, reports the Associated Press.

Suso Cecchi d'Amico obituary

Italian screenwriter who worked with directors such as Visconti and Zeffirelli

The Italian screenwriter Suso Cecchi d'Amico, who has died aged 96, collaborated on the scripts of more than 100 films, including Vittorio De Sica's Ladri di Biciclette (Bicycle Thieves, 1948), William Wyler's Roman Holiday (1953), Mario Monicelli's I Soliti Ignoti (Big Deal on Madonna Street, 1958) and Francesco Rosi's Salvatore Giuliano (1962). She also worked with Michelangelo Antonioni on Le Amiche (The Girlfriends, 1955) and Franco Zeffirelli on Jesus of Nazareth (1977), but she was best known for her creative contribution to the films of Luchino Visconti, including Il Gattopardo (The Leopard, 1963).

She was born Giovanna Cecchi in Rome to a Tuscan painter, Leonetta Pieraccini, and the literary critic Emilio Cecchi, a major figure in 20th-century Italian letters. For a few years in the early 1930s, before the Cinecittà studios were built in Rome, her father had been entrusted by Mussolini's government with
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Linkfish

Before we get to the links, two things.

Catfish, a hot ticket documentary from Sundance is coming to theaters near you. It's totally worth seeing but please avoid all articles and trailers. Just know that it's about an online relationship. Just trust me on this one. Totally worth seeing (even if you hate it) for the conversations it'll spark afterwards.Black Swan will open in early December, presumably following The Wrestler's release pattern. I'm not sure this is a good idea since it seems like a harder sell for awardage since it's genre tinged And about young beauties. Oscar likes old broken down piece of meat man drama way more. But I must lower my expectations. I'm unreasonably excited and there's not even a trailer yet.Link Time

I Need My Fix Emily Blunt in Elle. Did y'all hear Meryl Streep sang Abba at Blunt's wedding? Blunt leads a charmed life,
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Screenwriter Suso Cecchi D’Amico Dies: Co-Wrote Bicycle Thieves, Senso, The Leopard

Lamberto Maggiorani in Vittorio de Sica‘s Bicycle Thieves (aka The Bicycle Thief) Suso Cecchi D’Amico, the only top female screenwriter in the post-war Italian cinema, died today in Rome. She had turned 96 on July 14. According to reports, no cause of death was given. Chiefly among Cecchi D’Amico’s screenwriting contributions — nearly 120 of them — are those for Vittorio de Sica‘s Oscar-winning neo-realist classic Bicycle Thieves (1948) and Cannes Film Festival co-winner Miracle in Milan (1951), and for numerous films directed by Luchino Visconti, among them Bellissima (1951), Senso (1954), Rocco e i suoi fratelli / Rocco and His Brothers (1960), Il Gattopardo / The Leopard (1963), Ludwig (1973), and Conversation Piece (1975). Additionally, Cecchi D’Amico collaborated with a number of other celebrated Italian filmmakers, including Michelangelo Antonioni (Le Amiche / The Girlfriends), Alessandro Blasetti (La fortuna di essere donna / Lucky to Be a Woman), Luigi Zampa (L’onorevole Angelina), [...]
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Italy's celebrated screen-writer Cecchi D'Amico diesat 96

Rome - Screenwriter Suso Cecchi D'Amico, who emerged from Italy's male-dominated post-war cinema boom to contribute to some of its most celebrated films, including Bicycle Thieves, died Saturday. She was 96. Her death was announced by relatives who said Cecchi D'Amico had been ill for some time, the Ansa newsagency reported. In Bicycle Thieves, Cecchi D'Amico together with director Vittorio De Sica and fellow screenwriter Cesare Zavattini, helped craft one of the finest examples of what has become known as the neo-realist school of cinema. The 1948 film's final, heart-wrenching scene, when the protagonist Antonio attempts to steal a bicycle, but is caught and humiliated by a crowd in front of his young son, was penned
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Blu-Ray Review: ‘The Leopard’ Basks in the Bittersweet Glow of Nostalgia

Chicago – Many great films have been made about the changing of eras and the passing of power from one generation to another. But few are as masterfully conceived and as lovingly detailed as Italian filmmaker Luchino Visconti’s 1963 classic “The Leopard.” Gorgeously restored on Blu-Ray, this near-masterpiece was sliced and diced by Hollywood for American audiences, but is now presented in its original three-hour running time.

As one of the founders of Italian neorealism, Visconti is well known for his depictions of upper-class life, which are somewhat inspired by his own upbringing in one of Italy’s wealthiest families. Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa’s 1958 novel of “The Leopard,” published a few months after the author’s death, was an ideal fit for Visconti’s stylistic and thematic obsessions. The story centers on members of the Sicilian aristocracy during the Risorgimento (Italian unification) of the early 1860s. The aristocracy’s delicate
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Sex and the City, Year Zero: Antonioni's "Le amiche" (1955)

Cesare Pavese's 1949 short novel, Among Women Only, is a queasy first-person narrative about memory and loss and social hierarchies and futility. I call it queasy because its narrator, Clelia, a fashionista supervising the opening of a shop in her native Turin, where she's returning to from Rome after an absence of nearly twenty years, is a thoroughly unpleasant character, rather bad company; she's clearly torn between aspiring to be an arriviste and just letting loose with the most scornful and pointlessly pointed contempt for everyone around her. "I understand how people talk shop around their professions," she grouses early in the work. "but there's nobody like painters, all those people you hear arguing in the cheaper restaurants. I could understand if they talked about brushes, colors, turpentine—the things they use—but no, these people make it difficult on purpose, and sometimes no one knows what certain words mean,
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